Tuesday 24 April 2018

Derby runner-up set for rematch


Supplementing Libertarian for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh is a "strong possibility" according to connections following his superb run in defeat at Epsom on Saturday.

The son of New Approach did not make his racecourse debut until striking at Pontefract in early April, but has come a long way in a short space of time.

After a fair run at Sandown, the three-year-old ran out a shock winner of the Dante Stakes at York, but proved that to be no fluke when beating all bar Ruler Of The World in the Investec Derby.

Karl Burke, assistant to his trainer-wife Elaine, is keen on another crack at the winner in Ireland on June 29.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted with how he has come out of the race. He's eaten up and trotted out this morning. He's in better shape than I could have ever hoped. He lost 11 kilos, which is to be expected after the journey and everything.

"When you finish as fast as he did, immediately after the race you think you've been unlucky, but we went back and watched the replay and the winner has quickened up really smartly three furlongs out and we weren't able to.

"Our horse took the track as well as we could have expected. He got a bit unbalanced round Tattenham Corner and it maybe cost him a length. You can blame the track and whatever else, but on the day we were beaten fair and square.

"That's not to say on another day things could be different and we certainly wouldn't be scared to take him on again. I haven't had a serious chat with the owner yet, but I would say there is a strong possibility he'll be supplemented for the Irish Derby, if all is well between now and then.

"Our horse only turned three on May 13 and there is every chance he could be an even better horse in a month's time, so we'll probably head to Ireland for the rematch."

Looking further ahead, Burke admits the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster in September will be considered. "He'll definitely get an entry in the Leger, but we'll just take it race by race. All options are open," he said.

Press Association

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