The Aga Khan's Sinndar won the 1 1/2-mile Vodafone (Epsom) Derby (Eng-I) Saturday at Epsom, England. In his first race outside of Ireland, the John Oxx trainee took the lead with 130 yards to run before completing the victory in the English classic. Sakhee finished a game second, one length behind the winner, with the field strung out behind them.
After early pacesetter Kingsclere faded after four furlongs, Best Of The Bests--with Chris McCarron in the irons--inherited the lead. Sakhee took the lead after 1 1/8 miles with Sinndar and Beat Hollow close behind. Sinndar moved up to challenge Sakhee after 1 1/4-miles and took control in the final furlong. Third-place Beat Hollow--the 7-2 favorite--crossed the wire five lengths behind Sakhee, with a gap of four lengths and three lengths back to the fourth and fifth finishers, Best Of The Bests and Wellbeing, respectively.
3-year-old Sinndar (Grand Lodge--Sinntara, by Lashkari) won his debut race at the Curragh in September and followed that with a head victory in the National Stakes (Ire-I) two weeks later. He made his sophomore debut in the listed Ballysax Stakes at Leapordstown in April, finishing second, a head behind Grand Finale. He prepped for the Derby in the 1 1/4-mile Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Ire-III), winning by a head over the well-regarded Bach. With the win, Sinndar improves his career record to four wins from five career starts.
"He let us know he was well in himself and he looked better than ever before he came over," Oxx told The Sporting Life. "We hoped going the extra two furlongs would be to his advantage."
Johnny Murtagh rode the 7-1 shot to victory, completing the 1 1/2 miles in 2:36.75 over good going--good to soft in places. Barathea Guest finished eighth, Aristotle 10th, and Broche 12th. Pacesetter Kingsclere faded to last in the 15-horse field.