O’Brien and Gosden set for Ireland rematch after sharing honours at Epsom

Horse Racing - Investec Derby Day - Epsom Downs Racecourse

Derby day at Epsom is always a popular event. (Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses).

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AIDAN O’BRIEN and John Gosden shared the honours at Epsom where they filled the first three places in the Investec Oaks and Derby and are set for a rematch in Ireland next month.

The all-conquering Coolmore team arrived at Epsom with the first two Classics in the bag after the victories of Churchill in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and Winter in the fillies’ equivalent.

O’Brien appeared to have a great chance of adding to the tally in the Oaks with three runners headed by 8-11 favourite Rhododendron, but was forced to settle for minor honours as victory went to Gosden’s  Enable, from O’Brien’s Rhododendron and Alluringly.

The result for the trainers was reversed in the Derby the next day where the Gosden-trained Cracksman was sent off favourite, where he led inside the last two furlongs, but was run down by O’Brien’s 40-1 winner Wings Of Eagles and stablemate Cliffs Of Moher.

“You never really know [the best one] going into this race,” O’Brien said. “They are all bred for it and until you test them on this course over a mile and a half you don’t know how they will do – anything can happen.

“I couldn’t be happier and I am delighted with Cliffs Of Moher, who was just a little bit of a baby – he just got there and got a little bit tired, so his next run will be something to look forward to. He came with a sustained run but his lack of preparation just showed in the last 50 yards.

The first and third home in the Derby appears set for a rematch in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, where bookmakers have put in Cracksman (9-4) ahead of Wings Of Eagles (5-2).

Gosden was pleased with Cracksman’s run. He said: “On the whole, it is the sort of result we expected with Cliffs Of Moher, Cracksman and a 40-1 shot trained by Aidan, which we thought could happen.

“There are obviously a solid, even bunch of colts and we’d be happy for a rematch – Cracksman is in the Irish Derby and it wouldn’t bother me going there at all, it is a nice galloping track and it would suit him.”

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