| 14.1°C Dublin

Don't bank on world-beater

Close

Horse Racing - 2013 Dante Festival - Betfred Dante Stakes - York Racecourse...Libertarian and William Buick win the Betfred Dante Stakes during the Betfred Dante Stakes Day of the 2013 Dante Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 16, 2013. See PA story RACING York. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire...S

Horse Racing - 2013 Dante Festival - Betfred Dante Stakes - York Racecourse...Libertarian and William Buick win the Betfred Dante Stakes during the Betfred Dante Stakes Day of the 2013 Dante Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 16, 2013. See PA story RACING York. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire...S

Horse Racing - 2013 Dante Festival - Betfred Dante Stakes - York Racecourse...Libertarian and William Buick win the Betfred Dante Stakes during the Betfred Dante Stakes Day of the 2013 Dante Festival at York Racecourse. PRESS ASSOCATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 16, 2013. See PA story RACING York. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire...S

It's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby day at the Curragh, and this year's renewal has the potential to be one of the most memorable in many years.

In 2006, favourite Dylan Thomas won the Irish Derby at odds of 9/2, a price more applicable to the favourite of one of the Premier Handicaps over the weekend than the showpiece race itself.

But Dylan Thomas went on and won the Irish Champion Stakes that season at Leopardstown and the following year won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, proving that, despite the wide open nature of the betting for the Derby, it was no bad renewal of the race.

Most of today's field still have a lot to prove, but previous evidence suggests that they can go on and do just that.

Despite winning at Epsom, Ruler Of The World will still have to show some doubters that his Derby win was no fluke, while Libertarian and Galileo Rock, who were second and third on that occasion, have to step up to gain success at the top level.

 

SUCCESS

Trading Leather had valid excuses for his 'close, but not quite' efforts at the beginning of the season, and after success at the Curragh last time will now try and prove himself as a Group One winner in his Classic year.

One of the real intriguing horses is Sugar Boy. He's been almost forgotten about as he hasn't been seen since April, but on that occasion he had the Epsom second and third well behind him.

With the step up in trip set to bring about more improvement, it is no wonder he has been sold on the promise that he has shown.

Finally, Little White Cloud's trainer John Oxx feels like his charge can improve, but now he has to show just how much improvement is in the tank and if it is enough to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

There are nine runners in this year's Irish Derby and realistic cases can be made for at least six. This is the premier race of the Irish flat season and if you can get there at all, a trip up the M7 to the Kildare track is certainly recommended along with a fiver on Ruler Of The World.

 

WHAT WINNING THIS YEAR'S DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH DERBY WOULD MEAN TO CONNECTIONS ...

Godolphin

Godolphin are owners of second favourite Libertarian and Cap O'Rushes. Success for either would repay the supplementary fees handed over on Monday for both to run in the race. But for Sheikh Mohammed, it would be a first win in the race for his Godolphin banner and a first for himself since Winged Love in 1995. An Irish Derby win would create another welcome chapter after this season's controversy surrounding Mahmood Al Zarooni.

Aidan O'Brien

Very little more can be said about the master trainer who has farmed the most prestigious race on the Irish flat racing calendar. A win for Festive Cheer or more likely Ruler Of The World would give him an 11th Irish Derby and an eighth in succession. Incredible.

David Wachman/Wayne Lordan

Undoubtedly a top-class trainer, Wachman has enjoyed many big race victories on some of the best stages in the sport including Royal Ascot and the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but this would be an overdue Classic triumph. Lordan is a man who has been a pivotal part of the Wachman and Tommy Stack team for many years and one of Ireland's most underrated riders and deserves a big-race win.

Karl and Elaine Burke

The likelihood is that today's race will be the final time Libertarian runs for the Burkes. They have handled the son of New Approach extremely well, thus attracting the attention of Godolphin.

John Oxx

It has been a frustrating start to the season for Oxx who has admitted a virus "knocked the yard for six". Winning the Derby would provide a major lift for the whole team. Winning the race twice since 2000 means that Oxx has won it more times than anyone else apart from O'Brien. In 2009, he was forced to withdraw Sea The Stars due to the ground.

Declan McDonogh

His first season with Oxx has proved to be slow due to the aforementioned virus that hit the yard. But an Irish Derby triumph would prove to be a major kick-start for the former champion jockey who will undoubtedly prove his worth when the yard starts firing again.

Pat Shanahan

If Ralston Road could win the race, trainer Pat Shanahan would not only pull off one of the biggest shocks in the history of the Irish Derby, but would add his name to a unique list of men that both rode and trained the winner after his 20/1 success on Zagreb for Dermot Weld.

Patrick Prendergast

Like Libertarian, Sugar Boy is likely to be on his travels after the Irish Derby as he has been purchased by Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. But victory here would really highlight the quality of Patrick Prendergast as a trainer and put him in the shop window to attract more top horses and leading owners.

JIM BOLGER

Any time Jim Bolger trains a big race winner there is a story around it, and Bolger will always help write it with his sharp and witty nature. A Trading Leather win would be a major success story for Bolger – who also bred the son of Teofilo – and also a first Irish Derby success since St Jovite landed the big one in 1992.


Privacy