Prendergast talks up Madhmoon's Derby hopes
Naas racecourse gets a big week of racing in Kildare started this evening as the Flat fraternity build up to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Saturday.
There were few surprises among the acceptors for the prestigious €1.5m Curragh feature on Saturday with Kevin Prendergast's fairytale story still possible as the veteran trainer prepares Madhmoon for the Derby.
Madhmoon will once again meet the Aidan O'Brien-trained duo of Anthony Van Dyck and Broome in what is looking like being a small but high quality field.
Aidan O'Brien yesterday stated that Ryan Moore would take over from Seamie Heffernan on the Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck as Moore looks to win the race for a first time.
Donnacha O'Brien, who won the race last year on Latrobe for his brother Joseph, is likely to partner Broome. Prendergast would certainly be the most popular winner if he could win his first Irish Derby just days before his 87th birthday.
The Curragh legend gave an upbeat bulletin on Madhmoon yesterday.
"He's a good horse, he's got a good chance," said Prendergast.
"Hopefully, he will run as well as he did at Epsom and, hopefully, we might get a good result on Saturday."
Prendergast added: "He's bombing, he couldn't be better. He's in good nick and should run a good race.
"With a bit of luck on his side, he might get the nod."
Chris Hayes will maintain his association with Madhmoon as the Limerick jockey maintains the oldest alliance he possesses with the trainer who he was apprenticed to in his younger days.
This season, Hayes has obtained a new association with Dermot Weld and the feature Irish Stallion Farms EBF Naas Oaks Trial could go the way of Weld and Hayes.
Mick Halford's progressive Hamariyna would be a likely favourite here but the debut winner SEARCH FOR A SONG (8.00, Naas) is preferred.
The well-bred daughter of Galileo posted a very impressive performance on debut and can be expected to come forward for that outing and take another step forward here. She'll need to to deny the proven Halford runner but a 5lb swing at the weights can also make a difference here.
In the opener at Naas, it must be noted that Donnacha O'Brien rides A NEW DAWN (6.00, Naas) over the American Pharoah newcomer Holy Roman Empress.
Trainer Johnny Murtagh was no stranger to Irish Derby success as a jockey and he can saddle a couple of winners on this card with TRUEBA (6.30, Naas) and INSANE BOLT (8.30, Naas).
Trueba only ran on Saturday at Down Royal but looks up to winning a race such as this.
Insane Bolt is a proven consistent performer and while he has gone up a few pounds in the ratings as a result of that consistency, the three-year-old might still have a bit to offer.
6.00 A New Dawn
7.30 Star Quality
8.00 Search For A Song
8.30 Insane Bolt
9.00 Simply Beautiful