Sir Dragonet only fourth as Buckhurst claims Royal Whip honours

Friday, Aug 16 2019

Sir Dragonet could only finish fourth on his reappearance at the Curragh as the Royal Whip Stakes went the way of Buckhurst.

Much attention in the 10-furlong Group Three prize surrounded Aidan O’Brien’s Sir Dragonet, who was having his first run since finishing fifth in the Derby at Epsom, where he was sent off the 11-4 favourite.

The 4-9 market leader on this occasion, on his first try at the trip, Ryan Moore was content to race towards the rear of the field, with Joseph O’Brien’s Buckhurst and then the Jim Bolger-trained Guaranteed sharing duties at the head of affairs.

Sir Dragonet was being niggled half a mile out, and although he was a touch tight for room between runners at one stage, he was never able to get in a serious blow on the leaders.

Buckhurst, meanwhile, had travelled powerfully into the straight and just had enough in hand at the line to hold the fast-finishing Leo De Fury from the Jessica Harrington yard by a head, backing up his victory in the International Stakes over the course and distance in June.

Winning rider Donnacha O’Brien said: “I probably committed him a little bit early and he got a little bit lonely in front, but when the Harrington horse came to me he found again.

“I thought I’d get to make the running, but Kevin’s horse (Manning, on Guaranteed) seemed to be keen so he went on and I was happy just to take my horse to his outside and get a lead off him for a bit longer.

“I was always going to be forward and keep it simple. Once the runner-up came to me my horse found a little bit more, he was probably getting a little bit idle in front.”

He added: “I’m sure he could be on his travels, but I’ve no idea and I’ll leave that to them.”

There was a sad note to the race, however, with Zabriskie going wrong in the straight.

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