Soldier of Fortune Takes No Prisoners in Irish Derby

Soldier of Fortune Takes No Prisoners in Irish Derby
Photo: Trevor Jones
Soldier of Fortune powers towards victory in the Irish Derby.
Another group I race, another sweep for trainer Aidan O’Brien as Soldier of Fortune led fellow Ballydoyle trainees Alexander of Hales and Eagle Mountain home in a rain-soaked Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I) Sunday at the Curragh.

The son of Galileo, who was last seen finishing fifth to Authorized in the Vodafone Derby (Eng-I) in June, handled the testing conditions to storm home by nine lengths for his first group I victory.  Stablemate Eagle Mountain, who went off as the 6-4 favorite, struggled the entire 12 furlongs under Kieren Fallon and could not hold off 33-1 Alexander of Hales, who nabbed second by a short head.

This was the biggest day so far in the career of young jockey Seamus Heffernan, who also captured the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks Railway Stakes (Ire-II) aboard the O’Brien-trained Lizard Island.

It was the second time that Aidan O’Brien trainees had swept the Irish classic.  In 2002, High Chaparral led home Sholokhov and Ballingarry at the Curragh.  High Chaparral went on to win the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. I) on his way to being name champion turf horse in North America.

Time for the 12 furlongs over the heavy turf was 2:36.

Galileo, sire of the Derby winner, captured both the Irish and English equivalents during his championship 3-year-old season.  He has also sired classic winners Sixties Icon and Nightime.

Out of the Erins Isle mare Affianced, Soldier of Fortune is a full brother to multiple stakes winner Heliostatic.

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