Pour Moi too strong for House of Windsor

Teenage sensation takes French raider from last to first while Queen's favourite can only manage third

The brash confidence of youth is one thing; that of teenage riding prodigy Mickaël Barzalona quite another. On Pour Moi, his first ride in the Derby – indeed, his first ride in anger round the legendarily tricky Epsom switchback, a course that has defeated many older and wiser – the 19-year-old from Lyon swept coolly from plumb last at Tattenham Corner to victory by a head. And as extraordinary as the first glimpse for racegoers here of Europe's hottest young riding talent, was that talent's victory roll. Four strides from the post, with Pour Moi's muzzle barely in front of Treasure Beach's, Barzalona stopped urging, stood bolt upright in his stirrups and flashed past the winning post with whip aloft.

It was a manifestation of exuberance perhaps more suited to a safe 30-length success in a steeplechase than a last-gasp swoop for a £700,000 first prize, and all the implicit future earnings at stud for the equine half of the centaur partnership. But though Barzalona speaks little English, his understanding of this finish was nigh-on perfect. "I did not plan to celebrate like that," he said, "but I knew I was in front and it just happened."

Pour Moi, a 4-1 shot trained by André Fabre in Chantilly, was the first Gallic winner of the Derby since Empery in 1976, and the 10th in all. Treasure Beach proved the best of the four challengers from Aidan O'Brien's stable in Co Tipperary. The pair thwarted the result the nation craved; the third home, beaten just three-quarters of a length was the Queen's Carlton House after his late injury scare and loss of a shoe 10 strides from the post. But then, it is not be the first time that the French and the Irish have discommoded British royalty.

On that theme it is perhaps not inappropriate that Fabre, 22 times champion trainer in his own country, has acquired the soubriquet "le petit Napoleon". But until yesterday his record as an Epsom invader had been one of serial failure; he had tried on nine previous occasions to take home the world's most famous Flat prize, without even capturing a place.

The campaign this time, though, was clinical. Pour Moi – who, like Treasure Beach and the other Ballydoyle raiders carries the colours of John Magnier and his Coolmore partners – demonstrated his class and exceptional change of gear to take France's premier Classic trial, the Prix Greffulhe, at Saint-Cloud last month, and from that moment, with the O'Brien inmates seeming much of a muchness, the Derby was his target.

Nine days before yesterday's race, Fabre brought the son of Montjeu here for a practice run round the track, ridden by Barzalona. The colt's efficacy that day, and his trainer's praise, launched him to second favouritism.

"I do not wish to bring a horse to the Derby unless I think it is the horse for the race," Fabre said, "and I knew this one was special. And the fact that he is a horse with a great deal of speed and style, which would not really fit Epsom, so that makes today's performance all the more exceptional.

"The plan was always to come from last to first and it was ideal that there were only 13 runners; if there had been 25 it would have been more complicated. But his acceleration is that of a true champion."

It needed to be. At the head of the straight the Ballydoyle's trailblazer Memphis Tennessee was still six lengths clear, galloping strongly. His stablemate Treasure Beach reeled him in a quarter mile from home, with Carlton House closing. For a stride or two the Royal dream was on, but Carlton House could do no more.

And then came Pour Moi. Once Barzalona started his run, those in vain chase of the leaders suddenly appeared as stationary objects in the face of his little bay mount's quick, almost scrabbling stride. Some momentary rebalancing was required going to the final furlong on the awkward camber but, with encouragement from his rider's whip, flew past four rivals in the last 100 yards.

"I was comfortable during the whole race," said Barzalona, the first teenager to win a Derby since Walter Swinburn steered Shergar to his record 10-length success 30 years ago. "I was not worried about being last because I had other good horses in front, and they drew me along. When I asked him to go he gave me an immediate response, and horse after horse came to me in the straight. At first I thought maybe I would finish fourth, but he just went on and on."

Fabre, who headhunted Barzalona last year, was indulgent over his protegee's antics at the winning line. "He is only 19," he said. The local stewards were less so, issuing a one-day suspension for whip abuse and a stern warning about the early celebrations that are colloquially known as premature ejockulation.

In taking the Investec-sponsored prize, Pour Moi has now set the standard for his generation, but he is not likely to appear on this side of the Channel again. His target is now the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe – for which he is now third favourite behind last year's winner (and also of the Derby) Workforce and the Ballydoyle-based Australian superstar So You Think – and he will have a typical French preparation, a summer break and an autumn trial.

Carlton House's owner, with typical grace, shrugged off her own disappointment – she has been trying to win the Derby since her first runner Aureole ran second in 1953 – to present the prize. "We hoped that if we didn't win, then the Queen would," said Michael Tabor, one of the Coolmore partners, "but we can't change the result."

One place behind Memphis Tennessee, in fifth, came Native Khan, one of the horses that provoked the unprecedented events – in the form of a High Court injunction for breach of contract yesterday morning – that resulted in Kieren Fallon being prevented from riding in the race. And sixth home, likewise without threatening, was the other, the Ballydoyle inmate Recital, the ship to whom he had jumped.

But Lord Justice Jackson had it right when he judged that the absence of this one particular jockey would not materially detract from a national occasion. He ruled, in effect, that no sportsman is bigger than his sport, and how yesterday's 232nd Derby, dramatic and enthralling, provedjust that.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
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

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?