Adayar earns Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby his second Derby success

Frankel colt was the least fancied of three Appleby runners but came out on top at Epsom

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Adayar gave Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby his second Derby win and a first British Classic success to jockey Adam Kirby at Epsom on Saturday.

The Frankel colt was the least fancied of the three Appleby runners but came out on top to win from Richard Hanon’s Mojo Star and another Godolphin horse in Hurricane Lane, under first choice jockey William Buick, to win by four and-a-half lengths and three and-a-quarter lengths, respectively.

“All credit goes to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed (bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai) and team Godolphin,” Appleby said after his second British Classic success since Masar’s victory in 2018.

“I did feel this horse was more of a Leger horse and he convinced me to run him in the Derby. I'm delighted for Adam. He gave him a fantastic ride and he was hungry to achieve this.

“Adam knew this horse better than most as he broke him in. He's out of a homebred mare. It's a huge team effort and I feel so privileged to be standing here after winning a second Derby.

“I felt good and then Aidan [O'Brien] went past and reminded me I'm a few behind!

“We'll let the dust settle on this but as a team we always thought the St Leger would have been his target. If we hadn't come here, we might have gone for the Vase. He should improve with experience.

Kirby, who lost the ride on John Leeper to Frankie Dettori, guided the winner up the rail to beat Mojo Star.

“I went a bit weak on him in the final half-furlong,” Kirby said. “I couldn't believe it. All I could think was my mother would be watching. That made me a bit sad but she'd have been so happy.

“There's ups and downs in racing but when it comes to Charlie Appleby, he's a top man and I can't thank him enough. I had no choice but to stick to the rail. He got there quick and was gutsy.”

Mark Johnston’s Gear Up set the pace, with Adayar and Youth Spirit also prominent in the early stages.

Aidan O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet, under Ryan Moore, was towards the head of the field, settled in fourth on the outside, while the well-fancied John Leeper was restrained in last place by Dettori until the field reached Tattenham Corner.

Gear Up started to drop away with two furlongs to run, allowing Kirby a run up the inside rail and he soon put daylight between himself and the field.

Mojo Star finished well from off the pace to take second, with Hurricane Lane also keeping on at the one pace for minor honours. Bolshoi Ballet and John Leeper were both well beaten.