herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Carlton ready for derby win

THE rain just failed to go away from the Curragh last night as the Irish Derby Festival got off to a damp start at HQ and news also emerged shortly after the last race that Snow Fairy would not be taking part in today's Stobart Pretty Polly Stakes.

However, with the weather promising to improve and hit high temperatures tomorrow, the ground will hopefully improve from the description of soft which it was changed to following the running of the second race last night.

CARLTON HOUSE is the star attraction in tomorrow's eight-runner Derby as the Michael Stoute trained colt becomes the first ever runner to run in the Derby which is owned by a member of the Royal Family.

Having finished third in the Epsom Derby, Carlton House is warmly fancied to go that bit better at the Curragh and gain some compensation for an arguably unfortunate run last time.

While the ground will bring about a stronger stamina test, Carlton House is still given the nod to score although his selection is a more tentative one now following the serious downpours.

Treasure Beach finished ahead of Carlton House at Epsom in what was a very tight, blanket finish, and he is one of four horses in tomorrow's renewal trained by Aidan O'Brien.

O'Brien has won the last five runnings of Ireland's premier flat race and is going in search of a ninth in total.

Seville may be one that runs well at a price for each way punters but it's a weekend that punters will have to thread carefully due to the ground conditions.

The second race is the Group Two Railways Stakes where five juveniles go to post for the €95,000 contest.

Ryan Moore, who will be onboard Carlton House in the Derby, this time teams up with Aidan O'Brien to partner Choir on his second racecourse start.

O'Brien also has Vault in the race as Richard Hannon sends over Lilbourne Lad but it is the small stable of Michael Mulvany who may well be celebrating after this.

The grey son of Dark Angel finished first past the post in the opening juvenile race of the season before losing it in the stewards room and his form since has been consistent enough to see him worthy of this valuable pot.

Amazingly the English trained INXILE has not run in Britain on any of his last 10 starts and that campaigning by Dandy Nicholls has proved valuable as he has won four of them - three of which came in Ireland.

The latest was a win at Naas and the sprinter will need the ground to dry up as expected but once it does, he should be hard to beat.

Shane Foley is undoubtedly one of the best apprentices around at the moment and he could be on the winner in the shape of REDERA in the Premier Handicap.

The five-year-old has won his last three over hurdles for Tony Martin and is thrown in off a lightweight in tomorrow's third last race.

Jessica Harrington won the last race yesterday with Glamorous and she may repeat that feat in tomorrow's finale courtesy of BACK BURNER, while another team in form last night were that of John Oxx and his CREEKSIDE can follow up his top weight handicap win last time to claim the listed Celebration Stakes, while TAIGAN is fancied in the opening maiden.

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