Hurricane Run's late push proved to be more than enough to win the $1.5 million Irish Derby (Ire-I) at The Curragh on Sunday.
The 4-5 French favorite, trained by Andre Fabre and ridden by Kieren Fallon, beat Scorpion by a half-length in the 1 1/2-mile race. Shalapour was third.
"For years I have dreamed about winning this race ... it means everything," Fallon said.
Aidan O'Brien's Gypsy King broke down shortly after the start and was pulled up by Seamus Heffernan. Racing Post
reported that Gypsy King suffered a broken shoulder and was euthanized.
O'Brien also trains the Ballydoyle runner-up Scorpion, ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, who seized the lead from Brahminy Kite with less than two furlongs to go and appeared to have built a decisive lead while closing in on the wire before Fallon went to work on Hurricane Run.
"When I went on early in the straight, I thought we had it won as I could hear a fair amount of slapping going on behind me," O'Donoghue told Racing Post
. "When we quickened up, my horse really gave me everything and he went to the line. He will improve again."
Hurricane Run, a son of Montjeu who was the runner-up in the French Derby (Fr-I) three weeks ago, got up in the final strides with something left for his first group I victory.
Fabre won his second Irish Derby, last scoring in 1995 with Winged Love. Hurricane Run, bought last week by Coolmore Stud, carried the colors of Dietrich von Boetticher's Gestut Ammerland in a lease arrangement worked out for Sunday's race.
"The plan now is to save Hurricane Run for an autumn campaign," Fabre told Racing Post
. "He will probably go for the Arc with one run somewhere before then.
"There are always anxious moments when you have a runner in a Derby and Hurricane Run was still very green and immature today. You never win a Derby easily, but I wasn't too worried and I felt that he had everything to pass Scorpion."
Fallon finished second in last year's Irish Derby aboard favored North Light.
"I did come wide from the back as I hadn't ridden Hurricane Run before," he said. "I thought I was on the best horse, but I wanted to get a clear run. He is still something of a baby and when I gave him one flick of the whip he picked up lovely. He travels for fun under you, but he idled a bit when he got to the front, just like his father used to."
Fellow French challenger Walk In The Park, second most recently in the Epsom Derby (Eng-I), finished last in the nine-horse field when fading late. His subdued performance was later discovered to be due to the presence of an undisclosed infection.
Brahminy Kite led for much of the race but was unable to keep up in the last two furlongs, giving way to Scorpion as Hurricane Run edged up.