Childhood dreams realised in dramatic Derby win for Padraig Beggy

Childhood dreams turned into reality for unheralded jockey Padraig Beggy after he gained a fairytale success aboard huge outsider Wings Of Eagles in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Having contemplated hanging up his riding boots, the 31-year-old was thankful he decided otherwise as he made his first ride in the world-famous race a winning one, getting the 40-1 chance home to give Aidan O'Brien a sixth Derby success.

There had been plenty of talk about the mighty Frankel siring his first Classic winner, and for a moment in the home straight it looked as though Cracksman was going to deliver when taking over from the eventual winner's stablemate Douglas Macarthur just over a furlong out.

Despite Frankie Dettori being more animated than he ideally would have liked to have been aboard the 7-2 favourite early on, he got the response he asked for, but he was soon joined - and passed - by his chief market rival Cliffs Of Moher under Ryan Moore.

After mastering Cracksman, Moore and O'Brien seemed poised to go one better than with Rhododendron 24 hours earlier in the Oaks, but although having only a couple of horses behind them turning in, Beggy and the son of 2011 Derby hero Pou Moi had other ideas.

Hitting his stride, the winner shot past his better-fancied stable companion inside the dying strides to defeat him by three-quarters of a length, with Cracksman a further neck away in third.

Beggy said: "I dreamt of it fairly young, but it is hard to get on the good ones. I nearly gave it up. Fair play to Aidan O'Brien, he put me on.

"It doesn't matter what price they are when you are riding for Aidan. I'm delighted for the horse and the lads that ride him.

"This means the world. The main thing for me is that my family are home watching this. I'm thrilled, but they will be even more thrilled. I don't get to sit on many beasts like this at the races, so I'm going to enjoy it.

"I'd nearly given up on the big days, but Aidan O'Brien has made it happen. It's happy days."

He went on: "Ryan told me to ride him like that. I don't think they went too mad, but they went quick. I was on a good horse and he looked a million dollars. A furlong down I said I'm nearly going to win because of the momentum I'd picked up, and I won a shade cosy in the end.

"It's brilliant. I will go down in history that I have won the Derby and that is good enough. I will be remembered for something."

Beggy has fought his way back having suffered a difficult spell in Australia a couple of years ago, where he was handed a riding suspension after testing positive for a banned substance.

He added: "I got into a bit of trouble in Australia and made a mistake. It is something that I've got to put behind me. I was knocked down then and had to pick myself up and come back fighting, and today I think I've proved that."

As for O'Brien, he has not ruled out the prospect of the stablemates clashing again in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on July 1.

O'Brien said of the winner: "His lad at home was delighted with him. We thought he was a very nice horse last year, he ran a lovely race at the back-end in France and then ran a lovely race at Chester.

"I couldn't be happier, and obviously I'm delighted with Cliffs Of Moher but he's a bit of a baby and his next run will be something to look forward to.

"Ryan's horse got there and just got tired, but Padraig gave the winner a great ride. He had him in a lovely rhythm, nice and balanced.

"Paddy is a world-class rider, he has a great mind and is always very aware - I'm delighted for him, I can't tell you how delighted we are to have him working with us.

"You never really know going into this race. 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.

"Seamus (Heffernan) rode him in the Vase and he ran a really good race, he's been working well since then.It's possible the first two could go to the Irish Derby if the lads want to."

A trip to Ireland could also be on the agenda for Cracksman, according to his trainer John Gosden, who felt inexperience prevailed late on.

He said: "I think it was a good, solid run. I think Frankie found the horse slightly immature. I think he just ran a little babyish and he could have done with that other run (in the Dante), but I didn't want to run him on that soft ground.

"He is in the Irish Derby, I would not mind going there at all as it is a nice, galloping track."

Martyn Meade may also take up the option to renew rivalry with those that finished in front of fourth-placed Eminent.

He said: "He didn't travel too well to start with, but he certainly made up for it at the end.

"Jim Crowley immediately got off and said go for the Irish Derby. He certainly stays, there is no question about that. The bit of luck in running didn't work out."


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