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Sunday 17 December 2017

Curragh is still on Camelot's radar

THIS month's Irish Derby at the Curragh remains a definite option for Camelot as connections mull over where is the right place to go next with the already dual Classic winner.

Saturday's Epsom Derby hero is on the brink of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since 1970 if connections opt to go that route, but at the moment Irish racing has everything crossed that he will bid to emulate O'Brien's previous two Epsom Derby winners by taking in the Irish equivalent also.

Speaking last night about the Curragh feature, Joseph O'Brien, who rode Camelot to win both the English 2000 Guineas and English Derby, said: "Obviously Camelot is a very special horse and having won the Guineas and Derby at Epsom, he is one of the best three-year-olds in the world, if not the best.

"He'd have to go there with a massive shout."

He added: "There are other horses there too, like Imperial Monarch and Astrology, that have been running great races in their outings during the year so there are plenty of them that could go to the Curragh with a big chance."

The Curragh Racecourse last night secured sponsorship of Ireland's flagship race until 2015 as Dubai Duty Free renewed their sponsorship to run to the 150th running of the Irish Derby.

Confirmed

Dubai Duty Free have sponsored the Irish Derby since 2008 and now, as well as being confirmed until 2015, they also have the option of extending that further until 2017, which is a great boost to the Curragh.

This year, the Derby Festival will receive something of a much-needed makeover as the Derby will be held on a Saturday evening for the first time and the racecourse have also added Ronan Keating to the entertainment bill for after racing.

Aidan O'Brien has two of his Derby entries in Sunday's Silver Stakes at the Curragh as Learn and Tower Rock join stable companion Await The Dawn who heads the field.

The 118-rated Await The Dawn hasn't been seen since finishing down the field at Meydan earlier this year but could be sent to this listed contest in a bid to getting back to winning ways.

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