Editorial

Westover Puts Himself in St Leger Picture with Irish Derby Win

Westover established himself as one of the leading three-year-olds of his generation with a convincing success in the Irish Derby at the Curragh. He blew his rivals away by seven lengths to land the Irish Classic.
The victory not only rewards his connections for making the trip across to Ireland, it makes up for their disappointment in the Derby at Epsom, where he had to settle for third place, as he did not get a clear passage in the contest.

Ralph Beckett’s colt also won the Classic Trial at Sandown earlier this season. He is likely to get another chance to win a major prize in the UK this season. He is now the 2/1 favourite for the St Leger at Doncaster. His breeding indicates he will appreciate a step up in distance, so he is likely to be one of the leading tips on horse racing for the oldest of the five British Classics.
Another option for the Irish winner includes the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. That could allow him to take on Derby winner Desert Crown, the horse who finished just under three lengths ahead of him earlier in the campaign.
Colin Keane Took the Race to His Rivals
In what was his first ride on the horse, Colin Keane opted to make the running on board Westover in the Irish Derby. The Irish Champion Jockey was chosen to ride the horse instead of regular rider Rob Hornby.
Keane had a lot of confidence in his runner, as he went for home very early, leaving the likes of Oaks winner Tuesday and Hannibal Barca with a lot of ground to make up. Rather than the field closing the gap on Westover, the British-trained horse extended his advantage on the run to the finish line.
His victory gave his trainer and jockey a first win in the prestigious Irish contest, making it a memorable afternoon in both of their careers.
Keane’s reputation is growing fast on both sides of the Irish Sea. Beckett now has a big decision to make with regards to who rides the Juddmonte-owned horse for the rest of the campaign.
Season May End in France with The Arc
Although there are likely to be other assignments before then, the Irish Derby win may tempt Westover’s connections into running their horse in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in France. That would most likely be his final start of the season, and it could be the last race of his career.

This year’s Arc is shaping up to be one of the best renewals of the premier open-age middle-distance contest on turf. Westover could be joined by Derby winner Desert Crown, Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn and French Derby winner Vadeni.
If Westover can add the Arc to his Irish Derby success, it may be enough to finish the campaign at the top of the standings in the three-year-old division. Hurricane Run in 2005 was the last horse to win the Irish Derby and Arc in the same year.
Whatever path Beckett and his team choose to go with following his victory at the Curragh, they have a horse who is going to be a strong contender for every race he enters.

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