Ballydoyle Get First Four As Santiago Strikes In the Irish Derby

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Santiago | Racing Post

It was labelled as wide-open, but in the end Saturday’s G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh proved anything but as Aidan O’Brien was in dominating form yet again with Santiago (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) leading home a remarkable stable one-two-three-four. Sent off the clear 2-1 favourite coming back eight days after his emphatic win in the G2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, the bay was always travelling with supreme ease anchored towards the rear by a confident Seamie Heffernan. Cutting through the pack and getting an ideal split to arrive at the front two out, he was pushed all the way to the line by Tiger Moth (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) but toughed it out to prevail by a head, with five lengths back to Dawn Patrol (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and another 1 1/4 lengths to Order of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}).

Delivering a 14th renewal to his trainer and a fourth for his personal resume, Heffernan said, “I was always comfortable. He’s a tough horse–I would have liked to have had a better draw and a cleaner slot and I took a gamble in dropping him in, but if you go forward and you get trapped wide he’s a horse that gets competitive. I always wanted to switch him off and ride him for luck, because he’s a generous horse and it worked out. When I put him in gear, he picked up. He had been showing plenty at home, but what he had been showing at home was guts. He’s a lovely horse with a big heart and you can’t ask for any more.”

Santiago had started out with seconds over seven furlongs at Leopardstown and Galway last summer, the latter of which takes on an altogether different light coming behind Alpine Star (Ire) (Sea the Moon {Ger}) at the famed festival. Beating Sunchart (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) over a mile at Listowel in September, he was untried in the top latter-season tests and consequently arrived at Royal Ascot under the radar to all bar those closest to him tackling the Queen’s Vase. After dismissing the solid yardstick Berkshire Rocco (Fr) (Sir Percy {GB}) as the pair pulled clear in that 14-furlong contest, he was thrust into the limelight and then into the heat of this battle with the stable’s leading Galileos diverted to Epsom.

Travelling notably strongly in the final quintet with Heffernan happy to keep tabs on the Jim Bolger runner Fiscal Rules (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) dead ahead, the pace was kept honest courtesy of Iberia (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) who was placed on the front to draw the potential sprint out of the race. As the field turned for home, there was a fanning out from the fence which gifted Heffernan the space he needed to emerge into contention and he was at the head of affairs as quickly as he had been at the Royal meeting last week passing the two pole. While everything in his immediate vicinity was instantly covered, out of range to his left was Tiger Moth with Emmet McNamara keeping him wide for his effort. It became a battle in the final furlong and for a brief spell it looked as if the 11-1 shot would provide his rider with a fairytale first Classic, but Santiago drew on that extra dimension to take the glory.

O’Brien, who had saddled the first three in this in 2002, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2019, majors in humility at all times and was not breaking the pattern despite this incredible achievement. “They ran good races, so I’m delighted,” was his unassuming response to another milestone in his career. “Santiago is a lovely, straightforward horse who likes to take his time in his races and Seamus got a lovely run through. We thought he could be a Leger horse and I think that looks a lovely race for him, but we are going to look forward to him for next year too. He’s a lovely, clean-winded, honest horse.”

Tiger Moth had beaten Dawn Patrol and Order of Australia as O’Brien also saddled the first four home in a 10-furlong Leopardstown maiden June 9 that in this unusual season takes on the shape of a true Derby trial. Dawn Patrol met interference en route to finishing off strongly here and the Ballydoyle handler was understandably full of hope that they can also emerge as forces later on this term. “The next two are lovely horses and are two babies–they are progressing and in a month’s time we think they will be even better,” he added.

MV Magnier, speaking by Zoom videolink, added, “I’m delighted for Seamus. I didn’t realise that he’s 47, but he’s riding very well and has been working in Ballydoyle for a long time. He deserves it. The Irish Derby is the pinnacle of Irish racing. It is a stallion-making race and many great champions have won it over the years.”

Santiago, who becomes the first Classic winner for his sire, was bought in utero by Robert Nataf of Horse France as he purchased the 4-year-old filly Wadyhatta (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}) for €275,000 at Arqana’s 2016 Summer Sale. The listed-placed second dam Thamarat (GB) (Anabaa) produced three black-type performers, including last year’s G1 Prix du Jockey Club third Motamarris (Ire) (Le Havre {Ire}) who looks a potential star this season, and the multiple listed-placed Riqa (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) who is in turn the dam of the G3 Prix de Cabourg, G3 Prix de Meautry and G3 Prix du Petit Couvert scorer Tantheem (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}).

Thamarat is a half-sister to the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and G1 Prix Jean Prat-winning sire Tamayuz (GB) (Nayef), while the G3 Prix de Flore-winning fourth dam Allez Les Trois (Riverman) produced the G1 Prix du Jockey-Club hero and sire Anabaa Blue (GB) by Thamarat’s sire Anabaa. Allez Les Trois is kin to the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine and incredible producer Urban Sea (Miswaki), which links Santiago back to the 2001 winner of this race, Galileo, as well as to Sea the Stars (Ire) who shares Cape Cross (Ire) as a sire with Santiago’s dam Wadyhatta. This is also the family of the brilliant G1 2000 Guineas hero and sire King’s Best, involving the dam line of the German-bred blue hen Allegretta (GB) (Lombard {Ger}). Wadyhatta’s as-yet unraced 2-year-old filly by Frankel (GB) named La Joconde (Ire) was purchased by the Broadhurst Agency for 850,000gns at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1, while she also has a yearling filly by that sire.

Saturday, Curragh, Ireland
DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH DERBY-G1, €750,000, Curragh, 6-27, 3yo, 12fT, 2:38.17, gd.
1–SANTIAGO (IRE), 128, c, 3, by Authorized (Ire)
1st Dam: Wadyhatta (GB), by Cape Cross (Ire)
2nd Dam: Thamarat (GB), by Anabaa
3rd Dam: Al Ishq (Fr), by Nureyev
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. O-Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Susan Magnier; B-Lynch Bages Ltd (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien; J-Seamus Heffernan. €435,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-Eng, 5-3-2-0, $589,585. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Tiger Moth (Ire), 128, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Lesson In Humility (Ire), by Mujadil. O-Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; B-Coolmore (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. €150,000.
3–Dawn Patrol (Ire), 128, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–Gwynn (Ire), by Darshaan (GB). O-Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Susan Magnier; B-Lynch Bages Ltd (IRE); T-Aidan O’Brien. €75,000.
Margins: HD, 5, 1 1/4. Odds: 2.00, 11.00, 10.00.
Also Ran: Order of Australia (Ire), Fiscal Rules (Ire), Gold Maze (GB), New York Girl (Ire), Sunchart (GB), Arthur’s Kingdom (Ire), Crossfirehurricane, King of the Throne, Iberia (Ire), Chiricahua (Ire). Scratched: Galileo Chrome (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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