Trading Leather Scores Irish Derby Upset
Trading Leather upset the highly fancied Ruler of the World to win the 2013 Irish Derby to give Jim Bolger his first victory in the Group 1 classic since 1992 and end the seven-year winning streak of Aidan O’Brien.
Epsom Derby winner Ruler of the World went into the race as an odds-on favourite to become the seventeenth horse to win the English/Irish Derby double but was never in the race, after being ridden well off the pace, and finished ten lengths behind the winner.
The decision to skip the Epsom Derby with Trading Leather in order to concentrate on the Irish equivalent proved a masterstroke by Bolger when the colt hit the lead with two furlongs left to run and was too strong in the concluding stages for Galileo Rock and Festive Cheer.
Bolger was clearly delighted to win the Irish Derby with a horse that is owned by his wife Jackie and was quick to pay credit to his staff that has had to deal with the fiery colt.
“It doesn’t get much better than this,” Bolger said.
“I can’t credit my staff enough.
“He is not easy at home; he takes a lot of riding and keeping under control.”
Bolger would not confirm his future plans for Trading Leather but the King George, Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes are all possible targets while a tilt at the Breeders Cup in the United States is unlikely.
Aidan O’Brien wasn’t positive what caused the disappointing performance of Ruler of the World but said the fast pace set by Ralston Road may have played a part.
“There’s a big chance the gallop caught him out; at Epsom they went slow and he kicked and won but he wasn’t going away at the finish then,” O’Brien said.
“Maybe he’s had three quick enough runs but I’m not going to make any excuses.
“We’ll give him a break now and see again.”
Trading Leather is now on the fourth line of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets behind St Nicholas Abbey, Cirrus Des Aigles and Novellist.