Libertarian frees up Derby odds with Yorkshire win

 

The Knavesmire, York

He would not have the class, surely, or the speed. He isn't even the right shape. But the sudden squall of hail prompted by his success here suggested that Libertarian, if nothing else, will introduce due grit to the British Turf's greatest race. For his shock success in the trial that honours the North's last winner – now 68 years ago – plainly qualified this big, dour brute as a fitting ambassador for Yorkshire in the Investec Derby a fortnight tomorrow.

His performance in the Betfred Dante Stakes was hewn from a physique that already makes a serious issue of Tattenham Corner, even if you disregard his struggle for early rhythm over the wide open spaces of the Knavesmire. But Libertarian certainly deserves to take his chance for a yard that has succeeded where so many with deeper resources have failed, namely in producing a colt capable of holding off the Irish even in a trial.

As more fancied rivals fanned alongside each other in the long straight, seemingly in a collective quest for mediocrity, the 33-1 outsider gradually worked his way through the gears for William Buick until hitting the front a furlong out and grinding a little over a length clear of Trading Leather, with Indian Chief close up in third. So it was that Elaine Burke of Leyburn was able to relegate both the trainers who dominate the Derby picture, Jim Bolger and Aidan O'Brien, to lower tiers of the podium. In offering Libertarian at 25-1, from 100-1, Coral did not anticipate her doing the same at Epsom.

Together with her spouse and assistant, Karl, Elaine nonetheless warrants credit for persevering here with a colt who had beaten three rivals for a Pontefract maiden only last month, before being well beaten at Sandown.

"Sandown was a nonsense of a race for him," Karl explained. "Unfortunately Phil [Makin] got stuck outside a horse that was hanging badly and he drifted out. He's such a green horse, big and backward, which is why we came back today – to give him more experience. Not having had many Derby horses, or Dante horses even, you are tilting at windmills at bit. So it's a great day for the yard, and everyone connected with the horse."

Even so, Bolger can seldom have been so gratified to finish second. The only thing the winner truly has in common with his unbeaten Derby favourite is their sire, New Approach. Ladbrokes now offer Dawn Approach at even money, from 5-4. Asked for his view of the trials, Bolger dryly avowed that the only ones that mattered had been run back home at Coolcullen.

Secret Number did nothing to salvage Godolphin from its present nightmare, toiling into sixth of eight, but at least fared better than Greatwood, who was never travelling. If one Highclere syndicate may now have to forget about the Derby, another clings to hope as Telescope responds to treatment for the setback that prevented him coming here. He is likely to test the water in a racecourse gallop next week.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Rockalong (5.15 Newmarket)

Next best

Sharaarah (8.0 Hamilton)

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

MBDA UK Ltd: Mission Planning and Control Solutions Systems Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? A pro-act...

MBDA UK Ltd: System Design Capability

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? The small...

Recruitment Genius: Time Served Fabricator / Welders - Immediate Start

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fabricator welder required for ...

Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Advisors

£14564 - £15311 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Inbound Customer Service Adviso...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific