Frankel – Galileo’s masterpiece – never ran in the G1 Derby himself, but he produced his first Derby winner at stud when Charlie Appleby’s Adayar (16-1) swept away in the 2021 renewal of the great race for a surprise win under jockey Adam Kirby. Mojo Star, a 50-1 outsider, finished second with Hurricane Lane in third spot at odds of 6-1.
Kirby was initially booked to partner John Leeper for Ed Dunlop but when Ballydoyle no longer required Frankie Dettori’s services, Dettori stepped in for that ride.
Kirby then replaced the champion jockey aboard Adayar as he rides regular work for the stable and he enjoyed an armchair ride.
The first winner from stall one since Oath in 1999, the son of Frankel travelled powerfully by the far rail and the race was over when he went clear two furlongs out, winning by five lengths.
Kirby said: “It’s quite unbelievable. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. I got in (on the rail) and luckily the horse was brave enough to go through with it. It’s a marvellous day. I hope my mother was watching.
“There’s ups and down, it’s racing: but when it comes Charlie Appleby, he’s a top man. I can’t thank him enough. He’s a real gentleman and a great trainer,” Kirby added.
Winning trainer Charlie Appleby admitted he had doubts about Adayar tackling the Derby but Godolphin founder Sheikh Mohammed was keen to let the colt have his chance.
Appleby said: “I’m delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Team Godolphin. I’m delighted for Adam. He knows him as well as anyone.”
Aidan O’Brien’s 11-8 favourite Bolshoi Ballet proved a bitter disappointment and faded to seventh, though he was reported not have acted in the soft conditions.