Can Anthony Van Dyck Do The Derby Double?

Japan finishing third in the 2019 Epsom Derby under Wayne Lordan

A leading juvenile, placed in two Group Ones, Anthony Van Dyck returned from a winter break with a rather workmanlike victory at Lingfield. That came after a setback however, and he improved markedly for the outing, staying on strongly from the back to land the Epsom Derby, O’Brien’s seventh success in the race.

Here we assess his chances of completing the much lauded Derby double. As usual, you can view all of our Horse Racing Tips, as well as our selections for the weekend’s racing at the Curragh.

A strong finish saw him overcome the re-opposing Madhmoon and Broome late on under a very brave Seamie Heffernan ride.

He is bidding to become O’Brien’s twelfth winner in the Irish edition, and his fifth to do the double, namely Galileo (2001), High Chapparal (2002), Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014). Harzand similarly did the double for Dermot Weld in 2016.

It is certainly not unheard of for the result to be reversed at Curragh, with Epsom Derby sixth Capri overcoming both Wings Of Eagles and Cracksman in the Irish edition in 2017 who had previously finished comfortably ahead of him.

Ruler Of The World was sent off at odds of 4/5F for O’Brien in 2013 having scored at Epsom in good style, however he could only finish fifth.

The inverse has also happened from time to time. Fame And Glory and Treasure Beach were both narrowly denied in the Epsom Derby before gaining compensation at Curragh for O’Brien, albeit without facing their previous conquerors Sea The Stars and Pour Moi respectively.

Jack Hobbs achieved a similar feat in 2015, chasing home Golden Horn at Epsom before winning at Curragh. Here are the positives and negatives for Anthony Van Dyck in his double bid –


  • He already has the beating of four of his seven rivals today.
  • Five of the eight runners hail from Ballydoyle, with the race likely to be set up perfectly for him with Sovereign sure to be used as a pace setter once more
  • Ryan Moore takes the ride, rather than third choice jockey Seamie Heffernan. As first choice, it is likely that everything will be on his terms and Ballydoyle tactics will play to his strengths
  • This is a markedly weaker contest than the Epsom Derby, with no British runners taking part. Wakan was all out to win a three runner Listed race last time, Guaranteed has suffered three heavy defeats already this season and stablemate Il Paradiso has a lot to find stepped up in grade.
  • Has course form, winning the Futurity before placing behind Quorto in the National Stakes over seven here as a juvenile.


  • Arguably benefitted from having such a strong pace to aim at and may well not get as much cover today. Sovereign will have to set a strong tempo from the front
  • Whilst he is the highest rated and has the beating of a number of these, he is more experienced. After nine starts, how much improvement does he have within him and can any other of the less exposed runners improve past him?
  • Madhmoon is certainly open to more progress than his main rival, having had four fewer starts and just one over twelve furlongs. He has been, according to trainer Kevin Prendergast, flying at home. He didn’t enjoy the smoothest of passages at Epsom either, clipping heels four furlongs into the race.
  • Broome lost ground out wide and just lacked for pace in the closing stages.
  • Benefitted from his main rivals hitting the front too soon – Madhmoon and Sir Dragonet hit the front with two furlongs to go, going all out from that moment onwards.

None of the new entrants pose a significant threat to Anthony Van Dyck, Madhmoon and Broome who re-oppose here after their battle on the Downs. The former, partnered today by Moore and likely to have the run of the race for all that he might not get as much cover looks the most likely winner.

It would be something of a surprise were Broome, who looks better suited to the Leger trip, to reverse the form, particularly given that Ballydoyle will want their number one mount to win this for breeding purposes.

The same cannot be said for Madhmoon, who is less exposed and possibly had a tougher time at Epsom, stumbling early on and hitting the front too soon. Prendergast’s colt looks once more the most likely challenger to Anthony Van Dyck, and has to be of interest at twice the odds.

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