Newmarket Derby success as Adam Kirby brings home 16/1 winner Adayar for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin
It was a truly magical Newmarket success in The Cazoo Derby at Epsom this afternoon for Godolphin-owned-and-bred Adayar, ridden by Kirtling's Adam Kirby and trained by Charlie Appleby .
The 16/1 shot stunned the bookmakers at Epsom by bursting down the inside rail in the final straight to beat a field containing Aiden O'Brien's 11/8 red-hot favourite Bolshoi Ballet.
But the latter surprisingly, given the pre-race hype, never looked to be a leading contender in Flat racing's blue riband event, finishing back in seventh.
Kirby, who was originally lined up to ride Ed Dunlop's John Leeper, until Frankie Dettori trumped him on Wednesday, shot down the inside of Mark Johnson's long-time early leader Gear Up from two furlongs out. The winning distance was a comfortable four-and-a-half lengths from Richard Hannon's 50/1 shot Mojo Star with Adayar's stablemate Hurriance Lane (6/1) coming third.
It ensured Appleby's son of Frankel brought up his second Derby winner, following on from Masar in 2008, who had also memorably sprung a surprise as a 16/1 outsider.
The winning trainer was keen not to take the credit himself though, revealing he had thought Adayar should be aimed for the St Leger later in the summer instead, before being convinced otherwise.
"Look, firstly all the credit goes to his Highness Sheikh Mohammed (bin Rashid Al Maktoum) and team Godolphin," he told ITV Racing.
"We spoke on Wednesday night after the horses all ran their breeze and I will be honest with you, I said to his Highness I could not be there with all of the time but I thought this horse might be more of a Leger horse and he said 'Charlie, run him, there is only one Derby'. And as always, he is right.
"But from a team point of view it is fantastic. Everyone works so hard as we all know in this game and you saw the trials and tribulations in the build up to the Derby there but I am delighted for Adam. It was a fantastic ride and it is something every hockey wants to try and achieve and he was there and I am delighted for him."
He added: "Adam knew this horse better than most as he taught him! But well done to the team at (Kirtling-based) Vicarage Farm.
"He's out of a homebred mare there (Anna Salai). It's a huge team effort and I cannot thank everybody enough, to be in this position and stand here again on this hallowed ground."
It was a first British Classic for Kirby who told ITV Racing: "I went a bit weak on him in the final half-furlong. 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."
Appleby did not rule out a return for his Derby winner in the St Leger at Doncaster in September.
He said: "Like you say, let the dust settle but as a team that is always what we felt his target would be.
"If he had not run here he would have probably gone to the Vase, but unbelievably we might give that a swerve now!
"But like, he is a horse like you saw that is a big sopey horse, a son of Frankel there and time is going to benefit him still. He is a lovely horse to have around."
It was the first time the great Frankel has sired a Derby winner.