Golden Horn put in a scintillating display to win the Epsom Derby from his stable companion Jack Hobbs.
Settled in midfield, Gosden’s duo started to make their move three furlongs from home. At the two furlong marker, William Buick had roused the huge Jack Hobbs into full stride and he swept into the lead, but Dettori aboard the race favourite had tracked his move on the outer and as they entered the final furlong Golden Horn’s superior speed settled matters.
The runner-up galloped on strongly to the line, yet finished a full three lengths adrift. There was a further four lengths back to Storm The Stars in third.
For the successful owner Anthony Oppenheimer, who also bred the winner, it was a dream come true: “It's such a thrill, it's amazing," he said after the race. “I can't really believe it. I have to thank the staff at my stud, everyone there has worked so hard.”
John Gosden, winning the Derby for the first time since 1997, was full of praise for his horses and their jockeys: “Golden Horn was quite keen early and took Frankie on. The last thing I said to Frankie was ride a cool race and he rode a cool race - he waited and waited. He's a proper horse. Jack's run a great race and was beautifully balanced down the hill by William and ran a belter. All being well he will go to Ireland.”
For Dettori the win was a return to the big-time, possibly a victory he could never have imagined after the last few turbulent seasons. He was understandably ecstatic after the race, saying: “I can't believe it! He was brilliant! I was just a passenger. He hit a flat spot and I thought I can't get him going but then he flew. In the last 100 yards I couldn't believe I had won the Derby again. I have to pinch myself. I can't get to the bottom of this horse and I couldn't pull him up at the end of the race. He is an unbeaten Derby winner - what more can you say.”
The best of the Ballydoyle challenge proved to be Giovanni Canaletto, the pick of Ryan Moore. He looked outpaced for much of the race and was never able to challenge the front two, plugging on for fourth some ten lengths adrift. He could be seen to better effect on a softer surface and possibly when stepped up in trip. It would be no surprise to see O’Brien send him to Doncaster for the St Leger.
The Eclipse was touted as the next target for Golden Horn. It could be a sensational season for the horse that has proven to have the stamina to match his devastating speed. Gosden has a huge fondness for America, which could well impact on the season end targets.
But for now the trainer has the enviable task of keeping the best two middle-distance three-year-olds apart, as he sets about gathering major prizes in the UK, Ireland and beyond.