Mendelssohn Brilliant In UAE Derby Victory

Mendelssohn left no doubt he is one of the best 3-year-olds in the world with an absolutely stunning victory in track record time in the 19th edition of the US $2 million UAE Derby sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group on what was his first attempt at running on the dirt. 
 
The son of Scat Daddy, who was a US $3 million purchase as a yearling and is owned by the Coolmore connections of Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor, broke alertly and was among the early pacesetters through the first 400m of the 1900m test.
 
When the field entered the far turn, and with jockey Ryan Moore never having to ask him, Mendelssohn separated himself from the other eight 3-year-olds in the field and drew away down the lane to win by an ever-widening 18.5 lengths. Rayya, the only filly in the field and carrying 2kg less, was second and Reride was another three lengths behind in third.
 
The impressive win by Mendelssohn, who won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf in 2017, carried 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and guarantees him a spot in the starting gate for the first leg in the American Triple Crown to be run on the first Saturday in May.
 
The final time was  a track record 1:55.18.
 
 
"We are over the moon,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien, who won the UAE Derby for the third time.
“He came forward lovely from his run at Dundalk a few weeks ago. He is bred to handle the dirt, being by Scat Daddy. But that was an unbelievable performance. We weren’t sure how he would handle the distance but you have to say he saw it out pretty well.
 
"He is naturally quick and has a lot of tactical early speed. He did it the hard way but he did it so easily. He is very well bred, he has a great physique and you can see why he cost the lads a lot of money at the sales. We will look forward to going to Kentucky with him now. He is a terrific horse, really very exciting. "
 
MV Magnier, representing the owners of Mendelssohn, said: "To win by nearly 20 lengths in track record time is something that nobody could imagine." 
 
Jockey Ryan Moore, who won his second UAE Derby, was equally impressed, saying: “He's a high-class horse, a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, and now he’s done it here. You’d have to go a long way to see a better performance than that. He’s a horse with a lot of speed, he still feels like there’s more physical improvement in him, there’s more strengthening to come, he’s going to get better. He’s grown up a lot, but he’s still learning and he’s trained by a genius.”
 
Asked about the Kentucky Derby, Moore said: “He’s got a beautiful pedigree, he’s got the form, he races forward and there’s plenty of experience now. But that's a different thing, a hard race with more runners, you can't compare it to today.”
 
The order of finish was completed by Gold Town, Seahenge, Taiki Ferveur, Yulong Warrior, Ruggero, and Threeandfourpence.
 
Race Quotes:
 
Trainer Aidan O’Brien (Mendelsson, 1st) – “We are over the moon. He came forward lovely from his run at Dundalk a few weeks ago. He is bred to handle the dirt, being by Scat Daddy. But that was an unbelievable performance. We weren’t sure how he would handle the distance but you have to say he saw it out pretty well! He is naturally quick and has a lot of tactical early speed. He did it the hard way, but he did it so easily. He is very well bred, he has a great physique and you can see why he cost the lads a lot of money at the sales. We will look forward to going to Kentucky with him now. He is a terrific horse, really very exciting. “
 
MV Magnier, representing the owners of Mendelssohn, 1st – “To win by nearly 20 lengths in track record time is something that nobody could imagine.” 
 
Jockey Ryan Moore (Mendelsson, 1st) – “He's a high-class horse, a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, and now he’s done it here. You’d have to go a long way to see a better performance than that. He’s a horse with a lot of speed, he still feels like there’s more physical improvement in him, there’s more strengthening to come, he’s going to get better. He’s grown up a lot, but he’s still learning and he’s trained by a genius.”
 
Asked about the Kentucky Derby, Moore said: “He’s got a beautiful pedigree, he’s got the form, he races forward and there’s plenty of experience now. But that's a different thing, a hard race with more runners, you can't compare it to today.”
 
Jockey Patrick Dobbs (Rayya, 2nd) – “She travelled around super in behind the leader. I saw William (jockey Buick, Gold Town) was struggling halfway round the bend and I thought there might be a chance of getting second. She stuck to her guns well as she got very tired up the straight, but she's very honest.”
 
Owner Ron Winchell (Reride, 3rd) – “It could have been better, but it could have been worse.”
 
Jockey Javier Castellano (Reride, 3rd) – “He ran a good race. He couldn’t go the pace early, but he was going on at the finish. I was happy with him.”
 
Jockey Donnacha O’Brien (Seahenge, 5th) – “Listen, he was just slow into stride but kept galloping well down the straight.”
 
Trainer Mitsunori Makiura (Taiki Ferveur, 6th) – “The pace was pretty fast, but he tried his best.”
 
Jockey Joao Moreira (Taiki Ferveur, 6th) –  “He’s not very fast out of the gate. I was told about it. And that’s pretty much how he was. I just allowed him to find his own rhythm, unfortunately, even if I pull him on the outside to give him a clear run and go away from the kick back, he wasn’t able to keep on responding. He was beaten at 800m.”
 
Jockey Richard Mullen (Yulong Warrior, 7th) – I didn’t have the best gate in seven. We tried to get up there and try to get as close a position as we could. I followed Mendelssohn down the back and he just extended away from us. He probably sickened my horse just my horse a little bit because he couldn’t go with him and in the end, he took the turn around the bend and other horses came around and swept by him. He’s better than that, but still a baby. He kind of got discouraged by racing against a man today.”
 
Trainer Yuichi Shikato (Ruggero, 8th) – “He was totally beaten today.  The field was strong.  I will try my best to make him come back here.”  
 
Jockey Christophe Lemaire (Ruggero, 8th) – “He did not start off from the gate well and did not go faster.  I think he has not yet got used to the surface.  He did not run his race. It was a high-level race.”