Ruby Walsh: Masar Derby win good for racing rivalry

The Espom Derby provided a big surprise with the red-hot form of Saxon Warrior upset by Masar. Ruby gave us his thoughts on the race and what it means...

Epsom Races


Saxon Warrior looked to be beaten on the run down from Tattenham Corner in the Derby. As they began the descent I didn’t like Ryan Moore’s body language, even before they got into the straight.

Some are saying that he got caught in a pocket, but I think he got into that pocket because he was going well enough not to be in it.

He was in a good enough position going around just inside the winner, but when he came down the hill he didn’t pick up, and coming back up he didn’t either. He was disappointing, but you can’t take away from the winner.

He was really good, with the second place staying all the way to the line.

DONCASTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 28: Ryan Moore riding Saxon Warrior (R) win The Racing Post Trophy Stakes from Roaring Lion (L) at Doncaster racecourse on October 28, 2017 in Doncaster, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ryan Moore;Saxon Warrior

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Saxon Warrior showed so much speed at Newmarket. He didn’t show that at all on Saturday. You have to forgive any horse one disappointment, but it’ll be interesting to see what he does next.

They’re talking about the Curragh for him. That’ll be a different race, different track, different day, but the horse that ran on Saturday won’t beat the ones that finished in front of him running like that again.

It was more than a bad draw that beat him too.

He got into an ideal position before the top of the hill, all the horses who were involved at the end of the race were all around him – that’s usually a good indication that you’re in the right place – but he didn’t come down the hill, and maybe it’s as simple as that. When they began the descent, he looked to be struggling and that was the way it turned out.

People were saying Saxon Warrior would improve from the Guineas to Epsom, but he didn’t, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can get him back for the Curragh.

I still think the horse that won the Derby, Masar, will take some beating wherever he goes next. He was in front a long way out at Epsom and he ground it out all the way to the line. He had a really good run in the Guineas, finishing third, and the step up in trip seemed to really suit him. He could be a top middle-distance horse all year.

It’s great to have a Ballydoyle-Godolphin rivalry back on the cards because Godolphin put so much back into the sport. It’s good that they have a horse capable of winning here now. People will only take losing for long, they have to win at some stage and it’s great to see them winning.

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What do you think?