herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Niall Cronin: Gosden happy Hobbs is all set

Last piece of work bodes well for Godolphin colt's attempt to take the 150th Irish Derby

Jack Hobbs
Jack Hobbs

John Gosden declared himself very happy with Jack Hobbs after he put the finishing touches to his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby preparations yesterday.

The Epsom Derby runner-up was the headline act at today's 48-hour declarations for the Curragh feature on Saturday and Gosden confirmed it's all systems go for his Godolphin-owned colt.

"He worked this morning with William Buick on him and we were happy with him and the horse seems in good order," said the Newmarket based trainer.

With the ground at HQ currently described as good to firm, Gosden did admit that he would like to see a shower of rain to leave the ground on "the good side of good to firm".

He added: "We would appreciate a shower or two and something close to good ground but we are pleased with the horse and we'll be heading over, all being well between now and the weekend.

Jack Hobbs will face seven rivals, including the third and fourth from the Epsom Derby and the Epsom Oaks heroine Qualify, with Jim Bolger opting against running Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach following her defeat at Royal Ascot last week and she was the only absentee from the race this morning.

Reflecting on Jack Hobbs finishing second behind stable companion Golden Horn at Epsom, Gosden said: "He handled Epsom surprisingly well for a tall, rangy, horse and we hoped the Curragh would suit him better and it was the plan to always come here and we are holding with it.

"We fully respect the quality of the field in the race and they include an Epsom Oaks winner and an Irish 1,000 Guineas winner if she runs and it's a race I would love to win.

"It's not a race I have been heavily involved in over the years. I had a good horse called Presenting who probably would have won it that year but he banged his head before he left the yard and never even got to take off so that was a bit of a disappointment," the trainer told the Herald.

Dermot Weld is set to be represented by Radanpour in the 150th running of the Irish Derby. He previously won the race with Zagreb and Grey Swallow, but the trainer would also like to see some rainfall for two of his stable's other leading hopes this weekend.

Brooch may take her chance in the Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes if the ground is suitable, while the trainer has not ruled out declaring Forgotten Rules for the At The Races Curragh Cup.

The master of Rosewell House said: "We'll just have to see what the ground is like for her. She likes a bit of cut, so we'd need some rain to consider running."

Of Forgotten Rules, he said: "As ever, he'll need sufficient rain for us to contemplate running."

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