Turf Talk: Godolphin, Appleby and Buick end waits for first Derby triumph

William Buick on Masar celebrates winning the Investec Derby. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
William Buick on Masar celebrates winning the Investec Derby. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
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Masar ended Sheikh Mohammed’s long wait for a first Investec Derby winner in the royal blue silks of Godolphin at Epsom on Saturday.

Trainer Charlie Appleby was also winning his first Classic – just 24 hours after coming close when Wild Illusion was second in the Oaks. He said of his 16-1 scorer, who was ridden by William Buick: “I was quite relaxed throughout the race. On Friday I probably had more butterflies. His homework has always been very impressive since the spring. As a two-year-old we always felt whatever he did at two he was going to be better at three, along with stepping up in trip. His Craven was there for all to see and he couldn’t have been more impressive.

Masar ridden by jockey William Buick coming home to win the Investec Derby. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Masar ridden by jockey William Buick coming home to win the Investec Derby. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire

“It’s still not sunk in. I’ve been with Godolphin for 20 years now. I’ve seen plenty of things come and go and fortunately when I was appointed trainer five years ago the goal was to have a Derby winner in the Godolphin blue. I’m just delighted to be here and part of it.”

Although Sheikh Mohammed has tasted glory in many major races across the globe, including with Lammtarra under the fledgling Godolphin banner in the 1995 Derby, this success was up there with very best in his eyes. He said: “It’s amazing to win the Derby. We have tried to win the Derby so many times and to finally win the race is very special. William gave him a lovely ride and horses are in my blood, so it’s very special.”

For Buick, who has finished second in the race on two previous occasions, it was also mission accomplished. He said: “It’s something really special winning the Derby. It’s the pinnacle of our sport, the Holy Grail, the be all and end all and it means the absolute world to me.”

Dee Ex Bee and Roaring Lion ran with great credit in second and third respectively, although hot favourite Saxon Warrior was ultimately disappointing in fourth.

Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (left), Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (centre) and Charlie Appleby after Masar won the Investec Derby. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire

Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (left), Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (centre) and Charlie Appleby after Masar won the Investec Derby. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire

Aidan O’Brien was keen to keep the faith with his 2000 Guineas hero, however, and he could meet Masar – who was third in the Guineas – once more in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Frankie Dettori emphatically dispelled rumours of his impending retirement after steering Wilamina to victory in the Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes.

After performing one of his trademark flying dismounts, he said: “I’m not retiring. There is a rumour going around saying that I’m going to retire after the Derby.

“I’m definitely not retiring and you definitely have another five years of putting up with me.”

The other Group Three heat on the card, the Investec Diomend Stakes, went to Simon Crisford’s 11-4 favourite Century Dream, while Tanasoq ran out a clear-cut winner of the Investec Corporate Banking Dash Handicap for Paul Midgley.

The action on Sunday centred on Chantilly, where Study Of Man claimed Classic glory in the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club.

Pascal Bary’s colt was among the leading contenders following an impressive display in the Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud last month and was always travelling strongly in midfield.

He began to reel in the leaders early in the home straight under Stephane Pasquier and battled his way to the lead inside the final furlong.

Several horses attempted to peg him back as the post loomed, but Study Of Man, a son of Deep Impact, clung on for victory.

Betfair cut the winner to 20-1 from 33-1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp in October.

Alan Cooper, racing manager to winning owners the Niarchos family, said: “He did it very well and he’s shown what Pascal and Stephane have always thought of him was correct - he’s a top-class horse.

“After he won the Prix Greffulhe it was either come here or go to Epsom (for the Derby) and we decided to stay at this distance (mile and a quarter) for the moment.

“We’ll regroup now and see whether he could be a horse for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but let’s not jump to any conclusions.”

TUESDAY’S TIP

BANGOR: 2.00 Delirant, 2.30 Atlanta Ablaze, 3.00 Starcrossed, 3.30 Shake It Up, 4.00 Settie Hill, 4.30 Frozen Flame.

FONTWELL: 2.15 Ruby Russet, 2.45 Diakali, 3.15 Peculiar Places, 3.45 Innocent Girl, 4.15 Mr Mafia, 4.45 Toosey, 5.15 Lancaster Rose.

NEWCASTLE: 6.15 Alfie Solomons (next best), 6.45 Sanam, 7.15 Weather Front (treble), 7.45 Light Of Joy, 8.15 POUVOIR MAGIQUE (NAP), 8.45 Grandad’s World.

SOUTHWELL: 6.00 Dakota Grey, 6.30 Oscar O’Scar, 7.00 King Vince, 7.30 Fair Mountain, 8.00 Potters Midnight, 8.30 Ocean Jive, 9.00 Hillary C.