Sixteenth Irish Derby for O'Brien as Los Angeles steps forward from Epsom third

Aidan O’Brien recorded a sixteenth Irish Derby with Los Angeles on Sunday, who took another step forward following a brave third at Epsom.

LOS ANGELES winning the Irish Derby at Curragh in Kildare, Ireland.
LOS ANGELES winning the Irish Derby at Curragh in Kildare, Ireland. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Los Angeles lost his unbeaten record when finishing a credible six lengths third behind stablemate City Of Troy in the Epsom Derby, but a first trip to the Curragh was sure to suit the big, imposing son of Camelot. Derby second Ambiente Friendly, under Rab Havlin, edged favouritism but the tables were comfortably turned at the line.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, Los Angeles was always travelling prominently throughout the twelve-furlong contest and made a bid with two furlongs to run, joining Ambiente Friendly at the head of affairs. It appeared that Epsom form would be a key decider in the finish, but Ambiente Friendly became one-paced in the closing stages and Los Angeles was forced to repel the late challenge of David Menuisier's Sunway instead, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead. Ambiente Friendly stayed on for third place, another half-length behind.

"We were delighted with him in Epsom and we thought he would come forward," said O'Brien.

"Obviously he did go forward in Epsom and learned plenty, we were hoping that would be the case so he could come back here.

"Ryan gave him a great ride. It was a solid, even pace and it's an unbelievable track. It's great to have this race at this time of the year so all those horses can come together and you get to find out what's there.

"He's a big, hardy horse. He looks like he was a baby, but he is a Group One winner at two as well.

"He is progressing, definitely, and we're really looking forward to him. Obviously he's by Camelot so he has that class, he can quicken.

"Ryan said he had a lot more class than he expected and he quickened very well when he got there."

Whilst Los Angeles was shortened to 3/1 favouritism for the St Leger with Paddy Power, O'Brien did not commit to the final Classic of the season, saying:

"We came here thinking that he was going to turn into a Leger horse, but Ryan said he has way more class than that."

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