Wings Of Eagles swoops for shock Derby glory at Epsom

Esther Moore
June 4, 2017

But just when Cliffs Of Moher looked to have the race in the bag, Wings Of Eagles, who was second to stable companion Venice Beach in the Chester Vase, hit top gear to win by three-quarters of a length.

There had been plenty of talk about the mighty Frankel siring his first Classic victor, and for a moment in the home straight it looked as though Cracksman was going to deliver when taking over from the eventual winner's stablemate Douglas Macarthur just over a furlong out. Ladbrokes claimed victory for either Cliffs Of Moher or Cracksman would have led to a "multi-million pound
pay-out", but instead the firm's Nicola McGeady was able to report: "We are breathing a huge sigh of relief after Wings Of Eagles' shock victory".

"I got into a bit of trouble in Australia, a bad mistake and something that I've put behind me", the 31-year-old said.

"A furlong down I thought if I get a run I'd win, I don't get to sit on many beasts like this at the races, so I'm going to enjoy it". I had almost given it up. And every one of them horses is trained by Aidan O'Brien for the Derby. So I got into Ballydoyle and I worked hard. He had the horse nice and balanced and was in a great position coming down the hill. He told ITV Sport: "What can I say he is a world-class rider, he is tactically very aware".

"I didn’t want to overdo him but for me that was absolutely ideal", he said. “This 12 furlong trip is exactly what we have been waiting for".

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I know he was beaten fair and square by Best Solution in the Lingfield Derby Trial, but he is just the sort of horse to relish the hustle and bustle of a big field Derby even if he is not the best horse in the race on my ratings. My girlfriend, family - everyone. "I was knocked down then and had to pick myself up and come back fighting, and today I think I've proved that".

The Dash at 3.45 is always hugely competitive and Line of Reason has an outstanding chance at the weights from a good draw if the rain stays away. "I will be remembered for something".

"Aidan had a chat with me and said, 'Padraig, you keep working, some day we'll repay you.' I don't think he meant the Derby".

"We knew there was going to be a lot of pace, but they (pacemakers) were rather ignored and they took a bit of catching in the end".

"I'd never get a leg-up on the likes of that big, strong, three-year-old colt, without having been at Ballydoyle".

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