EIGHT runners have been declared for Saturday’s 150th running of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby headed by the Epsom Derby runner-up Jack Hobbs and Epsom Oaks winner Qualify.
Aidan O’Brien will seek an incredible 12th win in the race as he sends out the supplemented Qualify who attempts to become the first filly to win the race since Balanchine in 1994 and she will be joined by stable companions Giovanni Canaletto and Kilimanjaro who were fourth and sixth in the Epsom Derby respectively and Highland Reel who was second to New Bay in the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly last month.
Jockey Ryan Moore will be looking to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for the first time on O’Brien’s Highland Reel, with last years winning rider Joseph O’Brien declared to ride Giovanni Canaletto, Qualify will be the mount of 2011 winning rider Colm O’Donoghue as he retains the ride on her having been onboard when she caused a 50/1 shock at Epsom and Seamie Heffernan looks to follow up his previous wins in the race on Soldier Of Fortune and Frozen Fire when he’ll ride Lingfield Derby Trial winner Kilimanjaro.
Dermot Weld’s unbeaten Radanpour will attempt to become a sixth winner in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for his owner His Highness Aga Khan who first won the race with Shergar in 1981 and most recently with the John Oxx-trained Alamshar.
The Weld-trained son of Sea The Stars is three wins from three starts and won the King George V Cup at Leopardstown earlier in the month. Radanpour would be a third success in the race for the Rosewell House based trainer following on from Zagreb in 1996 and Grey Swallow in 2004.
Another Sea The Stars colt set to run in the race is the William Haggas trained Storm The Stars who was third at Epsom, while trainer Pat Shanahan, who won the race as a jockey on Zagreb, will bid for a unique double as Carbon Dating (eighth in Epsom Derby) is set to be just his second ever runner in the Irish Derby.
Declarations for the remainder of Saturday’s card which includes the Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes and Sunday’s meeting including the Group 1 Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes takes place on Friday morning.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby weekend gets underway at the Curragh on Friday evening with a seven-race card. Aidan O’Brien is double handed in the DoneDeal Apprentice Derby as he runs Waver and On A Pedestal, while Johnny Murtagh saddles the Qatar Racing-owned Jocular and Gordon Elliott’s Eshtiaal will look to complete a quick four-timer under in-form jockey Jack Kennedy.
The €50,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Ragusa’ handicap has attracted 11-runners and last years winning combination of Jim Bolger and Rory Clearly again look dangerous with the Godolphin owned three-year-old Salthouse who recently won a maiden at Leopardstown in good style.
The Curragh Racecourse will celebrate a huge milestone with the 150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby taking centre stage with the day celebrating the legendary horses and characters who have made the Irish Derby, Ireland’s greatest race. In addition to world-class racing, a mouth-watering Food Paddock and lively Music Village, the event, sponsored by Dubai Duty Free since 2008, will showcase the finest millinery and fashion across the country confirming the Irish Derby’s iconic position of style and influence over the past 150 years.
The 150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day is the middle day of the three-day festival at the Curragh which kicks off with DoneDeal Derby Friday featuring competitive racing and a concert by country music star Nathan Carter after the last race, while Sunday has a major family day theme featuring the Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes, a variety of free activities in the Derby Kids Zone and free Sea The Stars gifts, while stocks last, courtesy of the Tsui Family.
Admission to racing at the Curragh is €20 on Friday and Sunday and €30 on Saturday with concessions for under 25’s and senior and under 16’s are free when accompanied by an adult.