Broome's Derby odds slashed after 'lazy' Trial triumph
Broome rounded off a week of Classic trial domination for Aidan O'Brien with a stylish victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.
Hot on the heels of wins for Sir Dragonet, Circus Maximus and Anthony Van Dyck, the Donnacha O'Brien-ridden Broome was sent off the 2/5 favourite to enhance his own Epsom claims, having impressed first time out in the Ballysax Stakes over this course and distance.
His supporters had a nervous moment or two rounding the bend as he was niggled along a touch, but the son of Australia made ominous progress from two out and was well on top with 100 yards to travel.
He ultimately ran out a smart two-and-a-half-length winner from stablemate Blenheim Palace, who kept on well after cutting out the early pace.
Ladbrokes cut Broome to 6/1 for the Derby, and trainer O'Brien said: "We're delighted. He's lazy and that's his way of racing. Donnacha wanted to put him in there and race around tight on the rail. If he's going to the Derby that's what could happen to him.
"We were very happy. He's lovely and lazy and responds only when you want him. I think going to the line he was starting to stretch."
Asked if the winner could even be a St Leger horse in time, O'Brien added: "I'm not sure he'd stay that far, even though he looks like he'll stay there. It's more lazy he is than anything."
O'Brien reported Sir Dragonet and Anthony Van Dyck to be in good shape after their efforts at Chester and Lingfield, and confirmed yet another Derby contender, Japan, on course to run at York on Thursday. "They seem to be fine," he said. Anthony Van Dyck will improve plenty from the run. At the moment the Dante is the plan for Japan. We were trying to give him as much time as we could."
The father-and-son combination went on to complete a double in the closing 12-furlong maiden as Il Paradiso justified 5/6 favouritism at the expense of 20/1 stablemate Harpo Marx.
Hazapour, meanwhile, gave Dermot Weld an eighth Comer Group International Amethyst Stakes triumph with an authoritative display in the Group Three contest at Leopardstown.
Weld's second string Zuenoon was rushed to the front after Dunkirk Harbour had broke smartly to lead briefly.
Oisin Orr moved Hazapour into third place and soon was in a strong position before setting sail for home early in the straight.
Verbal Dexterity pressed hard, but could not match Hazapour (2/1 favourite), which crossed the line two and a half lengths to the good, "That's his right trip. He did it well and got a nice ride from Oisin," said Weld. "I was pretty confident that he'd win and he did what we thought he'd do. It's upwards and forwards.
"If everything goes well we'll move onfor a Group Two or Group One for him next. We've no definite plans, it's possible he could go to Royal Ascot for the Queen Anne. I thought he would progress from the first run (behind Magical in the Alleged Stakes) and I think he'll progress again."
This win completed a double for Weld as he took the opening six-furlong maiden with Baladiya (7/2) which edged out favourite Royal Court in the hands of Chris Hayes.
Mick Halford's Hamariyna made it a fine day for the Aga Khan colours with a determined success under Ronan Whelan 1,000 Guineas Trial."