LONDON: Serpentine produced an incredible display of front-running to win the Epsom Derby on Saturday as Aidan O’Brien became the most successful trainer in the history of the famous flat race.
The 25-1 shot opened up a huge lead on the favourites and they could not respond as Serpentine, ridden by Emmet McNamara, powered across the line.
There were no spectators to witness it, however, with the re-scheduled race being run behind closed doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Khalifa Sat (50-1) led the chase but could not get close while Amhran Na Bhfiann (66-1) was third in one of the most surprising results in the race’s recent history.
“I think I got a bit of a freebie really,” McNamara said. “It is surreal really I can’t believe it. I just have a huge amount of gratitude for Aidan O’Brien.”
It completed a memorable day for O’Brien who earlier celebrated victory in the Oaks when Love came home first.
The Oaks and Derby were run on the same day for the first time in their history as a result of the pandemic.
The 241st running of the derby will always be remembered for the eerie atmosphere that replaced the usual carnival which attracts 100,000 to the course and thousands more to the surrounding Downs.
Rather than the usual wall of sound at the finish line, McNamara sped to victory in silence.
“I couldn’t hear anything, all I could hear was the horse breathing,” he said. “I couldn’t really look, but I knew I was clear.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)