06/01/2013 1:37PM

Epsom Derby: Ruler of the World wins for Coolmore, O'Brien


Aidan O’Brien won his fourth Epsom Derby, and the Coolmore group its third straight, as lightly raced Ruler of the World rallied from the rear of a 12-horse field under Ryan Moore to capture the Derby by 1 1/2 lengths.

The undefeated favorite, champion Dawn Approach, turned in an abysmal performance, pulling vigorously at jockey Kevin Manning soon after the gates opened, eventually dragging his rider up to the lead and fading badly in the Derby’s final half-mile, finishing last.

Now it is Ruler of the World, and not Dawn Approach, who is an undefeated classic winner, though his three-start career only began this spring, and the Derby was his first chance in a Group 1. Ruler of the World, by Coolmore’s stallion Galileo and out of the Kingmambo mare Love Me True, won his debut over 10 furlongs at The Curragh on April 7, and on May 9 took the Group 3 Chester Vase around Chester’s tight left-handed course by four lengths. Ruler of the World looked impressive in victory, but beat only three apparently overmatched foes.

“I thought he had a good chance today, but it was only his second start at Chester last time, over a mile and a half on soft ground, so you are never quite sure what you have,” said Moore, who won his second Derby.

Ruler of the World, one of five O’Brien-trained runners, settled near the back of the pack as Battle of Marengo, the shortest-priced of the O’Brien quintet, set a dawdling tempo under Joseph O’Brien while stalked by several longshots. Meanwhile, Dawn Approach was tossing his head back and forth, dissatisfied with being reined in behind such a slow pace, his rider finally ending the fight with his mount by letting him run to the lead about six furlongs from the finish. Dawn Approach and Battle of Marengo stayed on even terms passing around Tattenham Corner and into the 3 1/2-furlong homestretch, but Dawn Approach quickly gave way as Battle of Marengo was taken on by Galileo Rock.

Meanwhile, Moore kept Ruler of the World out of trouble on the outside, creeping into contention around the final bend. Ruler of the World, coming hard, made the lead earlier than his rider desired and did not sustain the peak of his run all the way to the finish, but still had plenty left to hold clear late-running Libertarian, whose chances were hurt by the slow pace. Libertarian won a three-horse photo for second, edging Galileo Rock, who was a nose better than Battle of Marengo. Fifth-place Ocovango may have taken the worst of a roughly run race. Final time on turf rated good-to-soft was 2:39.06.

O’Brien said afterward that plans for Ruler of the World are fluid. But for one day, in the racing world at least, his audacious name rang true.

Coronation Cup: St Nicholas Abbey gets three-peat

Earlier on the card, the O’Brien-trained St Nicholas Abbey became the first three-time winner of the Group 1 Coronation Cup when he beat Dunaden by 3 3/4 lengths.

Dunaden and Jamie Spencer shadowed every move St Nicholas Abbey and Joseph O’Brien made but simply could not kick home with a superior horse. Six-year-old St Nicholas Abbey won the Group 1 Sheema Classic in Dubai to start his 2013 campaign and appears to be going as strong as ever after 21 races in a career that began in August 2009.