Irish Derby entry to make belated comeback at the Curragh
JOHN OXX'S Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby entry Zand is set to make his belated reappearance in the TRM Silver Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
The Aga Khan's colt has been held up this season and has only raced twice to date, both last autumn, winning his second start at Leopardstown by almost four lengths.
He has an alternative engagement at the Dublin track on Friday evening in the King George V Cup, but Oxx said: "He will probably go to the Curragh on Sunday.
"I just looked at the entries and I'd like to start him off over a mile and a quarter rather than a mile and three in the race at Leopardstown.
"The ground isn't likely to be any different in either race."
Oxx, who won the race last year with Sharestan, also has Navan maiden winner Stepwise engaged, but he has an alternative back at that same track in Saturday's Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fund Race.
Aidan O'Brien's challenge will come from among Count Of Limonade, Lines Of Battle, Fortify, Freewheel and Kingston Jamaica. David Wachman has the hat-trick seeking Seussical among his three entries.
Oxx will choose between two very smart engagements later this month for another of his charges, Little White Cloud. The striking grey has been unfortunate to meet several of O'Brien's better horses this term.
Oxx said: "He's in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and still has an entry in the Irish Derby as well. I think we'd have to see how many of the Epsom horses looked like they were going there before we made a decision."
Ruler Of The World, meanwhile, has been given the lowest rating of any Investec Derby winner this century by the British Horseracing Authority's senior handicapper.
Phil Smith gives Aidan O'Brien's unbeaten colt a figure of just 120 following his defeat of Libertarian, although he admits he has the potential to improve it. He was similarly dismissive of Oaks winner Talent, rated 114 and above only Casual Look and Was at this stage.
Smith said: "I have Libertarian on 117 as he has basically run to the same level as Battle Of Marengo and that is what I had him running to on both of his starts this year.
"I have no reason to believe that Battle Of Marengo did not run his race at Epsom. As a result I have Ruler Of The World performing to 120 at Epsom.
"I have agreed this figure with Garry O'Gorman, who is senior handicapper on the Flat for the Irish Turf Club and it is the lowest immediate after race figure for a Derby winner this century.
"However, just as with Talent, I am sure this will not be the limit of Ruler Of The World's ability level."
Elsewhere, John Egan is planning to raise Ramsa's sights in France after her pleasing victory at Naas on Monday.
Still riding but making a fine impression in his first season with a licence at Friarstown, in Kildare, Ramsa was Egan's second winner from just five horses to have hit the racecourse so far.
"I was really happy with her, she's a very nice filly and we'll probably go to France for a Listed or Group Three race," said Egan.
"It's going great, but everything we have is for sale."