Serpentine streaks clear to claim spectacular solo Epsom Derby upset

In the Oaks 70 minutes earlier, also won by O’Brien, they had ignored the pacemakers who took each other on up front and, as expected, fizzled out in the straight. They did the same here but the important difference was that McNamara enjoyed an uncontested lead on a real stayer.
Nothing took him on, the colt was relaxed and also you could see McNamara was keeping something up his sleeve. It may well prove that Serpentine is definitely the best three-year-old of his generation but, even four furlongs out, it appeared to be he had been given an excessive amount of rope.
One by one the jockeys behind him realised, too late, he was not for stopping and their own insufficient enterprise was further compromised by their very own mount’s inexperience, lack of stamina or ability.  
“I didn’t expect to be sitting here,” admitted McNamara afterwards. “The only thing I’d say for the reason that regard is that Aidan O’Brien filled me with plenty of confidence, so it’s not really a complete surprise.
“When that man tells you something about a horse, if that he tells you that the sky is green, you’d believe him. I thought I was after getting quite an easy lead. I never looked behind me, but I couldn’t hear something behind me. He was in a good rhythm and I knew I wasn’t after going a million miles an hour or so, so I was imagining these were ignoring me a small bit.
“That’s what makes it feel much more surreal – the empty stands, didn’t hear a horse – I feel like I’m going to get up after just riding a little bit of work or something – it’s somewhat unbelievable. I was lucky I got on the horse – there’s a thousand other lads for the reason that weighing room that are much more talented than me, however they didn’t ride Serpentine in the Derby today.
“I hope my poor old Dad isn’t after dying of a heart attack. He was extremely proud of me riding in the race today, having spoken to him about 40 times in the past 24 hours – he was on the phone about this that and the other. I’m sure all my family are roaring the house down.”
It had taken Serpentine, a Galileo colt, a little while for the penny to drop. On his only start at two that he beat one horse home in an 11 runner Galway maiden, barely promising of such a day in the sun’s rays. First periods this year that he was beaten in a maiden at The Curragh.
But, on Irish Derby day six days earlier, that he caught a person’s eye and booked his Epsom ticket winning a maiden by nine lengths. Even so that he was among the least considered of O’Brien’s sextet of runners.
“Obviously we’re absolutely delighted,” said O’Brien who watched on tv from Tipperary.  
“We try and give every horse the best chance of winning and there were two horses which were going to get the trip very well. We were very happy to go forward with him if no one else was. I was very comfortable he wasn’t going to stop. Emmet gave him a brilliant ride.”
More predictable than Saturday’s trifecta was that O’Brien, humble as ever, would deflect the credit for his eighth Derby to the team in the home and the raw materials.
But in expunging Robert Robson, John Porter and Fred Darling, giants of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, from the record books, in terms of the Derby is concerned he’s got now proved himself the greatest trainer of any generation.