Duke of Marmalade Makes it Five
Aiden O’Brian had a lot to be proud of on Saturday, 23 August 2008, as Duke of Marmalade thundered towards the wire to secure his fifth consecutive Group 1 victory at the Juddmonte International. With Johnny Murtagh on board, the duo waited patiently for the right moment to make their move and take victory at the Newmarket Racecourse. Although a little controversy arose, it could not dampen the spirits of the Duke of Marmalade camp.
Red Rock Canyon, ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, was used as pacemaker by O’Brian and it is felt that when O’Donoghue saw Duke of Marmalade, he had moved over to give him clearance, and in doing so almost jeopardized Phoenix Tower. When Johnny Murtagh was asked about the comments being made on this, in regard to critics viewing it as a team effort, he responded by saying: “There were no tactics and the best horse won. Some people should stop making an issue about something there is nothing to make an issue about.” O’Brian was extremely pleased with Duke of Marmalade’s performance, as he was worried that the amount of traveling that he done might influence him, but as he stepped into the starting gates he was as focused and ready for action as ever.
Duke of Marmalade beat Phoenix Tower by four lengths, with New Approach finishing in third position. Coming back from an injury, New Approach’s trainer, Jim Bolger, was pleased with the way he ran in the Juddmonte International, commenting that he can see improvement, which means that New Approach has recovered well and is getting back to becoming a champion. He also expressed enthusiasm at looking towards the next horse racing event, where he is confident that New Approach will perform better.
And as far as future plans go, it seems that New Approach and Duke of Marmalade will meet again in Leopardstown for the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes, which takes place on the 6th of September 2008. The five time undefeated champion, Duke of Marmalade will most definitely be looking at winning a sixth consecutive horse racing event, and adding to the growing number of victories for O’Brian.