Feature Story

Sweet 16th Irish Derby for O’Brien with Los Angeles

Sweet 16th Irish Derby for O’Brien with Los Angeles Jun 30, 2024

By Duane Fonseca - 

Aidan O’Brien won the Irish Derby for the 16th time at the Curragh on Sunday after Los Angeles proved his class under Ryan Moore, the rider in a successful title defence having won the race for the first time last year.

Moore, who guided Auguste Rodin to victory last term, kept Los Angeles in fourth, three to four lengths off the pace set by stablemate Euphoric (Declan McDonogh), who was a length ahead of another stable companion in Grosvenor Square (Wayne Lordan), racing in second. The Euphrates (Dylan Browne McMonagle), the fourth Ballydoyle name in the field of eight, held third as Ballydoyle’s tactics became evident. 

James Fanshawe’s Derby second Ambiente Friendly (Robert Havlin) raced in fifth and after the Ballydoyle pacesetters gave way on straightening up, Los Angeles, third in the Epsom equivalent won by stable companion City Of Troy, found himself at the helm.

Los Angeles got a perfect tow into the race but appeared to feel the heat as the rest of the challengers started to clamp down on him. However, even if Moore was nervous, it did not show. What did was his confidence. Ambiente Friendly joined the leading pair at the 400m marker, but the pace was too much and Havlin’s mount lost second spot to David Menuisier’s French raider Sunway, who made up a lot of ground late on under Oisin Murphy. Sunway was three quarters behind, but a half-length ahead of Ambiente Friendly, who took third under Havlin.