PATRICK PRENDERGAST yesterday announced that Sugar Boy has been sold ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and will now race in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
Sugar Boy, the Classic Trial winner at Sandown back in April, hasn't run since but showed his fitness in a public gallop on the Curragh on Monday morning when partnered by regular jockey Chris Hayes.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa has enjoyed big success with trainer Mike de Kock, and previously had a horse in training with Tommy Stack, Mutahadee, who began his career by winning a Dundalk maiden before joining De Kock to run in Dubai.
Prendergast said yesterday: "We are very much looking forward to the Irish Derby on Saturday.
"We welcome Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum to the yard and hope that we are lucky for him."
Sugar Boy has now become the second leading player in the Irish Derby to change ownership prior to the race after Libertarian was bought by Godolphin last week.
Libertarian is trained by Elaine Burke and husband Karl from their yard near Middleham in North Yorkshire, England.
Karl Burke told The Herald he was eagerly awaiting the race.
Libertarian was a fast-finishing second to Ruler Of The World at Epsom and Karl Burke is hopeful that the Curragh will be better suited to his skills.
"There is no doubt that the Curragh will suit him better than Epsom," said Burke.
"He is a big galloping horse, as everybody has seen, and I thought he handled Epsom every bit as good as we could have expected.
"It was just a pity the pace of the race steadied up, which meant he wasn't in as good a position starting his run as he probably would have been with a stronger gallop."
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, owner of the Godolphin empire, has shown his intent by supplementing the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained pacemaker Cap O'Rushes to ensure a good gallop in Saturday's showpiece, and Burke confirmed that William Buick will keep the ride on his live hope.
"He came out of Epsom very, very well and we were very happy with him. William will ride again.
"We have been picking up his work and he's come on again."
Ruler Of The World is the 11/10 favourite, with Libertarian 7/2 and a slight move coming for Trading Leather, now 5/1. Sugar Boy and Galileo Rock are 7/1.