Aidan O'Brien will rely solely on his Epsom Oaks winner Tuesday as he bids to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a record 15th time at the Curragh on Saturday.
His star filly, the mount of Ryan Moore, heads a field of eight runners for the weekend highlight with the main opposition set to come from the Ralph Beckett-trained Westover, bidding to improve on his third-placing in the Epsom Derby with champion jockey Colin Keane taking over in the saddle. David Menuisier’s Lionel, the mount of Jamie Spencer, is a second British-trained raider.
Hannibal Barca, winner of the Heider Family Stables Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh on his first start in Ireland last month, is Joseph O'Brien’s only runner while his brother Donnacha will be represented by Piz Badile. Paddy Twomey’s French Claim, the Andy Oliver-trained Glory Daze and Jim Bolger’s Boundless Ocean complete the line-up.
The Gain Railway Stakes heads up Saturday’s supporting card and Aidan O'Brien is responsible for two of the six declarations. He runs the Coventry Stakes fourth Blackbeard and Age Of Kings with Michael O'Callaghan’s Norfolk Stakes third Crispy Cat, the Johnny Murtagh-trained Shartash, Joseph O'Brien’s Apache Outlaw and the Andy Slattery-trained Borletti also facing the starter for the six-furlong Group 2 event.
Seven horses have stood their ground for the Group 3 Saturday’s ARM Holding International Stakes with last season’s Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas hero Mac Swiney, trained by Jim Bolger, leading the way. Dermot Weld’s Duke De Sessa skips the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby to run here and takes his chance along with Visualisation and Vega Magnifico from the Joseph O'Brien yard, the Michael Halford-trained Bear Story, Paddy Twomey’s Rumbles Of Thunder and Aidan O'Brien’s Aikhal.
Ger Lyons’ Power Under Me looks the leading fancy for the 11-runner Listed Dubai Duty Free Dash Stakes which gets the eight-race card underway at 1.25pm on Saturday and his Marbling, along with the Joseph O'Brien-trained Night Of Romance, look leading players in the Dubai Duty Free Summer Fillies Handicap, another race with an 11-runner field.
Ten horses are set to go to post for the Listed Dubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes in which the Johnny Murtagh-trained Raadobarg bids to complete a hat-trick of wins, with 20 runners, including Michael Halford’s Start Line and the Johnny Feane-trained No More Porter, in contention for the Dubai Duty Free Handicap over eight furlongs.
The day’s finale is the Dubai Duty Free Handicap over 10 furlongs and Johnny Murtagh saddles another hat-trick seeker in the shape of Chicago Bear which is up against fellow recent winners, the Brian Duffy-trained Magic Chegaga and Jim Bolger’s Daylight Come in the 13-runner affair.
The ground at the Curragh ahead of the three-day fixture is: Good, Good to Firm in places. Possibility of 15-20 mm (approx) of rain from tomorrow through to Sunday according to Met Éireann.
Continuing to monitor the situation regarding selective watering if necessary.
Racing on Stand side and stalls in centre for all sprints.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby - Paddy Power’s latest prices: 11/8 Tuesday, 7/4 Westover, 8 Hannibal Barca, 9 Lionel, Piz Badile, 25 French Claim, 33 Glory Days, 50 Boundless Ocean.