It would be an exaggeration to suggest that Padraig Beggy became an overnight sensation when winning the 2017 Investec Derby on Wings Of Eagles but it is safe to say most racegoers were not familiar with him.
Riding the apparent Aidan O’Brien fifth string in the race – Wings Of Eagles started 40-1 – Beggy came with a fantastic late surge to take the spoils. On Betfair, his mount nudged 599-1 in-running.
“The main thing is that you are riding for Aidan O’Brien in colours like these – you don’t worry about the price because they always have a chance,” said Beggy. “I’ve ridden for a lot of trainers but Aidan looks at a horse in a different way to everybody else. He is there night, noon and morning, he looks at them head to toe.”
The 34-year-old is part of the team at Ballydoyle but was having just his second ride in Britain in five years. He had not ridden a winner in Britain since 2012 and did not ride at all on these shores between 2013 and 2016.
O’Brien gave Beggy a chance after he had served a 15-month ban for offences in Australia in 2014. He failed a test for cocaine and then provided false explanations for the failed tests.
Between 2018 and 2020, he chalked up five wins in Ireland from 147 rides. However, in 2019 he sprang another Classic surprise aboard 33/1 chance Sovereign in the Irish Derby.
His Derby triumph remains one of only nine winners for him in England.
Between 2018 and 2020, he has had five winners from 147 rides in Ireland.