06/04/2004 11:00PM

Stoute and Fallon repeat in Derby


North Light gave his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, and jockey, Kieren Fallon, their second consecutive victory in the Vodafone Derby at Epsom on Saturday. North Light beat Rule of Law by 1 1/2 lengths, with Let the Lion Roar and Percussionist heads back in third and fourth. The pair won with Kris Kin last year, while Stoute was also victorious with Shergar (1981) and Shahrastani (1986).

The race was a confirmation of the Group 2 Dante Stakes result at York on May 12, in which North Light beat the late-running Rule of Law by a half-length, with Let the Lion Roar 2 1/2 lengths back in third. North Light, who has won three of his last four races, started as the co-favorite at 7-2.

Snow Ridge, Frankie Dettori's choice of the Godolphin runners, in preference to Rule of Law, was the other favorite. He reached fourth inside the final quarter-mile but then faded to seventh. Godolphin bought Snow Ridge at the end of his juvenile season, during which he won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes in the colors of the late Lord Weinstock.

They are also the colors carried by North Light but now under the name of Ballymacoll Stud, the farm where both colts were bred by Weinstock. Robert Sangster, another dominant owner-breeder who died recently, was the breeder of both Rule of Law and Percussionist, the latter of which carried his colors.

North Light tracked the leader, Meath, to the straight of the 1 1/2-mile race and then took over.

A son of Danehill, North Light, ran the 1 1/2 miles in 2:33.72, more than 1.40 seconds slower than Lammtarra's record but still the fourth fastest Derby of all time. His prize was 804,118 pounds (about $1.475 million).