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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 June, 2005, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Motivator powers to Derby victory
Motivator ridden by Johnny Murtagh
Motivator justified his status as 3-1 favourite by romping to a five-length victory in the Vodafone Derby at Epsom.

The Michael Bell-trained colt stormed clear two furlongs out to give jockey Johnny Murtagh his third Derby win.

Walk in the Park, who had been very heated before the race, ran a strong race under Alan Munro to take second.

Frankie Dettori's winless run in England's premier flat race continued as he finished third on Dubawi, with Jamie Spencer taking fourth on Fracas.

Kieren Fallon was denied a third straight Derby victory as his mount Gypsy King failed to mount a challenge.

Roared on by members of the 230-strong Royal Ascot Racing Club, which owns the horse, Motivator was given a great ride by Murtagh.

It was very easy and he's a very high-class horse
Motivator's jockey Johnny Murtagh
The son of Montjeu was always travelling well on the shoulder of long-time leader Hattan, and streaked away with two furlongs out to maintain his unbeaten record.

Murtagh had only been cleared to race after his suspension for careless riding in a race at Lingfield last week was cut from three days to two.

"It was easier than the others," said Murtagh, who won the race on Sinndar in 2000 and High Chaparral in 2002.

"We didn't go that fast but he was always travelling really well and when I let him go at the two marker he just took off.

"It all went quiet. I had a little peek round half a furlong down and I couldn't believe how far I was in front.

"It was very easy and he's a very high-class horse. The ideal position to be in around here is third or fourth and when I let him go he quickened up really well and put the race beyond doubt very quickly."

Trainer Bell said: "We are so lucky to have him. For us, a relatively small team, to have a horse of this quality and not to make a mess of it is just fantastic.

"There have been a few doubters beforehand and rightly so, but he's proved he is a champion."

Munro admitted Walk In The Park had not been able to match Motivator's charge for home.

"I got a really good kick up the straight. He got a good run up the inside, switched outside, and then produced great acceleration," said Munro.

"But he was beaten by a good horse."

The 14-strong field was reduced to 13 just before the race when First Row was withdrawn after kicking out and picking up an injury as he was put into the stalls.

  • Motivator was napped by three of our pundits when a panel of experts were asked for their Derby 1-2-3s.

    BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght, TV presenter Clare Balding and former jockey Ray Cochrane were all successful.

    Interview: Motivator's jockey Johnny Murtagh

    Interviews: Motivator trainer Michael Ball & Royal Ascot racing manager Harry Herbert

    Interview: Motivator's co-owner John Warren of Royal Ascot Racing Club

    EPSOM DERBY 2005



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