Sunday 21 July 2019

Prendergast hoping Madhmoon can gain Derby revenge at Curragh

Anthony Van Dyck (far right) edges out Madhmoon (second from right) at Epsom – the latter’s connections are hoping to reverse the placings on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Anthony Van Dyck (far right) edges out Madhmoon (second from right) at Epsom – the latter’s connections are hoping to reverse the placings on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Kelly

Veteran Curragh handler Kevin Prendergast is hoping Madhmoon can give him an early 87th birthday present in Saturday's Irish Derby, by turning the tables on Epsom hero Anthony Van Dyck.

The classy son of Dawn Approach, trained by Prendergast, is the biggest threat to the dominance of Aidan O'Brien who has six entries in the Dubai Duty Free-sponsored showpiece.

Madhmoon overcame a troubled run to finish a half-length runner-up to O'Brien's Anthony Van Dyck at Epsom and Prendergast is optimistic of gaining revenge.

"My father won the Irish Derby four times, the first one being Dark Warrior in 1950," Prendergast recalled. "Madhmoon is a good horse and hopefully he has a good chance. He's got a battalion to beat, but hopefully he can act as well as he did at Epsom and we might get a result. All the horses that ran in the Derby have run creditably since.

"Aidan said it was one of the better Derbys that he's had horses to run in, so hopefully he was right. He's absolutely bombing - he's in great form and couldn't be better."

Chris Hayes rides Madhmoon and said of Epsom: "To go down by half a length because of things you can't control, it was a bitter pill to swallow but hopefully we can put it right on his next start. I think the Curragh will suit him better,

"Epsom is very demanding and you need things to go right, as I found out.

"The Curragh is a fair track and I'll imagine he'll be much more at home, it's also just five minutes up the road which has to be a positive.

"I don't think the occasion got to him, everything went right until the road crossing which set him racing sooner than I wanted. We were half a length off being perfect, hopefully we can put that right."

Anthony Van Dyck will have Ryan Moore in the saddle this time as the son of Galileo bids to complete a Derby double last achieved by Harzand in 2016.

Broome, which was fourth at Epsom, Norway, Il Paradiso, Sovereign and Western Australia remain in the mix for Ballydoyle.

"At the moment it looks like Anthony Van Dyck, Broome, Norway and Sovereign, and we still have to decide on Western Australia and Il Paradiso," said O'Brien.

"Ryan always rides the No 1 and that is obviously Anthony Van Dyck, that's the way it always is in a Derby."

In the same Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum ownership as Madhmoon is Dermot Weld's progressive Sea The Stars colt Rakan.

Completing the list is Joseph O'Brien's Buckhurst and Jim Bolger's Guaranteed.

Irish Independent

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