Epsom Derby: Serpentine stuns rivals to give Aidan O’Brien record eighth victory

Serpentine wins the Derby
Serpentine only won his first race a week ago but left his Derby rivals trailing

Serpentine stunned Epsom with a runaway success to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a record eighth Derby win.

The 25-1 shot was sent into a clear lead by jockey Emmet McNamara and could not be caught to triumph by five-and-a-half lengths.

Khalifa Sat (50-1) was second with 66-1 chance Amhran Na Bhfiann third.

It completed a Classic double for Serpentine’s Irish trainer after Love set a new record time to win the Oaks by nine lengths under Ryan Moore.

‘All I heard was the horse breathing’

In his debut Derby ride, McNamara showed enterprise and confidence to front-run and clock up his first victory since October 2019.

“I was saving myself,” the 30-year-old joked afterwards.

The first three horses home had been in the same positions after a couple of furlongs and the surprise result paid out £56,000 to a £1 stake on the Tote.

The two pre-race favourites, 1,000 Guineas winner Kameko and Lingfield Derby victor English King, finished fourth and fifth.

McNamara returned to a stunned silence from the few who were allowed to attend as the race was held without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Surreal empty stands and I did not hear a sound from behind me all race,” said McNamara.

“All I heard was the horse breathing. I got a little bit of a freebie.

“Aidan said go your own tempo give him a breather and then keep going. He was right.”

O’Brien now has eight winners, seven seconds and six third-placed finishes from a total of 91 Derby runners.

“We are so delighted. We are in a very privileged position to have such unbelievable horses and such unbelievably well-bred horses,” he said.

Love and Ryan Moore
Love triumphed at an Epsom meeting held without spectators

The 1,000 Guineas winner Love won ahead of stablemate Ennistymon, with Frankly Darling third.

“I think this filly is very special. She was very impressive,” said Moore of the 11-10 favourite, who is also O’Brien’s eighth winner of the Oaks.

The Oaks and the Derby were taking place behind closed doors and on the same day for the first time.

Love’s winning time of two minutes, 34.06 seconds broke the Oaks record set by Enable (2:34.13) in 2017.

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