We looked to have a hugely competitive edition of Britain’s greatest Classic in store in 2023. Heading the betting was the John & Thady Gosden runner Arrest, who had won impressively in the Chester Vase, and had the services of Frankie Dettori in what was to be his final Derby ride. As a full brother to 2021 Derby winner Adayar, Military Order was also proving popular, having won the Lingfield Derby Trial in tenacious style.
And then we had the enigma that was Auguste Rodin. Brilliant during his juvenile campaign, he was a red-hot favourite for this over the winter, only to completely bomb out in the 2000 Guineas. Could he bounce back?
Others with solid claims included The Foxes, White Birch, and Passenger, who had finished first, second and fourth in the key trial of the Dante Stakes; Dee Stakes winner San Antonio; and Dubai Mile, who had caught the eye of many when staying on into fifth in the 2000 Guineas.
- 1st – Auguste Rodin 9/2, Jockey: Ryan Moore, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
- 2nd – King Of Steel 66/1, Jockey: Kevin Stott, Trainer: Roger Varian
- 3rd – White Birch 12/1, Jockey: Colin Keane, Trainer: John Joseph Murphy
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £885,781.84
- 2nd – £335,819.24
- 3rd – £168,065.82
- 4th – £83,720.52
- 5th – £42,016.46
- 6th – £21,086.33
Tote and Forecast Payouts
- Tote Win – £5.50
- Tote Places – 1st – £2.05, 2nd – £19.20, 3rd – £4.35
- Exacta – £305.90
- Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – £297.06
- Trifecta – £4,824.90
- Tricast – £3,316.29
For a long way up the home straight, this race looked like producing one of the biggest shock results of the modern era, as the majority of the big guns disappointed on the day. Not all, however, as that man, Aidan O’Brien, rectified all that had gone wrong in the Guineas to produce Auguste Rodin at the peak of his formidable powers.
Frankie Dettori seemed keen to seize the initiative once the stalls opened, bustling Arrest up to the head of affairs, tracked by Aidan O’Brien’s outsider, Adelaide River, and Dubai Mile. By the first turn, Frankie had taken a pull, leaving it to San Antonio and Adelaide River to set a searching gallop. Both Passenger and Military Order appeared to have secured good early positions sitting just off the pace, whilst Ryan Moore had Auguste Rodin settle in the middle of the pack.
As the pace collapsed in the straight, both Military Order and Arrest began to backpedal, but 66/1 shot King Of Steel scythed through up the inside to open up a lead of a couple of lengths as they hit the furlong pole. But there was Auguste Rodin, switched to the outside and beginning a long and withering charge, under a power-packed ride from Moore, to get up and break King Of Steel’s heart close home.
This brought a remarkable 9th Derby win for Aidan O’Brien, who moved further clear as the most successful trainer in the history of the race. It was also win number three for Ryan Moore.
- 1. Adelaide River – SP: 33/1 , Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Seamie Heffernan
- 2. Arrest – SP: 4/1F, Trainer: John & Thady Gosden, Jockey: Frankie Dettori
- 3. Artistic Star – SP: 22/1, Trainer: Ralph Beckett, Jockey: Rob Hornby
- 4. Auguste Rodin – SP: 9/2, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Ryan Moore
- 5. Dear My Friend – SP: 100/1, Trainer: Charlie Johnston, Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
- 6. Dubai Mile – SP: 25/1, Trainer: Charlie Johnston, Jockey: Daniel Muscutt
- 7. King Of Steel – SP: 66/1, Trainer: Roger Varian, Jockey: Kevin Stott
- 8. Military Order – SP: 9/2, Trainer: Charlie Appleby, Jockey: William Buick
- 9. Passenger – SP: 8/1, Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, Jockey: Richard Kingscote
- 10. San Antonio – SP: 18/1, Trainer: Aidan O’Brien, Jockey: Wayne Lordan
- 11. Sprewell – SP: 14/1, Trainer: Jessica Harrington, Jockey: Shane Foley
- 12. The Foxes – SP: 7/1, Trainer: Andrew Balding, Jockey: Oisin Murphy
- 13. Waipiro – SP: 25/1, Trainer: Ed Walker, Jockey: Tom Marquand
- 14. White Birch – SP: 12/1, Trainer: John Jospeh Murphy, Jockey: Colin Keane