In a thrilling finish, Anthony Van Dyck got his head in front of four other rivals, under the driving ride of Seamie Heffernan, to win the 2019 Investec Epsom Derby and win yet another classic for genius trainer Aidan O’Brien – his seventh success in the race overall.
Van Dyck won (pictured on the right above) recording, coincidentally, the seventh fastest time for the Derby – clocking 2:33:38, and holding off the charging Madhmoon, trained by Kevin Prendergast and ridden by Chris Hayes. O’Brien trained the next four finishers, giving him five out of the first six home, with less than a length covering the four who finished just behind the winner.
The horses went to post on good to firm ground. Sir Dragonet held firm as favourite, but there was plenty of support for Broome, Telecaster and, notably, Anthony Van Dyck, who was available at 9/1 as the markets opened on Saturday morning….by the time the race got underway a few minutes after 16:30, he had come in to 13/2.
The race got underway with all horses breaking from the stalls equally and without incident. As expected, Sovereign, another O’Brien horse, set the early pace, with Telecaster and Norway also in the van. Circus Maximus was prominent early, with Sir Dragonet, under Ryan Moore, content to sit midfield and track the leaders. The order was largely unchanged as the race developed and they swept around Tattenham Corner, entering the long, undulating, final straight and charge for home.
The field fanned out as horses looked for room. Sir Dragonet hit the front and set out for home, with most expecting him to find the turn of foot needed to see the race out. But whilst he maintained the lead, he could not see off his charging rivals, with Broome and Madhmoon closing him down with every stride. With a furlong and a half to go, it was still just Sir Dragonet, but Anthony Van Dyck held the inside rail and drove to the front just inside the final furlong. Four horses were in line across the track with Anthony Van Dyck – Japan charging down the outside to make it a quintet for the 2019 Epsom Derby. But none could reel in Anthony Van Dyck, who drove to the line with his head in front to take a brave victory. It was a photo for the places, with Madhmoon holding off Japan by a nose for second. Broome touched off favourite Sir Dragonet for fourth.
Telecaster had long dropped away tamely and finished last of the thirteen runners.
It was maybe not the strongest ever renewal of the great race, but connections of the winner, including his legendary trainer, will care not a jot. For jockey Seamie Heffernan, it was his first victory at his twelfth attempt and a magnificent seven for Aidan O’Brien.
2019 INVESTEC EPSOM DERBY – FULL RESULT
- Anthony Van Dyck – 13/2
- Madhmoon – 10/1
- Japan – 20/1
- Broome – 4/1
- Sir Dragonet – 11/4F
- Circus Maximus – 10/1
- Humanitarian – 33/1
- Norway – 33/1
- Line of Duty – 25/1
- Sovereign – 50/1
- Hiroshima – 100/1
- Bangkok – 9/1
- Telecaster – 5/1