Wednesday 17 January 2018

Qualify-ed for derby

Qualify will bid to replicate her Epsom Oaks heroics in the Irish Derby
Qualify will bid to replicate her Epsom Oaks heroics in the Irish Derby

Aidan O'Brien is to run his Epsom Oaks heroine Qualify in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh with her set to be added to the field at today's supplementary stage.

O'Brien, who has won the Irish Derby on 11 occasions, will bid to follow up Australia's victory in the race last year and extend his impressive haul to eight of the last nine renewals with a strong team of runners, with his Oaks heroine to take on the colts.

"We always thought she was a real nice filly and we always knew the minute she went beyond a mile there was the possibility she would really step up and Epsom was the first time she went beyond a mile so we were obviously delighted with that and look forward to Saturday," O'Brien said, fresh from being crowned leading trainer at Royal Ascot last week.

"Giovanni Canaletto is in good form. We felt Epsom was maybe coming a little too quick for him, but he came out of the race well and we look forward to seeing him run again on Saturday. Highland Reel will step up another quarter of a mile but we were happy with him in France last time and we've been happy with him since.

"Kilimanjaro ran a nice race at Epsom and the Curragh might suit him better than Epsom and also I think the same could be said about Hans Holbein."

David Wachman's Ribblesdale winner Curvy is also a potential late entry this afternoon for the Coolmore team.

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