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    Weaver remembers how Mister Baileys struggled after the Derby trip
Weaver remembers how Mister Baileys struggled after the Derby trip
Jason Weaver. Source: limerickleader.ie

Weaver remembers how Mister Baileys struggled after the Derby trip

Thirty years have passed since Jason Weaver led by six lengths when he turned Tattenham Corner on Mister Baileys, the Guineas winner, in the Derby.

For an instant, it appeared as though he had passed the colt trained by Mark Johnston, but with only a furlong remaining, King's Theatre and Colonel Collins caught up to him, causing his stride to diminish quickly.

However, there was still one more twist to come in the 1994 renewal when Willie Carson pulled off a masterful finish against the favourite Erhaab, who had previously won the Dante, which Mister Baileys had also run.

But for Weaver, who is now a well-known TV analyst, there's no genuine feeling of what may have been.

“Obviously, winning the Guineas was great but I didn’t feel any pressure because he wasn’t my ride. He was Frankie’s ride but he overlooked him for Grand Lodge and he was also a big price (16-1). It wasn’t until his gallop at Ripon we thought he had a chance,” said Weaver. “When we went to the Dante, I loomed up on the outside going well but it was probably a bit of inexperience on my part and he saw too much daylight. It’s not the done thing these days, winning the Guineas and going to the Dante – and of course, we were disappointed he didn’t win. I think it was probably a fact-finding mission. We ended up making the running in the Derby and I still thought we were going to win by turning for home, but he got to the two poles and emptied. Philip Robinson ended up taking me on early on a horse of Mark Tompkins’ (The Flying Phantom) and we were skipping along and I thought we were going a bit quick, and we paid the price. Who knows, in another year we could have got away with it, as the front three were all very good horses, but I remember when he pulled up, he barely had the energy to canter back, he put everything into that and quite clearly it left its mark.”

Now that he is observing the current Classic crop up close in the paddock, Weaver is in a unique position to provide his opinions, and he thinks this year's Betfred Derby is an intriguing one.

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