EPSOM Derby winner and hot favourite Ruler Of The World flopped in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh last night.
Backed into 4-5 favourite, Ruler of The World was never seen to any effect in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, which was won by Trading Leather, trained by Jim Bolger and the mount of Kevin Manning.
The 6-1 shot settled in behind the suicidal early pace set by outsiders Ralston Road and Cap O’Rushes, while jockey Joseph O’Brien, son of trainer Aidan, dropped out the favourite almost to last place.
Coming into the straight, Trading Leather was going noticeably well while Galileo Rock, the third at Epsom, was also tanking along.
As the leaders tired, Manning sent Trading Leather into the lead, and he saw off the challenges of Galileo Rock and Aidan O’Brien’s other entrant, 33-1 shot Festive Cheer.
Ruler Of the World had been given plenty to do by his rider, but he was simply not good enough on the night, plugging on at the one pace for a poor fifth.
A superb ride by Grand National winner turned Flat jockey Graham Lee saw Tominator edge ahead right at the end of the two-mile marathon, the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate, at Newcastle yesterday.
Lee timed his late run to perfection on top-weight Tominator, who was winning his second Pitmen’s Derby, two years after his first. He thus became the first horse since Tug Of War in 1977-78 to win the Plate twice.
The 8-1 shot had to motor inside the final furlong to catch Oriental Fox, trained by Scots-born Mark Johnston and ridden by Joe Fanning, who looked to have kicked clear inside the final two furlongs.
Lee had other ideas, however, and though denied a clear run at first, he brought the six-year-old son of Generous through to snatch victory and the £92,000 first prize by a short head.
Earlier, Jim Goldie became the latest Scottish trainer to win a Pattern race when hot favourite Jack Dexter lifted the Group 3 Betfred Chipchase Stakes over six furlongs, initiating a double for Lee. Beaten less than two lengths in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, the four-year-old son of Goldie’s former stable star Orientor showed he is a chip off the old block by emulating his sire’s win in the same race ten years ago.
On the rain-softened ground that he loves, the 4-5 favourite just held on under Lee after a late rally by the Paul Mulrennan-ridden Mass Rally nearly caught out the Scottish horse.
Goldie said: “I am chuffed to bits with that. I bred him, I train him and he is named after two of the grandchildren.
“It wasn’t easy as he got no cover. They were spread all over the place. But Graham got it spot-on when he kicked on.”
Surely a contender for the Ayr Gold Cup, Jack Dexter is improving all the time, and the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket could be his next ambitious target.