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Sir Dragonet rises to the occasion in Chester Vase

8 May 2019

Aidan O'Brien-trained bursts into the Investec Derby picture with runaway success.

Sir Dragonet and  Donnacha O’Brien storm clear in the MBNA Chester Vase. Picture: Steven Cargill/

Sir Dragonet thrust himself into the Investec Derby picture as he turned the MBNA Chester Vase Stakes into a procession.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt only made his racecourse debut 13 days ago but streaked home by eight lengths after initially being held up in rear. He is now about 5/1 for the Derby, but will need to be supplemented if he is to run

Paul Smith, son of part-owner Derrick Smith, said: “That was a lovely surprise. He was a big baby at home and that is why he was not entered in the Derby. I suppose the lads will look at it now and make a decision a week or two beforehand.

“He has a beautiful Galileo pedigree by Camelot. It is all there, but he was a baby at home and he obviously comes alive on the track. We needed to educate him as he just had the one run before and Aidan thought this was a good place to come.

“Donnacha loved him. He said he gave him a lovely feel and was very straightforward and when he asked him, he quickened well. He was on top of them very early, but he was pleasantly surprised.”

He added: “This gives Aidan a fantastic yardstick now. It is good to get a sleeper as well and one you don’t know about. It is always a pleasant surprise. The big horses you get nervous, but with these it is a fact-finding mission. Hopefully we are lurking on one.”

Donnacha O’Brien said: “He was still quite raw and green so I let him follow them along for the first two furlongs, but they went a good pace up front and I could tell three or four out I was going to win.

“It was a case of not getting there too early. There was a big engine in there once you asked him. He has never shown a lot at home and some of these well-bred horses learn to go to sleep at home, but he obviously saves it for the track.”

Earlier, Mehdaayih, trained by John Gosden,  easily won the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks. The Frankel filly is now among the market leaders for the Investec Oaks.