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Irish raiders set for more Epsom glory

DAWN APPROACH and St Nicholas Abbey will spearhead a potent delegation of Irish-trained horses that look poised to dominate one of Flat racing's grandest occasions at Epsom tomorrow afternoon.

As expected, Jim Bolger's Godolphin-owned Dawn Approach is among the final line-up of 12 for the Investec Derby.

The sensational unbeaten colt is a touch of odds-on in places to follow in the footsteps of Sea The Stars and Camelot by adding the premier 12-furlong Classic to his stunning 2,000 Guineas rout.

It is a precious double that his brilliant sire New Approach failed to achieve, as his 2008 Epsom coup came on the back of brave seconds behind Henrythenavigator in both the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Should fears about Kevin Manning's mount's stamina prove justified in tomorrow's $1.25m Group One, chances are it will again be a Ballydoyle representative that is best-placed to take advantage.

Aidan O'Brien is mob-handed with five as he goes in search of his fourth Derby victory.

After the decision to give Sunday's Curragh hero Magician more time to recover, his son Joseph has remained loyal to the clear second favourite Battle Of Marengo, as the champion jockey's fellow trusted lieutenants Seamie Heffernan and Colm O'Donoghue take the reins on Festive Cheer and Flying The Flag, respectively.

Ryan Moore is on the runaway Chester Vase winner Ruler Of The World, with Richard Hughes booked for the 2,000 Guineas sixth Mars.

It is a supporting cast that will ensure every facet of Dawn Approach's character is thoroughly examined, as David Wachman's outsider Galileo Rock completes the Irish hand under Wayne Lordan.

STYLISH

Jamie Spencer will be aboard the first German runner in the race when he takes the reins on Chopin, after Andreas Wohler's colt was bought by the stylish rider's employer, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani.

Karl Burke's shock Dante winner Libertarian is the pick of the three home runners, with France represented by Andre Fabre's Ocovango.

In the Coronation Cup, St Nicholas Abbey has a glorious opportunity to become the first horse in the 111-year history of the Group One to win it three times.

Apart from stablemate Chamonix, just three horses – including 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden – will take on the six-year-old, which is as low as 4/9 to claim a bit of history.

Irish Independent