The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is certain to set pulses racing at the Curragh this Saturday 29th June when the first four past the post at Epsom, Ruler Of The World, Libertarian, Galileo Rock and Battle Of Marengo, are set to once again lock horns in Ireland’s premier Irish Classic.
Ruler Of The World, who is Aidan O’Brien’s main hope at the weekend and is bidding to give the Ballydoyle-based trainer his 11th success (and his eighth in succession) in the race, was impressive at Epsom. Always handily placed, the son of Galileo eased to the front over a furlong out and kept on well to beat Libertarian, Galileo Rock and Battle Of Marengo by one and a half lengths and two short heads. “We have been very happy with him since Epsom and he is our main hope for Saturday’s race,” commented Aidan O’Brien today. “He impressed us at Epsom and we think the Curragh will suit him even better.”
Libertarian, who has been supplemented to the race along with his likely pacemaker Cap O’ Rushes and carries the colours of Godolphin for the first time on Saturday, was doing his best work at the finish of the Epsom contest.
“Considering he did not handle the track that well at Epsom, Libertarian did extremely well to finish as close as he did,” commented Karl Burke, husband of the horse’s trainer Elaine Burke.
Galileo Rock ran a fantastic race in the Epsom Derby. He too looked ill at ease on the track and the David Wachman-trained colt is likely to be better suited to the wide open spaces of the Curragh. Battle Of Marengo has since finished one length runner up to Hillstar in the King Edward V11 Stakes at Royal Ascot last Friday and if none the worse for his exertions should again be in the thick of things.
Sugar Boy represents trainer Patrick Prendergast, whose late grandfather and namesake won this race on four occasions. Sugar Boy did a piece of work on the Curragh this morning and afterwards Prendergast expressed himself “well pleased” with his colt.
“All has gone well for Sugar Boy since he landed a Group Three race at Sandown in April and we are expecting a big run from him on Saturday.”
Trading Leather represents Jim Bolger, who saddled St Jovite to a record breaking success in this event 21 years ago. Winner of the Listed TRM Silver Stakes over 10 furlongs at the Curragh a couple of weeks ago, Trading Leather has pleased his trainer since that victory.
“Trading Leather has come out of that race in great shape and is ready to take his chance on Saturday,” commented Bolger. “We have been very happy with him since then and the step up to a mile and a half should suit him.” In total there are 11 entries for the race and Count Of Limonade, Festive Cheer, Little White Cloud and Ralston Road make up the numbers.
Bookmaker Paddy Power make Ruler Of The World their 5/4 favourite for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and then go 4/1 Libertarian, 5/1 Battle Of Marengo and Trading Leather, 13/2 Galileo Rock and Sugar Boy, 14/1 Festive Cheer, 20/1 Little White Cloud, 33/1 Cap O’ Rushes and Count Of Limonade and 66/1 Ralston Road.
The weekend racing gets under way on Friday at 5.25pm with live music from the Knights of Leon after last race
Saturday 1st race 3.10pm Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby off at 6.30pm. Dubai Duty Free Most Stylish Lady competition in association with Boodles (registration closes 3pm) with head judge actress Michelle Keegan of Coronation Street fame. Derby Music Village hosted by Hector Ó Eoghagain with live music throughout the day from Raglans, Delorentoes, Original Rude Boys and Sharon Shannon with special guest Brian Kennedy
Sunday 1st race 2.05pm Oxigen Environmental Family Race Day.