Sunday 25 February 2018

Buick to keep the ride on Libertarian in Irish Derby


William Buick will retain the ride on the supplemented Libertarian in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

The colt has recently been purchased by Godolphin and will be having his final start for Elaine Burke in Ireland this weekend before he joins Saeed bin Suroor in Newmarket.

Unraced as a two-year-old, Libertarian has made giant strides this season, winning a Pontefract maiden in April before disappointing in the Sandown Classic Trial.

The son of New Approach bounced back to win the Dante at York under Buick, who also rode him to finish a fine second to Ruler Of The World, whom he will meet again this weekend, in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Karl Burke, the North Yorkshire trainer's husband and assistant, said: "William Buick will ride him again.

"He did a routine canter this morning and will be supplemented.

"We are very happy with him and he has come on again."

Burke added: "It's a great privilege and an honour to have a classic runner for such prestigious owners and we're very grateful to Sheikh Mohammed and his team for the opportunity.

"No doubt the Curragh will suit him better than Epsom as he's a big, galloping horse. I thought he handled Epsom as good as could be expected.

"Unfortunately the pace steadied and he wasn't in a good position to start his run. Hopefully the pace is stronger on Saturday.

"He'll handle any ground bar extremes."

Aidan O'Brien confirmed Ruler Of The World on target, and that he may be joined by Derby also-ran Festive Cheer.

O'Brien also said last year's Oaks winner Was would be in action at the meeting.

"The plan is to run Was in the Pretty Polly at the moment," he said.

"Hopefully one of the Ascot horses will come back for the Railway Stakes."

Jim Bolger will saddle Trading Leather, who ran so well behind Magician in the Irish Guineas.

"He's very well and has just been out for his morning exercise.," said Bolger.

"He'll be my only runner in the race."

Pat Prendergast has had this in mind for Sugar Boy ever since his success at Sandown but said the colt could possibly do with a shower of rain - although he handled the ground fine earlier in a public gallop at the Curragh on Monday morning.

"He moved beautifully. We held on to him a little bit. He travelled well and looks in great nick but there's no prize-money out there today!" said Prendergast.

"It was a little quick for him but I was delighted how he moved. That's as good as he goes at home. He never kills himself and only does what he has to."

His jockey Chris Hayes said: "He seemed in good form. He travelled away nicely and was running away with me in the straight. I had a bit of bother pulling him up.

"That's the best ground I've ever rode him on and he strode out fine."

John Oxx will be represented by Little White Cloud, who has run well in the Derrinstown Trial and the Gallinule Stakes.

"He's an outsider but is a nice horse and ran well in two trials," said Oxx.

"He ran well behind Battle Of Marengo at Leopardstown and that was just four weeks after he had a bit of a virus. It was plenty soon enough to run him and I thought he ran well.

"We've had a bad start to the year with a virus which knocked us for six and slowed the momentum.

"I'll have a two-year-old runner on Sunday and we're looking forward to the two-year-olds as the three-year-olds are a bit lacking this year."

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