Trading Leather floors rivals at Curragh to join Derby mix
Dawn Approach's eclipse in the Epsom Derby may have taken him out of the middle-distance picture, but Jim Bolger has found one on the bench for Ireland's version of the Classic at the Curragh.
Yesterday at the Co Kildare track, Trading Leather joined the roster of those set to square up against the hot favourite Ruler Of The World, the Epsom hero which is set to be the sole Ballydoyle representative as Aidan O'Brien goes for an eighth successive victory.
The low-key Silver Stakes was Trading Leather's third run in 25 days, after his runner-up spot to the subsequent Derby second Libertarian in the Dante Stakes on his seasonal debut and then his third to Magician in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
And like many from the Glebe House academy, he seems to be thriving on effort.
Though yesterday's 10-furlong contest represented a drop in class which he started 5/4 favourite to win, he completed his task with such conspicuous enthusiasm it took rider Kevin Manning some time to anchor him after the finish.
Trading Leather was cut to 6/1 third favourite for the Irish Derby after his three-and-a-half length defeat of Lines Of Battle, one of the Ballydoyle lesser lights. Libertarian is second choice at 9/2.
"All going well in the meantime, it will be the Irish Derby next," said Bolger (right) of the son of Teofilo. "He is very straightforward but needs good or faster ground, so we hope the weather stays like it is now."
Bolger reported that Dawn Approach, which lost his unbeaten record at Epsom, has emerged from the experience unscathed, but that no future plans have been formulated.
"He's very well and is still awesome. Wherever he goes he'll be worth waiting for," said the trainer.
Bolger and Manning also struck with Freedom Square, which made his experience count in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Third on his previous two starts, the 9/4 joint-favourite made all of the running as he scored by a length and a half from Shining Emerald.
"He's getting the hang of things and seems to go on any ground," said Bolger. "We may look at the Railway Stakes here (on June 29)."
Royal Empress (2/1 joint-favourite) got off the mark at the seventh attempt when taking the Irish Field Maiden under Wayne Lordan. David Wachman's charge had finished third in a Group Three over this course and distance last season and finally gained that first success by two-and-a-quarter lengths from Illustrate.
"She was Group-placed last year so the job is nearly done," said Wachman. "We'll look at some stakes races for her now."
Majenta (4/1) shrugged off the challenge of Maggie Dalton to follow up a Dundalk success in the TRI Equestrian EBF Fillies Handicap.
Kevin Prendergast's charge, ridden by Chris Hayes, got home by a length.
"We ran her at Dundalk because the ground was so bad everywhere else and as that was the only place we had a dry surface," said Prendergast.
"Hopefully we'll run her back on Derby weekend in a handicap again or depending on what she goes up."
Regal Power (10/1) made a winning return eight months after his last run when landing the TRM Excellence In Equine Nutrition Handicap.
Declan McDonogh brought the Eddie Lynam-trained four-year-old with a rattling run down the outside to defeat Tarrsille by three-quarters of a length. "I was a bit afraid of the ground with him," said Lynam. "He charged the gate and bumped his nose but it didn't affect him too much."
McDonogh later secured a double when the Mick Halford-trained Dabadiyan (9/10 favourite) was bustled readily clear in TRM Supporting Global Champions Maiden. (© Independent News Service)