The Aidan O’Brien trained colt, Orchestra, began his 2014 campaign with a hard fought victory in the Chester Vase on Thursday.
The Ballydoyle lesser light was ridden by Ryan Moore, and saw his odds cut from 33-1 to 16-1 for the Epsom Derby this summer following the victory. The race was a successful trial for the O’Brien team last term when subsequent Epsom hero, Ruler Of The World, pulled six lengths clear of the field at the Cheshire track.
Orchestra looked a clear winner two furlongs from home, but a late run from William Buick on the John Gosden trained Romsdal meant a photo-finish was needed to confirm the Irish victory by a nose.
“I was on the best horse”, winning jockey Moore told the press after the race, but he admitted that “the ground was still a bit loose for him.” “He’s a big strong horse, and he travelled around beautifully, he added. This was just Orchestra’s third ever start, and Moore said he hopes it turns out to be a strong race. “They think quite a bit of the second and third horses, so hopefully it will be.”
Coolmore’s UK representative, Kevin Buckley, said that the team were delighted with the performance. “He is a fine, big type of animal, typical of Galileo, and to do that around Chester, we have to be pleased”, he said.
This result seems to copper-fasten Orchestra’s ticket to the Derby, and following his success last year, Ruler Of The World was not seen on the track again until he triumphed at Epsom.
Orchestra’s stablemate and 2,000 Guineas runner-up, Australia, remains the 6-4 favourite for Derby success.