Douglas down Derrinstown rivals
Douglas Macarthur came out on top in a Ballydoyle-dominated finish to the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has saddled 10 previous winners of this prestigious event, with subsequent Epsom heroes Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002) – as well as four-time Gold Cup victor Yeats (2004) – among those on the roll of honour.
This year O'Brien fired three bullets and though Douglas Macarthur had fared best of of the trio when runner-up in the Ballysax Stakes a month ago, he was the Ballydoyle outsider at 7/1.
Emmet McNamara's mount set out to make all the running, but stablemate Capri, fourth in the Ballysax, ranged alongside rounding the home turn.
Yucatan, who finish third in the Ballysax, was the 13/8 favourite, and he finished strongly to set up a grandstand finish.
However, Douglas Macarthur clung on grimly against the rail to score by a head.
Yucatan just beat Capri to the runner-up spot.
McNamara said: "They were three very nice horses and it was just nice to be on one of them.
"He stays all day and he shouldn't have any problems getting a mile and a half.
"He's a typical Galileo – he gets his head down and really tries."
McNamara added: "Turning in, I thought I might be in a bit of trouble but staying won the day for him.
"I rode him plenty at home over the winter and know him well. He's a very uncomplicated horse, and I don't see any reason why he wouldn't act around Epsom.
"He's a well-balanced horse, and he can jump smart from the gates and get a position and travel."
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