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Thursday 8 December 2016

Only Highland can leave JAck reeling in derby

Moore and his mount could find any weak spot in Hobbs

All the evidence available suggests that Jack Hobbs will become the 150th horse to join an elite roll of honour for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby tomorrow afternoon but history tells us that you dismiss Aidan O'Brien at your peril.

It is set to be a fascinating race, with Epsom Derby form meeting a line of French Derby form, the Epsom Oaks winner thrown into the mix, against the unbeaten unknown Radanpour, while Jack Hobbs is the horse they must all measure up to.

ease

Pat Smullen said of his mount Radanpour: "He just wants a bit of ease in the ground, so hopefully they get a bit of rain and keep some water on. It's definitely a big step up for him but he's been very consistent and deserves to take his chance.

"At the end of the day, if the favourite turns up with his run from Epsom, he'll be very hard to beat so we're all running hoping for a good run but Radanpour, on the figures, has to step up."

Pat Cosgrave has enjoyed a really good season across the water and he will be on Epsom Derby third Storm The Stars for trainer William Haggas, and the jockey admitted: "Jack Hobbs looks the obvious one to beat, he's the odds on favourite.

"I don't know how I'm going to turn around three-and-a- -half lengths, but hopefully my horse has improved again and horseracing is a funny game, you never know what is going to happen until you go out.

"They're all good horses in their own right and it's hard to rule any of them out," Cosgrave continued.

"It's probably the natural step to take after running so well in the Epsom Derby and the horse seems well so hopefully he has improved from the run."

Only Jim Bolger has stopped O'Brien in this race since 2006 and three of O'Brien's last four Irish Derby successes have also seen him take the second and third places on the day.

There's few major races, such as the Irish Derby, that have eluded Ryan Moore and while he may not be one to show it, you'd gather that winning the Irish Derby would be one he'd like to tick off the bucket list.

His mount Highland Reel was second only to New Bay in the French Derby and if the step up in trip at the Curragh doesn't prove to be an inconvenience, it could very well be Highland Reel who exposes any chink in the armour of Jack Hobbs.

interesting

Elsewhere tomorrow it will be interesting to see the GAIN Railway Stakes in which Jessica Harrington looks to have an exciting two-year-old on her hands in the shape of Rockaway Valley, who bolted up at the Curragh last time.

There won't be many runners in the curtain raiser to the Derby, but it will be real interesting to see how Harrington's charge fares out against the dual winner Argentero, trained by Ger Lyons, after both were kept away from Royal Ascot with this race in mind.

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