It's Ireland's turn for the Flat classic, it's Derby Day at The Curragh!
Preview provided by international race-calling prodigy Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke.
150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
12f Turf €1,250,000 3yo Group 1
R7 1830 local, 0330 AEST
1 Carbon Dating (150/1) (Ireland): Five starts for no wins, and never within ten lengths of the winner. Didn’t run a horrible race at all at odds of 150/1 in the Derby at Epsom when finishing eighth. Prior to that he finished last in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, third to Success Days in the Derrinstown and last of five in the Derby Trial at Epsom. Looks outclassed. A jumping career awaits.
2 Giovanni Canaletto (12/1) (Ireland): He’s always had a bit of hype this horse. Two runs as a 3YO include a closing second to subsequent G2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Curvy in the G3 Gallinule Stakes and a fourth in the Derby (beaten ten lengths) behind two of today’s rivals in Jack Hobbs and Storm The Stars. I doubt he’ll reverse the form with them but can run well.
3 Highland Reel (4/1) (Ireland): Looked a world beater when easily winning the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last year. Then disappointed in the G1 French 2000 Guineas but bounced back to form with a fighting second to New Bay in the G1 French Derby (Prix du Jockey Club). He’s the pick of Ryan Moore of the four Aidan O’Brien runners and should prove hard to catch if he runs to the ability of last start.
4 Jack Hobbs (10/11) (United Kingdom): Second in the Derby and G2 Dante Stakes to Golden Horn which looks brilliant form for this. 2400m around the Curragh should suit him perfectly. Has the best form and is the one to beat.
5 Kilimanjaro (33/1) (Ireland): Winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial in fair fashion and wasn’t disgraced when sixth in the Derby. Will need to lift a lot though to be competitive for the blue ribbon in this.
6 Radanpour (20/1) (Ireland): Is clearly the X Factor of the contest. Has had three starts for three wins and is the mount of Pat Smullen for Dermot Weld and the Aga Khan. Last start LR winner in the King George V Cup at Leopardstown, and the runner-up backed up the form last night by bolting in to win its maiden. Impeccably bred, a half-brother to French G2 winner by Sea The Stars. Having only made his debut in April, you'd think he's been a bit backward and is a rung below the highly-rated stablemate Zawraq. Still a big step up in class. Doubt it in all honesty but each-way might appeal.
7 Storm The Stars (9/1) (United Kingdom): Continues to improve with a second in the G3 Chester Vase to Hans Holbein, he then won the LR Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood before a game third to Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs in the Derby. Doubt he’ll reverse form with Jack Hobbs but he looks a good horse for the future and should continue to get better and is one to keep an eye on for later in the season, particularly the St Leger.
8 Qualify (11/1) (Ireland): Well beaten in the 1000 Guineas at both Newmarket and The Curragh before causing a major shock when grabbing Legatissimo right on the line in the Oaks at Epsom. That gained her free entry into this race. Maybe she’s a dead set 12f horse but I’ll be very surprised if she’s in the finish here. Worth noting that before the Epsom classics, there was debate about whether the colts were as good as the fillies, but that argument seems to be blown out of the water now. It’s also another rise in class for her that she’s likely to find tough and in all honesty 11/1 looks unders.
It’s good to see a fair field of eight for the race this year for the 150th running of the race after there was lots of discussion last year what the future of the race was going to be due to small fields especially, in recent years, in 2012, frankly because of the Camelot dominance, and last year, frankly because of the Australia dominance. However it looks just about a one horse race for mine again as (4) Jack Hobbs looks clearly the best horse in the race. It’s hard to see the horses he beat home at Epsom that line up again today turning the form around so (3) Highland Reel I think will be the horse that gives him the biggest scare, if any. (7) Storm The Stars is going to make a really good horse one day but I would be a tad surprised if he won today’s contest. (2) Giovanni Canaletto looks best of the rest. (5) Kilimanjaro, (6) Radanpour, (8) Qualify and (1) Carbon Dating look outclassed.
(4) Jack Hobbs - (3) Highland Reel - (7) Storm The Stars - (2) Giovanni Canaletto - (5) Kilimanjaro - (6) Radanpour - (8) Qualify - (1) Carbon Dating.
10/11 looks pretty nice odds actually for (4) Jack Hobbs so load up on the win.