Harzand wins 2016 Epsom Derby
Holds of favorite U.S. Army Ranger
Harzand won the 2016 Epsom Derby Saturday, holding off a spirited late push from favorite U.S. Army Ranger to claim the $1.1 million prize.
An estimated 100,000 fans, including Queen Elizabeth II, packed into Epsom Downs Racecourse to watch Irish jockey Pat Smullen ride to victory.
“It’s a dream to win this race,” Smullen told reporters after the race.
“I could sense Ryan (Moore) coming and I spotted the white face of U.S. Army Ranger, but this horse responded to me.
“The race went well, it was tough late on but this horse is great. When I found out he’d be my Derby horse I was delighted.”
The 13/2 shot had been a major doubt for the race after losing a shoe and suffering bleeding from the foot earlier that afternoon.
Dermot Weld, a two-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer, watched his horse cross the line first and claimed his maiden Epsom Derby triumph.
“We had a huge worry when he spread a plate (shoe) traveling over,” Weld said.
“He was a very doubtful runner up until about an hour ago but with the help of all of my team, we made it.”
The Epsom Derby has strict entry requirements, allowing only three-year-old horses to compete and must also weigh exactly nine stone.
Female horses, or fillies, are given an allowance of carrying three pounds less.
A minute’s applause was held to commemorate the death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who passed away Saturday.