Saturday 24 March 2018

One's horse tipped for Derby, but does it mean a second visit?

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

IT might not have the same historical importance as her own recent visit -- but Britain's Queen Elizabeth (right) looks likely to send her top horse Carlton House into battle in next weekend's Irish Derby.

The home of flat racing, the Curragh, in Co Kildare, confirmed the "omens" were good that the British monarch and her trainer Michael Stoute were considering taking on Aidan O'Brien's well-fancied fleet in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

"We don't know for sure but it is looking more than likely. It would be the icing on the cake for the Irish Derby," Evan Arkwright, commercial manager of the Curragh Racecourse, said.

However, Mr Arkwright said they had not been informed whether this would mean a second visit from the queen to Co Kildare.

"It is not to be ruled out but it is more likely the horse will come and she'll stay at home. We'd be delighted if she came -- her ancestors came to the Curragh down through the years," he said.

A final decision is likely to be made today ahead of tomorrow's final forfeits for the race.

Mr Arkwright said the horse had trained well at Newmarket over the weekend.

"It would raise the whole profile of the race but it is a great race no matter what," he said.

The Irish contenders are likely to include Aidan O'Brien's Treasure Beach, Kevin Prendergast's Dunboyne Express, Dermot Weld's Notable Graduate and another English raider will be the Ed Dunlop-trained Native Khan.

The Curragh is predicting good ground for next weekend.

Irish Independent

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