Godolphin wins Epsom Derby for first time with Masar

Godolphin wins Epsom Derby for first time with Masar

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Saxon Warrior is odds-on favourite to add the Derby at Epsom to his 2000 Guineas victory.

Trainer Charlie Appleby's colt had finished third behind Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas Stakes (G1) over a mile at Newmarket last time out, but appeared to relish the step up to 1 1/2 miles and unique demands of the track.

"I can't express myself very well now", said Buick.

I'm not too anxious about his draw in stall one, as there are only 12 runners and he's housed next to Knight To Behold who should give him a lovely tow into the race.

Worth noting is that O'Brien's 2017 Epsom Derby victor, Wings of Eagles, was something like his fifth-stringer in the race.

Dee Ex Bee and Roaring Lion were both given every chance in the straight, but could not quite match the victor in the closing stages, with the former just coming out on top in the battle for second, but connections of Saxon Warrior will feel that fate was against them.

Appleby said that he had come to the race with minimal expectations of Masar being triumphant and that had helped, in hindsight, make the victory that bit sweeter along with the disappoitment of missing out on winning the Oaks on Friday when Wild Illusion had to be content with second.

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I thought it was significant that jockey Donnacha O'Brien thought 10 furlongs would be the colt's optimum trip, when interviewed in the immediate aftermath of the Newmarket classic and if you want to back the horse at such a short price I would not want any potential stamina doubts.

"It's been so good".

Owned by His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed, Masar was their first such title holder.

"I'm a realist - I've been in this game all my life and we were beaten fair and square yesterday". He said in a TV interview: "Since I wanted to be a jockey this was the day I was dreaming of".

In 1970, Nijinsky became the first horse in 35 years to win the English Triple Crown; 48 years on and we're still waiting for another.

But O'Brien has voiced concerns about the recent rain at Epsom as he goes in search of a record-equalling seventh win in the blue riband.

My first ride is on Mecca's Spirit in the Western Toyota 2000GT Heritage Sprint Handicap. "He stayed the trip, traveled beautifully today, and the Guineas didn't happen for him".

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