Wednesday 26 October 2016

The Midas touch

O'Brien controls half the field as he seeks Irish Derby victory number 12

At 6.30pm tomorrow we'll be settling into watch eight valuable racehorses contest the 150th renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, a race deemed to be 'the jewel in the crown of Irish racing' in the build-up.

Aidan O'Brien will tomorrow look to win the blue riband of Irish racing for an incredible 12th time in just 18 years. With his predecessor Vincent O'Brien having sent out six Irish Derby winners from the famous Ballydoyle, it means that one of the world's most famous training establishments has already been responsible for 17 of the 149 Irish Derby winners. Few would be surprised if it is 18 out of 150 tomorrow evening.

It's an incredible haul, one that Aidan has brought to a new level.

Going into last winter he had an enviable crop of horses that were going to contest the Classics of 2015 and while numerous of those fell by the wayside or failed to live up to expectations, O'Brien has still managed to claim two of the four British Classics run so far this season and been crowned champion trainer at Royal Ascot.

There is simply no keeping him down and his partnership with Ryan Moore is like a match made in racing heaven.

But if the current resident trainer at Ballydoyle is to add to the wins of Desert King, Galileo, High Chaparral, Dylan Thomas, Solider Of Fortune, Frozen Fire, Fame And Glory, Cape Blanco, Treasure Beach, Camelot and Australia, he'll have truly deserved it.

O'Brien may be responsible for half of the eight-runner field but Jack Hobbs is a worthy favourite following his second place finish at Epsom and the William Haggas-trained Storm The Stars was third on that occasion so they'll be coming to HQ with high hopes.


Two-time Derby winning trainer Dermot Weld runs Radanpour, who is thus far unbeaten in three starts and warrants the height of respect considering the connections he represents.

There are rarely any excuses at the Curragh and with good-to-firm ground being the likely surface it is all to play for.

May the best horse win... as it usually does at the home of the Irish Classics.

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