2023 Betfred Derby
Run on Saturday, 3 June, 2023 as the Betfred Derby over the Derby Course of one mile and a half and 6 yards, Epsom Downs. For three-year-olds; entire colts 9st 2lb, fillies 8st 13lb. 279 entries. Value to winner £885,781.84
1st AUGUSTE RODIN Ryan Moore 9-2
2nd KING OF STEEL Kevin Stott 66-1 ½ length
3rd WHITE BIRCH Colin Keane 12-1 4¾ lengths
Also ran: 4th Sprewell (Shane Foley) 14-1; The Foxes (Oisin Murphy) 7-1; Waipiro (Tom Marquand) 25-1: Artistic Star (Rob Hornby) 22-1; Adelaide River (Seamie Heffernan) 33-1; Dubai Mile (Daniel Muscutt) 25-1; Arrest (Frankie Dettori) 4-1Fav; San Antonio (Wayne Lordan) 18-1; Passenger (Richard Kingscote) 8-1; Dear My Friend (Andrea Atzeni) 100-1; Military Order (William Buick) 9-2 (tailed off, last).
For those attending the Betfred Derby this could well have been a difficult day. Firstly the race had been moved to 1.30 (as the second race), to accommodate T V coverage of the FA Cup Final at 3.00pm; there was also a rail strike with all the three stations that serve Epsom closed. Then the protest group, Animal Rising, threatened to send a thousand protesters to continually delay until eventually stopping the race being run. This caused a massive increase in security and police presence. Fortunately, Animal Rising’s protest turned out to be a damp squib, amounting to a peaceful protest on a nearby roundabout and, the one man who got on the course when the Derby had started was quickly dealt with. Not surprisingly, all this affected the attendance, estimated at half of the previous year. Disappointingly, in a break from tradition, the race was not attended by either the King or Queen.
Now to the contenders: Arrest, an impressive winner of the Chester Vase, set to be Frankie Dettori’s final Derby ride went off favourite at 4-1. Military Order, winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial and a full brother to Derby winner Adayar, was on offer at 9-2, as was Auguste Rodin, winner of the Group 1Futurity at Doncaster, a badly beaten favourite in the 2,000 Guineas, now back to his best according to trainer Aidan O’Brien. Feature of the betting was these three horses continually interchanged as favourite throughout the day. The first three in York’s Dante Stakes all found each way support, the winner, The Foxes at 7-1, the second White Birch at 12-1 and the unlucky third, Passenger, supplemented for £85.000, at 8-1.
Fourteen runners went to post and the commentators “There Off”, was met with a cheer to rival Cheltenham. Leaving the stalls, The Foxes (drawn 3) stumbled, so causing White Birch and Dear My Friend, on his inside to lose ground. On settling down, Arrest, Adelaide River, Dubai Mile and Passenger took them along. After three furlongs, San Antonio joined Adelaide River to lead from Passenger and Arrest.
From the top of the hill down to Tattenham Corner the O’Brien pair established a two-length lead from Arrest, Passenger and Dubai Mile. Then, from three furlongs out, King Of Steel found a gap to chase the leaders. Soon after, Kevin Stott quickly sent King Of Steel into the lead, while Ryan Moore on Auguste Rodin, set off from the outside to follow, joining battle at the furlong pole.
After an exciting duel, Auguste Rodin forged ahead within the final hundred yards to win by half a length, the pair having pulled four and three-quarter lengths ahead of the staying on White Birch. Sprewell was fourth and The Foxes fifth.
This was Aidan O’Brien’s record ninth Derby winner and Mrs John (Sue) Magnier and Michael Tabor’s 10th in partnership. It was also Ryan Moore’s third Derby winner after Ruler Of The World (2013) and Workforce (2010).
The winner was led in by owners Michael Tabor (right) and Derrick Smith (left).
14 ran. Time 2min 33.88 sec
The winner was bred by Coolmore Stud, Ireland, owned by M Tabor & D Smith & Mrs J Magnier & Westerberg, and trained by A P O’Brien at Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
The winner, AUGUSTE RODIN, had won 4 races from 6 starts: Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes, Naas, KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, Leopardstown, Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes, Doncaster, Betfred Derby, Epsom.
The sire, DEEP IMPACT (b.c. 2002), won 12 races (from 14 starts) incl. Hochi Hal Yayoi Sho Stakes & Satsuki Sho, Nakayama, Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger), Tenno Sho Spring & Takarazuka Kinen, Kyoto, Japan Cup, Tokyo, Arima Kinen, Nakayama. Sire of SAXON WARRIOR (b.c. 2015), winner of the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, Newmarket and SNOWFALL (b.f. 2018), winner of the Cazoo Oaks, Epsom.
The dam, RHODODENDRON (b.f. 2014) by GALILEO ex HALFWAY TO HEAVEN, won 5 races from 19 starts, incl. Dubai Fillies Mile, Newmarket, Prix de l’Opera Longines, Chantilly, Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, Newbury. Second to ENABLE in the 2017 Investec Oaks, Epsom. Auguste Rodin was her first foal.