The closest the ebullient Italian jockey had come to victory in fourteen previous tries was in 1995, when he finished second aboard Tamure for Sheikh Mohammed. Dettori now rides under contract to Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin, and it was Sheikh Mohammed who released the jockey from contractual obligations in order for him to accept the mount on Authorized.
Authorized broke slowly, and raced toward the back of the 17 horse field during the early stages of the race. Longshot Kid Mambo led the field through the first mile of the 1 1/2-mile classic. The son of Lemon Drop Kid was still in front as the field rounded Tattenham Corner and headed into the straight.
Dettori and Authorized were still laying in ninth at this point, but the pair was in the clear and began to roll on the outside. The son of Montjeu took over the lead with over a furlong left, and began to draw off.
Eagle Mountain, who was last of all entering the straightaway, worked his way through traffic and got up for second, 2 1/2-lengths in front of Aqaleem. Time for the 1 1/2 miles was 2:34.77 over a course rated good.
Authorized marked the second Derby victory for trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, who won the 1992 running with Dr. Devious. The past few years have been rough for Chapple-Hyam, who returned to England in 2004 after spending five years training in Hong Kong. The trainer only had ten horses under his care after he returned-and he owned nine of them.
The trainer’s yard began to signal a return to form in 2006, when Araafa won both the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas (Ire-I) and the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I). Authorized wrapped up the year with a victory in the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) in October.
Both Dettori and Chapple-Hyam were understandably emotional after the race. Chapple-Hyam told reporters, “This win means more to me, as I was in a haze when I last won the race. It went too quick and I was so wound up, I didn’t enjoy it. This is better.”
Dettori, who treated fans to his trademark ‘flying dismount’ in the winner’s enclosure, said, “It was my childhood dream to win the big three-the Arc, the King George, and the Derby and I have done it. I have been Champion jockey and I have won all the classics. My love for the sport keeps me going, and I also have five children to feed, so I need to keep riding!”
Authorized is out of the Saumarez mare Funsie. He is the second Vodafone Derby winner for his sire, Montjeu, who also sired the 2005 winner, Motivator.