Ruler Of The World may have won the Derby but Aidan O’Brien’s fourth winner in the race wasn’t the only one to emerge from the contest with a reputation mightily enhanced.
Elaine Burke’s Libertarian was not on the tongue of any commentators as the leaders turned into the straight but he overtook four horses in quick-time after the furlong pole to finish runner-up.
Burke’s partner in success, husband Karl, was understandably delighted with the result but it was telling that he swiftly and confidently exclaimed, “with any more pace in the race he would have won”.
Instead of the Middleham partnership basking in one of their Spigot Lodge yard’s most significant achievements, they were thinking about what could have been and hinting of what is to come.
Like the winner, Libertarian was unraced as a juvenile but has learnt the game remarkably quickly improving greatly on a victory in the Dante that failed to convince those paid to comment that he was capable of competing with the best.
Those doubts have now surely been dispelled with the Ladbrokes St Leger the obvious end of season target.
The extra two furlongs would seemingly be the perfect adjustment considering the late flourish from the son of the increasingly impressive sire, New Approach.
And such is the confidence that the extra distance will instigate an even better performance many layers are struggling to decide who out of the Derby’s first two should be leading the market.
At 6/1 the Burkes’ star could represents value, especially for each-way hunters, despite all that can happen between now and the middle of September.
Karl Burke mentioned that with any more pace they would have won, but many believe that under a different ride the forecast could have been reversed.
For all the plaudits William Buick received last year, John Gosden’s number one is having to suffer the other face of the racing public this season. There were no shortage of people who believe that he gave Libertarian too much to do and finished with too much left unused.
As a result, despite a finishing position that was above most expectations it appears that we did not see Libertarian at his peak.
With better tactics and further to execute them the new pride of the north could be celebrating there come the season finale.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.