Westover demolishes field to take Irish Derby crown at Curragh

Westover put on a clinic in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby to secure a memorable Curragh victory.

While many considered Rob Hornby to be unlucky after his third-place finish at Epsom behind Desert Crown, the jockey was replaced by Ireland's finest in Colin Keane for his Classic assignment. 

The champion jockey was determined on not letting the early leader French Claim gain a significant advantage, and while Westover was keeping up with the pace, main rival Tuesday began to lose ground with Ryan Moore on board.

As the race progressed, Keane timed his attack to perfection as he edged in front and won the race with two furlongs out.

Piz Badile provided a late challenge, but ultimately the runner-up was no match for the Ralph Beckett-trained colt.

Keane said: "I suppose every jockey says the race they would like to win is the Epsom Derby, the second one would be the Irish Derby I think. It is great to win our home Derby. It's unbelievable.

"Full dues to Rob Hornby, I rang him this morning and he told me everything I needed to know about the horse - a true gentleman. He said the horse gets the trip well and he'll get further, so don't be afraid to use him up. He said one thing he will do is get to the line. Ralph said the same and, when you turn in, get him rolling and you'll stay going.

"I was (a bit keen for a furlong) but once he got in behind one, he gave me a beautiful ride. He's a monster of a horse, so he is only going to be a better horse next year.

"I'm very grateful and thankful to the owners, the Juddmonte family, they have been very good and loyal to us since they joined Glenburnie (retained trainer Ger Lyons' stable). I'm very thankful that they put their faith in me to ride this horse today."

Jockey Colin Keane celebrates with the trophy after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

Beckett said: "Colin was positive on him from the outset and took the bull by the horns. Rob Hornby spoke to him at lunchtime today and encouraged him to ride him that way.

"It's important that you go out with your boots on in these occasions and Colin certainly did that today. I really didn't think he would win like that at this stage. He's a big horse and still a work in progress. He's going to get better with age.

"I never felt he was going to stop when he got into his stride. He drifted out a bit into the middle of the track and is still, as I say, a work in progress. I hope there is more to come with him. He has a great temperament and that shone through today.

"This was always a race that would fit in well. The track suits him and it's wonderful to get it done. It's a big day for us."

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