Horse Racing: NO DOUBTING THIS THOMAS; BUDWEISER IRISH DERBY: ANOTHER BIG RACE SUCCESS FOR BALLYDOYLE Classic Win for Dylan, Fallon & O'Brien

The Mirror (London, England), July 3, 2006 | Go to article overview

Horse Racing: NO DOUBTING THIS THOMAS; BUDWEISER IRISH DERBY: ANOTHER BIG RACE SUCCESS FOR BALLYDOYLE Classic Win for Dylan, Fallon & O'Brien


Byline: Peter O'HEHIR Racing Correspondent

DYLAN Thomas gave trainer Aidan O'Brien a fourth Budweiser Irish Derby victory when scoring a spectacular success in Ireland's premier classic at the Curragh yesterday.

Confidently handled by Kieren Fallon, the Epsom Derby third hit the front approaching the furlong pole before producing an explosive burst of speed which saw the son of Danehill stretch three and a half lengths clear of runner-up Gentlewave with Best Alibi third and Dragon Dancer fourth.

Dylan Thomas was following the example of Desert King, Galileo and High Chaparral, O'Brien's three previous winners of the race.

And O'Brien was high in his praise of Dylan Thomas: "He was very impressive and has lots of natural speed. Epsom was a messy race.

"He jumped quickly at Epsom and they went a stride too quick for him. And he was left in front far too soon.

"Everybody thought that, ridden differently, there might have been a different result at Epsom. And he put the record straight today.

"Johnny (Murtagh) suggested after Epsom that he might be better going right-handed. But I don't think it's a problem."

O'Brien added: "He settled much better today, which gave him a chance to show his speed. And, of course, Kieren gave him a super ride. He's an incredible man. The bigger the occasion, the cooler he seems to be.

"He's a special colt at a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half. And all the options are open to him, which is a great problem to have.

"A lot will depend on whether Hurricane Run (also owned by the Coolmore team) goes for the King George.

"But a race like the Irish Champion Stakes would look a great race for him - a ten-furlong race with plenty of pace all the way."

Fallon, completing back-to-back wins in the race, having won on Hurricane Run last year, described the Derby as "a shit-hot race" and described Dylan Thomas as "a very special colt."

Fallon added: "He was very impressive. He settled and travelled well and found the gaps. But you can only find the gaps when you have lots of horse under you.

"He beat a serious field and, wherever he goes, he'll be very hard to beat for the rest of the season."

John Magnier, the Coolmore supremo, summed up his feelings about the outcome: "Being by Danehill makes all the difference. He died at 18 years of age but is known as a sire of sires. And that's the Holy Grail in our business."

And, when asked about the importance of Aidan O'Brien and Kieren Fallon in Coolmore's operation, he replied: "There are lots of great trainers around the world. But this man (O'Brien) beats them all."

And, referring to the winning rider, Magnier, suggested: "If I was looking for someone to take the fifth penalty in the World Cup, I'd pick Kieren. …

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