Change Of Velocity to maintain winning momentum for Bolger
Sea The Lion and Gustavus Vassa, respective first and second in the Cork Derby, renew rivalry at the Curragh this evening, but the 'Ragusa' Handicap is far from a two-horse race.
Having won the race last year, Sea The Lion must contend with a 14lbs higher mark which equates to top weight. That will not be easy for the Sea The Stars gelding, which beat Gustavus Vassa by a nose at Cork and he meets that Willie Mullins-trained opponent 2lbs worse off now. Mullins also has Law Girl in the mix.
A trio from the classic generation take on their elders, and clearly the most fascinating of these is Change Of Velocity. Jim Bolger has the Ulster Derby hero out again after his dominant display in the Down Royal highlight last Saturday which saw him rise 9lbs in the ratings. The progressive Teofilo youngster now has an official mark of 100, and that makes him a very dangerous rival to all.
Fellow three-year-old James Cook is back on home soil after his efforts cross-Channel this term.
The Ballydoyle's hope recently finished well down the field in the Britannia at Royal Ascot.
Another notable aspect to the Ragusa line-up is the fact that Edward O'Grady has two participants - Le Vagabond (Billy Lee) and Roconga (Tom Madden).
battle The Her.ie Apprentice Derby sees Change Of Velocity's trainer Jim Bolger pitch Vocal Resurgence and Dawn Hoofer into battle.
Willie Byrne rides recent Down Royal third Vocal Resurgence, while Gavin Ryan receives the call-up for Dawn Hoofer, second at Gowran Park on Sunday.
As Derby weekend kicks off, there's one British raider, Paul Midgley sending Buccaneers Vault for the Joe.ie Handicap.