Anthony Van Dyck Becomes A Fourth Epsom Derby Winner By Galileo
Anthony Van Dyck (3c Galileo - Believe'N'Succeed, by Exceed And Excel) provided Galileo with a record-equalling fourth Epsom Derby success on Saturday, matching the records set by Cyllene, Waxy, Sir Peter Teazle and former Coolmore Stud stallion Montjeu.
Galileo’s success at the highest level was evident in the 13 runner field as a whole, appearing in the pedigrees of all but one, as sire, grandsire or great-grandsire. But Saturday also saw Galileo’s allies break new ground, as Aidan O’Brien matched the current record of seven Epsom Derby victories, while it also marked a 10th success in the “true test of the thoroughbred” by part-owner John Magnier.
Anthony Van Dyck was positioned in midfield by Seamie Heffernan and was pushed along in the straight, Heffernan forced to switch right to challenge over two furlongs out. Once again encountering traffic problems, Heffernan switched left entering the final furlong and quickened up the inside rail to score by half a length.
Kevin Prendergast’s Madhmoon, a great-grandson of Galileo, claimed runners-up honours in a blanket finish for placings, with just a whisker separating him from Ballydoyle inmates Japan (Galileo) in third, Broome (Australia) in fourth and Sir Dragonet (Camelot) in fifth, with a gap back to stablemate Circus Maximus (Galileo) in sixth.
As the press clamored to speak to Seamie Heffernan, one of his first comments was, “What can you say? He's a Galileo.” O’Brien was also quick to deflect honours to others, saying, “We never thought we would be in the position we are in now and that is why we kind of have to pinch ourselves every day - that we are working with the best people and with the most incredible horses with unbelievable pedigrees and physiques and in an incredibly facility. It is incredible really.”
O’Brien also said that the Irish Derby would be the most likely aim for Anthony Van Dyck, who came to Epsom off the back of winning the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield. Owned by Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the bay was also top-class as a juvenile, winning his maiden by eight lengths, following up with an impressive victory in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes and justifying favoritism in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes. He went on to finish second in the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and third in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.
Anthony Van Dyck is a half-brother to Group 1 winner Bounding, crowned champion sprinter in New Zealand, while their dam was also a winner of Group races over sprint distances, as was her full-brother Kuroshio. Anthony Van Dyck’s Epsom Derby success makes the January arrival of a Galileo colt foal out of Believe’N’Succeed all the more exciting, as does her immediate return to the champion sire.