LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) – Serpentine sprang a huge surprise to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a record eighth win in the Epsom Derby coming home in front of deserted stands due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Serpentine led from start to finish to give Emmet McNamara his first win in the race at 25/1 leaving the better fancied horses toiling in his wake.
McNamara had to pinch himself after passing the post especially as it was his first win since last October.
“Surreal empty stands and I did not hear a sound from behind me all race,” said McNamara.
“All I heard was the horse breathing.
“I think I am about to wake up from doing a piece of work on the gallops!
“I got a little bit of a freebie.
“Aidan said go your own tempo give him a breather and then keep going.
“He was right.”
McNamara, who comes from a racing family, had finished second in the Irish Derby last weekend but was more than delighted with the ‘consolation’ prize.
“I had been saving myself,” he joked about his win drought.
Two outsiders filled the other placings with 50/1 shot Khalifa Sat second and another of O’Brien’s six runners Amhran Na Bfiann was third at 66/1.