KENTUCKY-BRED Big Brown colt Darwin made light work of his rivals in a dazzling UK debut win on Wednesday.
Darwin, the highest priced two-year-old to sell at public auction in the 2012, was having his first start for new trainer Aidan O’Brien and without a run in almost eight months.
Darwin (3c Big Brown – Cool Ghoul by Silver Ghost) was sent to Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables earlier this year. He had won a Belmont Park maiden on debut in October prior to a fourth-placed finish in the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct.
Held up in the early stages by O’Brien, he responded effortlessly to take control and win by over two lengths from Fighter Squadron (Medaglia d´Oro) and Resolute Response (Dansili).
Fighter Squadron, a Medaglia d’Oro colt and $360,000 Keeneland September yearling is, like Darwin also owned by the Coolmore partnership of Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor.
Darwin was sold to Coolmore at the 2012 Fasig Tipton Ready To Run Sale for US$1.3m after he breezed one furlong in a time of: 10.20 which tied him for the second fastest time among the horses catalogued.
“He’s an exciting horse but is still quite green,” Joseph O’Brien stated. “That was his first run on grass and it was his first time on a track like this. He got hurt on his second run in America before having a break.
“He hasn’t done much at home but is obviously a lovely horse.”
Darwin holds numerous nominations in Ireland and England next month including the G3 Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh on July 20, G3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown on July 25 and the G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 31.
Big Brown (USA) won the 2008 Kentucky Derby – Preakness Stakes double and his first crop bred at Vinery Kentucky are three year-olds and, so far, there have been 34 individual winners of 53 races at a 58% strike-rate.
He will stand for a $22,000 (inc gst) fee at Vinery Australia this year.