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Rach' delighted to be on Throne

O'Brien's Love can get Aidan off to Curragh win and Blackmore is 'pretty cool' with Derby ride


LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Love Bracelet and Seamie Heffernan at the Curragh last year

LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Love Bracelet and Seamie Heffernan at the Curragh last year

LOVE IS IN THE AIR: Love Bracelet and Seamie Heffernan at the Curragh last year

Irish Derby weekend kicks off this evening at The Curragh and Aidan O'Brien looks the man to follow.

The master trainer has a very strong hand in tomorrow's big race but he can get on the board tonight with LOVE BRACELET (6.45).

An extremely well-bred three-year-old, she hasn't quiet reached the heights her bloodline suggested she would, but runs in handicap company for the first time in the Hanlon Concrete Handicap.

It looks a very winnable opportunity for the daughter of War Front, who was only a few lengths off Group One winner Albigna last season.

In the final race on the card, Willie Mullins saddles a pair of very interesting contenders in the form of Sayo and FOVEROS (7.45).The latter just gets the nod despite Sayo highlighting his talent with an impressive chasing success at Galway last year.

Foveros was regarded highly enough to run in Grade One novice hurdles last season and has the very capable Joey Sheridan in the saddle.

A more speculative bet is MULGRAVE (4.45) at a monster price earlier on the card. It's a hot little heat but this lad is well related and can outrun his price.

The Grade Three Grimes Hurdle is the feature at Tipperary and it's difficult to see past the obvious claims of PETITE MOUCHOIR (1.30).

No matter what way we swing it, the 157-rated grey has conditions in his favour, receiving weight from inferior rivals and with Henry de Bromhead's string in fine form since the return to action Petite Mouchoir rates a solid play.

Meanwhile, Grade One-winning National Hunt jockey Rachael Blackmore thinks it is "pretty cool" that she has picked up the ride on King Of The Throne in tomorrow's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Blackmore finished second to Paul Townend in the winter championship last season and has been snapped up by Emmet Mullins, nephew of champion trainer Willie, for the Derby outsider.

The pair teamed up last week to win the Listed Martin Moloney Stakes with Oriental Eagle at Limerick. However, Emmet Mullins himself will be absent this weekend, having broken Covid-19 protocols earlier this month.

"To be riding in the Irish Derby is pretty cool for me and a fantastic opportunity to get," said Blackmore, speaking before she rode another winner on the Flat at Fairyhouse.

"It's such a prestigious race, and to get an opportunity to do it is a massive deal.

"It's great to be doing it for Emmet as well - we teamed up last weekend for a Listed winner, so it's a fantastic opportunity to be getting.

"It's a massive deal to ride in a race like this, a real honour, to be honest."

Aidan O'Brien fields six in the race, headed by last week's Queen's Vase winner Santiago.

The Authorized colt was a comfortable winner over a mile and six furlongs, but he drops back in trip to 12 furlongs just eight days later in search of Classic glory.

Arthur's Kingdom, who finished second in the King Edward VII Stakes, also makes a swift return to action with Derrinstown Trial third Iberia also taking his chance.

Tiger Moth, Dawn Patrol and Order Of Australia, who filled the first three places in a Leopardstown maiden at the start of the month, also line up.

O'Brien's sons, Joseph and Donnacha, are also represented in the Group One, with Joseph running the supplemented filly New York Girl along with the unbeaten Gallinule Stakes winner Crossfirehurricane and Curragh maiden victor Galileo Chrome. Donnacha O'Brien sends out Gallinule third Sherpa.

Jessica Harrington's Gold Maze finished second in the Gallinule and tries his luck again while Chiricahua, Fiscal Rules and Sunchart complete the 15-strong line-up.