The Epsom Derby second Mojo Star for Richard Hannon ran a career best to finish runner up to Adayar on Saturday at odds of 100/1 and off the back of that performance connections are seeking the next Derby and it looks to be the Irish Classic.
The three year old son of Sea The Stars, was first seen as a juvenile in October when finishing a good second behind Scope in a Maiden at Newbury on heavy ground.
Back this season, the colt was stepped up to 10f at Newbury on better ground and finished a fair second behind Manobo for Charlie Appleby, who then went and bolted up in a better event.
His form was at a decent level but having still been a maiden heading into the Derby made him very vulnerable, but on the day, although not winning the race, he gave a superb run that now puts him firmly in the picture for other middle distance Group Ones.
Speaking on Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast, Hannon said: “He’s always been an extremely nice horse – one of the nicest we’ve had here for a long time.
“Yes, it was very brave running a maiden in the Derby – and most people agreed that we shouldn’t have been there, judging by his price (50-1). But he’s proved everybody wrong and he’s a very smart horse, which is nice.
“The winner had the perfect run. I’m not for one minute saying we’d have beaten the winner, but we were just stuck a little bit coming round Tattenham Corner – and we were running on right at the line.”
Hannon and connections now have a big decision to make with either dropping him back in class to break his maiden tag or keep on the upward curve and go to The Curragh on June 26th for the Irish Derby.
“He’s absolutely fine – and we’re looking for the next Derby, I suppose,” he added.
“It’s not an easy feat, but I’m not sure we’ve anything to gain by winning a novice or a maiden – and quite often these sort of horses get turned over at long odds-on in those sort of races.
“I think we’ll be looking at something like an Irish Derby or a King George, maybe. If you finish in the first three in the English Derby, you get a free go at the Irish Derby, so that’s got to be worth looking at.
“We’ve never had a horse finish that close in a Derby before. They’re extremely hard to find, these sort of horses, and you’ve got to keep hold of them and keep them racing as long as you can.
“I said to Kia Joorabchian – who owns the horse – before the Derby that next year’s his year. He’s always looked like a horse that, when he’s four, he could be something a little bit different.”