Bolshoi Ballet Glides Into Clear Derby Favouritism
Bolshoi Ballet (3c Galileo - Alta Anna, by Anabaa) became the short-priced favourite for the Epsom Derby after his ultra-impressive performance in the Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
The even-money favourite travelled strongly under Ryan Moore, leading from three furlongs out and showed a breath-taking turn of foot as he raced clear. He won by six lengths with ease, as stablemate Lough Dearg (Galileo) claimed runners-up honours, just half a length in front of Fernando Vichi (Australia).
Speaking after the race, a delighted Aidan O’Brien said, “He's lovely, isn't he? We've always loved him and thought a lot of him. we couldn’t have asked for any more from him.” Moore echoed his sentiments, saying, “He’s a very professional horse. He was always travelling beautifully through the race and is very smooth.”
Bolshoi Ballet made a smart three-year-old return in last month’s Group 3 Ballysax Stakes and should he conquer Epsom, would complete the same hat-trick as his sire Galileo and the great High Chaparral. Bred by Lynch-Bages and Rhinestone Bloodstock, he is an own-brother to Southern France (Galileo); a dual Stakes winner in Ireland and a Group 2 winner in Australia.
Coolmore sires also dominated the finish of the earlier Group 3 Irish 1,000 Guineas Trial, with Joan Of Arc (3f Galileo - You’resothrilling, by Storm Cat) making all to complete the first leg of a four-timer for Moore, O’Brien and Coolmore partners.
Pushed along from over two furlongs out, the bay kept on well inside the final furlong to win by a length and three quarters. Flirting Bridge (Camelot) kept on well into second, as Thinking Of You (American Pharoah) took third.
Speaking after the race, Moore said, “She's a high-class filly, a beautiful mover, and when the ground gets quicker it might help her again. She's beautifully bred and we're very happy with what she did.”