Workforce turned what was widely viewed as a wide-open English Derby into an absolute rout at Epsom Downs on Saturday. He romped home by seven lengths in a course-record 2.31.33s for 2400m.
Workforce gave Darley sire King’s Best his second classic in the space of seven days after Eishin Flash’s victory in the Japanese Derby in Tokyo on May 30. He got the English Derby winner from an unraced sister to English St Leger winner Brian Boru.
Darley shuttled King’s Best to Australia for three seasons until 2004. A Group 1 winning son of Kingmambo, he has a winning strike-rate of 55% in Australia & NZ but hasn’t sired a single stakes winner down here. That stat curtailed his stud career in the Hunter Valley.
Workforce handed trainer Sir Michael Stoute his fifth Derby winner following Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kris Kin (2003) and North Light (2004). The King’s Best colt also provided Prince Khalid a third Derby. The Juddmonte Farms owner had previously won with Quest for Fame (1990) and Commander in Chief (1993).
Workforce (3c King’s Best – Soviet Moon by Sadler’s Wells) won his maiden at Goodwood last September and reappeared this year for an impressive second to Cape Blanco (Galileo) in G2 Dante Stakes at York on May 13.
“He’s always looked brimful of promise,” Stoute said as Ryan Moore brought the colt back to scale. “But things have been a little bit frustrating this year. He’s a big fellow and it was cold and he wasn’t thriving in it. But he was seriously good today.”
Coolmore pacemaker At First Sight (Galileo) did best of the beaten brigade ahead of Godolphin colt Rewilding (Tiger Hill). Ballydoyle colt Jan Vermeer (Montjeu), who started a 9-4 favourite, finished fourth.
Workforce shattered Lammtarra’s old course record and the seven length margin is the third largest in the race’s illustrious history. Shergar holds the record at 10 lengths. He will attempt to complete English – Irish Derby double at the Curragh on June 27.
Proviso made it a day to remember for Prince Khalid when she won the G1 Just A Game Stakes at Belmont about four hours after the English Derby.
Proviso (5m Dansili – Binche by Woodman) started an even-money favourite after a last start victory in the G1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in March. She scored by a half-length from Phola (Johannesburg) to take her earnings past $1.16 million.
Proviso began her career in France with Andre Fabre and was a G3 winner of the Prix du Calvados and Prix du Pin and was also placed behind champion mare Goldikova in the G1 Prix Rothschild. Proviso is a half-sister to promising colt Byword (Peintre Celebre) who was also placed behind Goldikova in the G1 Prix d’Ispahan on May 23.
Winning trainer Bill Mott said Proviso will be set for the G1 Diana Hcp at Saratoga in July.