Wings of Eagles Derby winner 2017. Arqana Yearling sales in Deauville celebrates their 1st Epsom Derby winner, sold by the Haras de la Montaigu at the Arquana yearling sales in Deauville August 2015, and trained by Aidan O’Brien in Ireland. Owners Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor. Wings of Eagles, son of Pour Moi who won the Derby in 2011 trained by the great French Trainer Andre Fabre.
Wings of Eagles
Few people picked Wings of Eagles prior to the race CREDIT: REUTERS
Marcus Armytage, racing correspondent, epsom Ben Bloom, (live updates) The Telegraph Sports
3 JUNE 2017 •
Aidan O’Brien winning another Investec Derby should never come as a surprise but even he appeared genuinely astounded by the identity of his sixth winner when Wings Of Eagles, a 40-1 shot ridden by journeyman jockey Padraig Beggy, swooped past his better fancied stablemate, Cliffs Of Moher, in the closing stages to win the 238th running of the Classic at Epsom yesterday.
For a trainer whose horses generally win at short odds, it was the longest priced Derby winner since Snow Knight returned a 50-1 winner in 1974. Snow Knight made all, but Wings Of Eagles came from so far behind he was only picked up by the commentator deep inside the final furlong on his way to bagging the richest race ever run in Britain.
For the first mile of the race, Wings Of Eagles, nominally fifth or sixth in the Ballydoyle pecking order for this year’s race if you take jockey bookings as your guide, only had two runners behind him.
Up front, his stablemates, Douglas Macarthur and The Anvil, Ballydoyle’s pacemakers, had set a searching gallop and, while Douglas Macarthur hung on in there until the two-furlong marker, he was eventually caught and headed by the Frankie Dettori-ridden 7-2 favourite Cracksman.
However, Dettori’s dreams of a third Derby soon evaporated as the 5-1 shot Cliffs Of Moher, having made his way from a long way back, hit the front a furlong out. At that point it appeared for all the world that, from a choice of six, Ryan Moore, Ballydoyle’s first jockey, had picked the right colt.
But behind him still picking his way through traffic from the back was Beggy on Wings Of Eagles, a son of the 2011 Derby winner, Pour Moi.
He went through one gap so quickly, recalled the jockey afterwards, that he suddenly found himself on the heels of Dubai Thunder and a couple of times his run was interrupted by having to switch him round horses coming back at him.
When Wings Of Eagles saw daylight, though, it was as if he had just joined in. He flew up the outside, making up five lengths inside the final furlong, to catch Cliffs Of Moher 50 yards from the line before going on to win by three quarters of a length, with a neck back to Cracksman in third, and three-quarters of a length to the other Frankel colt in the field, Eminent, in fourth.