Racing: North Light leaves Dettori in the shade

The 225th Derby: Stoute and his champion jockey prove unbeatable again round Epsom's spectacular switchback

Rewind 12 months but not quite to an action replay. Kieren Fallon won his second successive Derby, and his third in six years, here yesterday on North Light. But unlike his victory last year on Kris Kin, there was no daring rails run nor a lightning swoop to conquer.

Rewind 12 months but not quite to an action replay. Kieren Fallon won his second successive Derby, and his third in six years, here yesterday on North Light. But unlike his victory last year on Kris Kin, there was no daring rails run nor a lightning swoop to conquer.

Instead, the Irishman, the punters' darling, showed the expertise and judgement of pace that has brought him six titles in a different, but equally effective, manner. On a colt bred to relish every yard of the mile and a half test, he took the race to his rivals and dared them to pass. Once he hit the front at the top of the home straight on the 7-2 joint favourite, none did.

Rule Of Law, the Godolphin second string ridden by the Australian Derby rookie Kerrin McEvoy, came closest, a fast-finishing length and a half second. He deprived Let The Lion Roar by a head, with Percussionist fourth, Salford City fifth and American Post sixth. Frankie Dettori, now without a Derby victory in a total of 12 attempts, came in seventh on the other joint favourite Snow Ridge.

Fallon apart, the winner has a thorough-going Epsom background. His was a fourth Blue Riband success for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, after Shergar, Shahrastani and Kris Kin, and a second for the pale blue colours of the Weinstock family, after Troy 25 years ago. Lord Weinstock, who bred North Light, died last year.

It was also a second Epsom Classic for Fallon in two days, having won the Oaks on Ouija Board on Friday, and he became the first jockey to achieve back-to-back Derby victories since Willie Carson on Troy (1979) and Henbit (1980). His persona may have its dubious elements - he is renowned as the bad boy of racing and has charges of bringing the sport into disrepute hanging over him - but his talent is undeniable.

Stoute and Fallon knew their protagonist's strong suit and as Meath, for Ireland, led from the stalls, North Light set sail after him with American Post, the French raider, and Hazyview in pursuit. As the 14-strong field began the descent towards Tattenham Corner, it was clear that Fallon was dictating matters from what the Americans call the catbird seat.

Once he engaged top gear and set sail in the straight it was just as clear that the rangy bay colt had the race in his mighty, raking stride. "I knew stamina was the ace I had in my pack to play," said Fallon. "I knew that if I could get them on the stretch his staying power would give him the base on which to grind them into the ground. His energy and stamina felt limitless. I'm very lucky really. There's a lot of luck involved for something like this to happen and it's fantastic."

The fate of yesterday's joint favourites was steeped in irony. Both North Light, a son of Danehill and the high-class staying mare Sought Out, and Snow Ridge, were bred by the Weinstock's Ballymacoll stud operation in Ireland. They were foaled in the same box (also, incidentally, the one where Arkle first saw the light of day). But unfortunately for him, when Sheikh Mohammed went head hunting for recruits for Godolphin last autumn, he chose the wrong one.

Stoute, while delighted to win two Derbys in a row, deflected any suggestions that he was a genius at his profession. "This is just a lovely horse to have in the yard, and a lovely horse to train, and the real credit must go to those who produced him and sent him to me," he said.

"To have bred two horses who started joint favourites for the Derby, and for one of them to have one, is remarkable. It is such a shame that Lord Weinstock could not be here. He would have been so proud of what happened. Kieren and I discussed the race beforehand but we didn't have any particular plan. We just wanted to let the horse flow and be positive. We were concerned that it might be a rather muddling race as it seemed short of obvious front-runners and we were anxious to make use of his tremendous stamina."

Whether or not North Light proves to be a great, a good or an indifferent Derby winner will be judged only in retrospect. But for now his are the colours nailed to the mast and he is likely to defend them firstly against his own generation, in the Irish Derby later this month. "This was only the fourth run of his life, " said Stoute. "And we have yet to make any definite plans but I think it is pretty likely that we will go to the Curragh."

The result of the 225th Derby was a confirmation of the 1-2-3 in the Dante Stakes at York last month, the most reliable trial. The connections of both the placed horses yesterday plan to take North Light on again in the Irish Derby. McEvoy, who came from last on Rule Of Law, said: "He was a bit reluctant going up the hill but once he hit the straight he ran on really well. When I got past Johnny [Murtagh, on Salford City] in the straight and could see North Light I thought we had a chance if the leader would come back to us. Mine showed great courage but typical Kieren, he kept running all the way to the line."

Dettori could have ridden Rule Of Law but not for the first time he was on the wrong bearer of the blue silks. "He felt brilliant going to post and I gave him time to warm up but when I asked he went for only 100 yards. As I started dropping back, I wanted to jump on Rule Of Law as he went past in the last furlong."

DERBY DETAILS

1 North Light (K Fallon) 7-2 jt fav

2 Rule Of Law (K McEvoy) 20-1

3 Let The Lion Roar (M Kinane) 14-1

4 Percussionist (K Darley) 7-1

Winning trainer: Michael Stoute

Wining owner: Ballymacoll Stud

Winning distances: 1 1/ 2 , hd, hd

Favs: North Light, Snow Ridge

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Barnardo's: Corporate Audit and Inspection – Retail Intern (Leeds)

Unpaid - £4 lunch allowance plus travel to and from work: Barnardo's: Purpose ...

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Receptionist

£15000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future