Eagles To Soar In Irish Derby
Like it or like it not, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby will take place at the Curragh on Saturday and there’s a couple of cracking cards at HQ so hopefully we can find some winners among them including one to do a prestigious double.
On A Wing And A Prayer
This year’s Derby is a fascinating renewal with the shock Epsom winner Wings Of Eagles taking on the improving Cracksman and a French Group 1 winning two-year-old in Waldgeist who was second in the Prix du Jockey Club.
A strong argument could be made for the likes of Douglas Macarthur and Capri to run above their finishing position at Epsom and it is promising to be an interesting contest.
Wings Of Eagles just gets the vote to frank the form.
It will be quite something for the son of Pour Moi, a sire that was pretty much taken off the flat roster by Coolmore, if Wings Of Eagles can go from being an unheralded Epsom Derby runner to doing the double.
There’s every reason to think that Cracksman could improve from Epsom, however, he has nearly a length to find with the winner but had the winner got a clearer run in the race he could have in fact been even more emphatic and there’s every chance Aidan O’Brien will ensure there’s a good gallop here too.
More To Come From Becks
It had been thought there were going to be a few notable defectors from the Railway Stakes entries to declaration time but that certainly wasn’t the case and this promises to be the race of the weekend.
Murillo wouldn’t want any more rain but obviously ran a cracker at Royal Ascot, as did True Blue Moon, who looks a massive price here. Verbal Dexterity wasn’t across the water but he was a real eye-catcher when winning his maiden by nine lengths on debut for Jim Bolger and the British duo of De Bruyne Horse and Folk Tale add plenty of depth.
However, Beckford looks a massive player here for each-way punters at 6/1.
Gordon Elliott’s charge was let go off at 10/1 for his Curragh debut and you’d have to feel that was a mix of the unknown with the potential to improve and while nothing has come out of his maiden to win races of significance, there has been plenty of winners emerging from behind him that day. Gordon Elliott has proven over jumps and with the fact that he has produced two winning juveniles from just four runners, that he knows what sort of level to be pitching his horses at and Beckford looks a solid prospect to follow.
Royal Winner For Keatley
1,000 Guineas winning trainer Adrian Keatley has been forced into a slow start to the campaign this year but his team have been regaining their form and…
Duchess Of France is one of those who can win again on Saturday.
Keatley has booked champion jockey Pat Smullen with Shane Foley having to ride for Mick Halford and after running a blinder at Ayr on quick ground just a few days prior to winning on softer conditions at the Curragh three weeks ago, Duchess Of France is unlikely to mind what weather arrives at HQ. Although the course and distance winner has to defy a nine pound penalty for that victory, she looks open to more improvement than most of her more exposed rivals.
Duchess Of France (7/2) – 4.10 Curragh
Beckford ew (6/1) – 4.40 Curragh
Wings of Eagles (9/4) – 5.20 Curragh
*Prices correct at time of publication.