Treasure Beach just got up in the final strides to lead home an Aidan O’Brien sweep in the $1,772,850 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) at the Curragh June 26.
It was the sixth straight victory for O’Brien in the Irish classic, and his ninth win overall. On four occasions O’Brien runners have swept the top three placings.
Jockey Colm O’Donoghue was aboard the son of Galileo once again as the duo tried to make amends for their gut-wrenching head loss to Pour Moi in the Investec Derby (Eng-I) on June 4. Treasure Beach was sent off as the 7-2 second choice in the field of eight; favoritism fell upon the Queen’s Carlton House, who had also been favored at Epsom as well but had to settle for third on that occasion.
As is his style, O’Brien sent out four of the runners in the eight-horse field, and it was his Memphis Tennessee that went to the lead from the break under jockey Joseph O’Brien. They were tracked closely by Seville and Seamie Heffernan, with Notable Guest and Pat Smullen just behind them in third.
O’Donoghue was content to rate Treasure Beach in fourth during the early stages, with Ryan Moore settling Carlton House toward the back of the pack through the first several furlongs.
Memphis Tennessee continued to cling to a slight advantage over Seville as the field entered the home straight. Treasure Beach raced in third, while Carlton House had made progress and was now racing in fourth.
With three furlongs left to run, Seville overtook Memphis Tennessee and set his sights for home. Treasure Beach, under a strong drive by O’Donoghue, split between horses, quickly passing Memphis Tennessee and drawing alongside Seville.
The two stablemates battled it out to the wire, with Treasure Beach gaining the advantage and edging away in the final 100 yards to win by three-quarters of a length. Seville finished a length in front of Memphis Tennessee, with Carlton House a neck further back in fourth.
Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:33.20 over a drying out course listed as good.
O’Brien, who trains Treasure Beach for the partnership of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, and Susan Magnier, told reporters after the race, “The Epsom form has stood up well and Seville, who puzzled us at Epsom, came back to form. The plan was to make it an even pace and it should have suited everybody.”
The connections of Carlton House were understandably disappointed with their colt’s performance; trainer Sir Michael Stoute said that the son of Street Cry will be shortened up in distance now. “We were waiting for something to happen but it didn’t. We will put him back in distance now.”
Treasure Beach, who was bred in England by Ashley House Stud, has now improved his record to four wins from eight starts. The bay colt is out of the Mark of Esteem mare Honorine.