Saturday 20 January 2018

Dashing Dubai destined for Derby tilt

Godolphin-bound Dubai Prince is available at single-figure odds for the Derby following his excellent victory in the Group Three JRA Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Dermot Weld's juvenile made a striking debut at Gowran last month when proving a length too sharp for Seville, who finished second in Saturday's Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

The Shamardal colt, owned by Sheikh Mohammed, again excelled with a pretty ruthless display under Pat Smullen.

Third in the early exchanges behind stablemate Catalpa Sail and Ballydoyle's Petronius Maximus, Smullen saw little cause to delay the inevitable and pressed the button a furlong and a half from home.

The 4/9 favourite was then hardly pressurised in defeating Warning Flag by three and a half lengths.

Ladbrokes were suitably impressed, quoting Dubai Prince at 8/1 for the Epsom Classic.

Weld said: "He will be joining Godolphin, but I'm delighted to have had the pleasure of training him as a two-year-old.

"He will run exceptionally well over one mile next year, but his real potential will come over longer distances.

"He is by an outstanding stallion and his dam won over one mile, five furlongs."

Smullen added: "He could be high class.

"I think he will go a mile and a half next year.

"The good mile-and-a-half horses have to have pace, and he's certainly got that."

Berties Dream finished fourth on his fencing debut in the WB Gavin & Co EBF Beginners Chase at Galway.

The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle hero jumped really well on his first start for 220 days, but was outmuscled by Jessies Dream along the punishing home straight.

In what looked an informative renewal of the two-mile-six-furlong contest, Corskeagh Royale stayed in for second.

Venalmar, meanwhile, was fresh from a pleasing return from injury at Navan in September and came home third as the 7/4 favourite.

Connections of Workforce expect the ground to be suitable for the Derby and Arc hero when he bids for further big-race glory in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The Michael Stoute-trained colt was given the go-ahead for the trip to Churchill Downs after a pleasing workout at the weekend.

"I gather there has been a new strip (of turf) laid and they have hardly used it, so I'm not anticipating a problem," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Qualified rider Eamonn O'Donnabhain is in a "stable" condition after suffering head injuries in a fall on Sunday.

The Cork jockey was hurt in a fall from Dunroe Boy at a point-to-point meeting near Fairyhouse.

He was taken to Connolly Hospital at Blanchardstown, but has now been transferred to Beaumont Hospital across the city.

"He's had a bleed into his brain but he's stable. He's conscious, but groggy," said the Irish Turf Club's chief medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick.

"It's a case of waiting and watching and let nature take its course."

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