A review of the weekend's action in which Aidan O'Brien won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby - not with the expected colt.
Last Updated: 01/07/19 8:12am
It came as no surprise that Aidan O'Brien won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for the 13th time at the Curragh, but picking out 33-1 shot Sovereign from his five runners took some doing.
O'Brien supplied the first three home, but Epsom hero Anthony Van Dyck could get to within only six lengths of the Padraig Beggy-ridden winner.
Sovereign made all, seeing off Norway with two furlongs to run and coming home in splendid isolation.
In truth the story was more about the jockey than the horse, as Beggy also partnered Wings Of Eagles to glory at Epsom two years ago and unbelievably was riding his first winner of the season.
Beggy said: "I'm over the moon. This would be more important to me (than the Epsom Derby) as an Irishman, the Irish Derby.
"I served my time with Kevin Prendergast just up the road and this was the race that you grew up wanting to win. That was my main aim as an apprentice.
"I'm just very, very lucky that I've won the English Derby and the Irish Derby. That is down to a big group of people, but I would have to say mainly Aidan O'Brien to put me on. Aidan would give you confidence and that helps."
Ladbrokes slashed the price of Sovereign in half for the St Leger, going 10-1 for the Doncaster Classic.
O'Brien said: "The winner is a staying horse and he's going to stay well. He won't mind going the Leger trip.
"He's a solid horse to have because he'll jump and he'll go along in any kind of good race.
"He could go to the King George or the Grand Prix de Paris in France and then could have a break and go to the Leger."
Ger Lyons' Siskin looks a juvenile out of the top drawer after his two-and-a-half-length verdict over O'Brien's Monarch Of Egypt in the GAIN Railway Stakes.
"Hopefully we can get this guy in one piece to the Phoenix and hopefully he's still the best around at the time," said Lyons.
"I keep expecting Aidan to pull one out of the hat, because he normally does - and when he does, none of us will be surprised. But hopefully I can win that Group One."
Alan King's consistent Who Dares Wins finally landed a big pot in the Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
Local runner Dubawi Fifty made a bold bid on his first run for over a year, but was caught in the dying strides by Tom Marquand on the 12-1 chance.
"He's been a marvellous horse for us. He's been placed at Cheltenham and Aintree, and in three Chester Cups. He'll be a very exciting novice chaser as well - that's the plan for the autumn," said King.
"I don't think he'd be quick enough for the Ebor, but he could go for the Cesarewitch if we get a bit of dig in the ground."
James Tate's decision to back Invincible Army up quickly was vindicated with a clear-cut win in the Chipchase Stakes.
Slightly disappointing at Royal Ascot, he outclassed his rivals under a Group Two penalty.
"I have to give James a lot of credit, because it would have been very easy to wrap this horse up and back off him - looking for problems that weren't there," said jockey PJ McDonald.
"It was a blip at Ascot, but this was a nice confidence-booster for him - and now the horse's season is back on track we can go forward from here."
At Newmarket, there were wins for Limato in the Randox Health Criterion Stakes and the returning Wells Farhh Go in the Fred Archer Stakes.
But the star of the show was Charlie Appleby's Summer Romance, who was in a different league to her rivals in the Empress Fillies' Stakes.
"I don't want to sound too confident, but it was a straightforward mission for her in the end. She would have learnt a little bit on her first run, but she would have learnt more the week before when I worked her with the Royal Ascot fillies," said Appleby.
"It (Sweet Solera Stakes, back at Newmarket) is an option for her for sure. Stepping up to seven furlongs is the next logical step."
Frankie Dettori enjoyed another excellent day at the office on Sunday as he partnered a big-race double for John Gosden, highlighted by Coronet's success in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Mehdaayih also claimed the Group Two Prix de Malleret for the jockey and trainer.