Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Darwin delights in Minstrel

Trainer Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien completed a Curragh treble with a most impressive success for American import Darwin in the Invesco Pension Consultants Minstrel Stakes.

A son of Kentucky Derby hero Big Brown, Darwin looked smart when winning a three-runner race on his Irish debut last month and confirmed that promise with victory in this Grade Three event.

Joseph O'Brien got the 8-11 favourite organised two and a half furlongs out as he reeled in leader Leitir Mor and began to hit full stride shortly afterwards.

Gordon Lord Byron, a Group One winner in his own right, tried to throw down a challenge, but Darwin looked better the further he went and had a comfortable length and three-quarters in hand.

O'Brien, who had already won with Wilshire Boulevard and Australia, said: "We're delighted with that. He came to us with a massive reputation and you can see why. He's an unbelievable cruiser and Joseph said he felt like they were hacking.

"When he asked him to quicken, Joseph said he quickened and the race was over and when he went to the front he was very idle. He obviously gives Joseph a very good feel.

"He's not short of pace, but you'd think he'd get a mile well anyway. When he won his maiden Todd Pletcher was jumping around the place about him and you can see why he was. He was doing the times in America as well.

"He only won a conditions race a few weeks ago and is still a baby. We were very lucky to get him and he's something to look forward to. He has plenty of options and he could go to Deauville."