USA: O'Brien claims Belmont Derby with Deauville

Wings of Desire - Frankie Dettor

Deauville (far side): won in America on Saturday

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)  

 By David Baxter 7:55AM 10 JUL 2016 

Report: USA, Saturday

Belmont: Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo

JAMIE SPENCER was perfectly positioned throughout to guide Deauville to victory in the $ 1.25 million Belmont Derby for Aidan O’Brien.

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Spencer was posted widest of all in the field of 13, but Deauville broke well, and the pair tracked outsider Toughest ‘Ombre.

Rounding the final turn Spencer kicked for home, and despite the challengers amassing behind him, none could land a telling blow as Deauville won by a neck from the late-thrusting Highland Sky.

Back to form

It was a first win of the season for the Jim and Fitri Hay-owned colt, who had finished runner-up in the Dante Stakes but then failed to make an impact in the Derby, finishing 11th of 16.

Spencer said: “I spoke to Aidan earlier and he was adamant that if I got a good break, to be positive and lead if there wasn’t a leader.

“When you set them alight, sometimes they don’t switch off again. But he switched off great once he turned into the backstretch. He was full of energy and had plenty left in reserve for the stretch. He’s a hard-trained horse who was ready for the day.”

Stablemate Long Island Sound was sent off favourite, but could not emerge from the chasing pack and finished sixth, while Richard Hannon’s Humphrey Bogart also tried hard to get involved but came home ninth.

Also on Saturday

Belmont: Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (Grade 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo fillies

Aidan O’Brien was unable to come away with a Grade 1 double, as Coolmore fared best of his duo in third, with victory in the $ 1 million race going to Catch A Glimpse (Mark Casse/Florent Geroux).

Now undefeated in eight turf starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Catch A Glimpse was not for passing in front, having broken well to take up the running from stall 13.

Crowned Canada’s Horse of the Year for 2015, Catch A Glimpse showed plenty of class to pull away from Coolmore off the final turn and established enough of a gap to defeat Time And Motion by half-a-length.

The Casse team lit up Royal Ascot with Queen Anne victor Tepin, and Norman Casse, son and assistant to his father, said: “The mile and a quarter was a legitimate concern; she had never been beyond a mile and a sixteenth. Any time another horse comes to her, she finds another gear and she rewarded our confidence. This has been a dream come true.”

Although unable to live with the winner, Coolmore ran well to take third, but 1,000 Guineas runner-up Ballydoyle, who was sent off favourite, was a big disappointment, finishing last of the 13 runners.

Belmont: Suburban Handicap (Grade 2) 1m2f, dirt, 4yo+

Last year’s winner Effinex (Jimmy Jerkens/Mike Smith) repeated the feat with a narrow neck success over Samraat.

The Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga could be next for the winner, who only found American Pharoah too good in last season’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.

 
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