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Foot Soldier Graduates as Derby Aide de Camp
Widely viewed as a 'foot soldier' in the powerful Ballydoyle army prior to the weekend, well-bred Galileo 3YO colt Serpentine (Galileo-Remember When, by Danehill Dancer) marched his way to victory in Epsom Down's famous Derby (12 furlongs). In an era where – particularly at this level – form is thought to be well and truly exposed, the first three home in arguably the most famous Classic in the world were priced at $26, $51 and $51. Coming straight off a maiden win at The Curragh, Serpentine was one of three Ballydoyle runners quoted at $51 and $101; yet with favourites Kameko (fourth) and English King (fifth) falling into the trap of a pacemaker allowed to get away, two of the Ballydoyle roughies managed to find a place, the other being fellow Galileo colt Amhran Na Bhfiann. The margin of victory suggests the elite victory by Serpentine is unlikely to be a flash in the pan. Inexpensive Andrew Balding-trained runner Khalifa (Fre Eagle) split the O'Brien stablemates in what will be an Epsom Derby remembered for producing one of the strangest placings in modern history.