Madhmoon 'has to improve' to be in Derby mix - Gold
It could be a big weekend for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, who has solid Investec Oaks and Derby chances with Maqsad and Madhmoon respectively.
His famous blue-and-white silks have already been carried to victory in the Derby, by Nashwan (1989) and Erhaab (1994) - while Salsabil (1990), Eswarah (2005) and Taghrooda (2014) have combined to give him three wins in the fillies' Classic.
There would barely be a more popular winner than Madhmoon, trained in County Kildare by octogenarian Kevin Prendergast, and he brings strong form to the table, having finished fourth in the 2,000 Guineas - and has a victory over the well-fancied Broome to his credit.
"They always used to say 'fourth in the Guineas, first in the Derby'," said Angus Gold, the owner's racing manager.
"He's going to have to improve, but it was a good run in the Guineas. He was a little outpaced before staying on, and (jockey) Chris Hayes said he went a long way up the hill.
"Chris thinks he'll definitely get further. I'm sure he'll get a mile and a quarter - but whether he gets a mile and a half is something only Saturday will tell us."
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins was denied a five-timer in Ballinrobe as Pat Kelly's Peregrine Run (14/1), under Kevin Sexton, won the McHale Mayo National Handicap Chase, beating Paul Townend's Pylonthepressure by a head.
Mullins had winners through Stratum (1/6f), Castle North (4/1) and Wicklow Brave (4/5f) before Patrick Mullins steered home Blazing Emily (3/1) in the Flat Race.
It was also a memorable day for Galway-based trainer Norman Lee, who registered a first career double, Oskar High (5/2f) justifying favouritism in the www.McHale.net Handicap Hurdle after Sole Pretender's (5/1) success in the Mayo Handicap Hurdle.