O'Brien team can rule again
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's Irish Derby card at the Curragh and fancies Ruler Of The World in the feature.
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INTENSIFIED is unlucky not have won yet. He followed up a debut second at this track with another fine effort behind subsequent Coventry Stakes winner War Command at Leopardstown and is hard to oppose. The latter is trained by Aidan O'Brien so he presumably thinks Dove Mountain has a chance if back to his best after a below-par effort at Tipperary. The remainder are all newcomers and Trikala stands out among them as she's a half-sister to Mill Reef winner Moohaajim.
Caponata won a Listed event at Gowran in April but will find today's ground fast enough. Count Of Limonade won't mind the going but today's shorter trip could prove a problem after finishing runner-up over 1m3f at Leopardstown last time. Scintillula makes more appeal as she looked more like her old self when landing the odds on her latest start but a chance is taken on FLASHY APPROACH. She's upped in class after a maiden win at Gowran but John Oxx isn't one to tilt at windmills and it's likely there is much more to come from her. Elleval makes more appeal than the older pair, Brendan Brackan and Captain Joy, as he returns from a lay-off.
Fast ground is a worry for Ondeafears and Hanky Panky is preferred as she handled the going in the 1000 Guineas here last month when finishing a respectable seventh. The Ballydoyle filly can figure at this level but may find the four-year-old SLIPPER ORCHID too good. Mick Halford's charge beat Core Element over course distance before following up at Naas and also has the beating of Flic Flac on the form book. Gathering Power is up 9lb for a recent win over 6f and Hughie Morrison's Sharp And Smart will need to improve on her latest fourth at Goodwood to figure. Majestic Queen and Akira are lightly-raced types to note, especially the latter who beat subsequent winner Tropical Mist at Gowran last month.
It's been 10 years since the last time the favourite was successful in this and An Saighdiur was returned at 20/1 when landing last year's renewal off a much lower mark. A strong contingent of UK raiders include PRODIGALITY and Ron Harris' sprinter could prove the value bet. He never figured in last Saturday's Wokingham but a repeat of his earlier narrow-margin defeats at Goodwood and York would see him bang there at the finish. Racy, Yeeoow and Dick Bos are other with claims but Gabriel's Lad could prove next best of the English challengers. Harry Trotter and Via Ballycroy are both stepped up in class after recent wins at Fairyhouse and this track respectively but Joe Eile and Bubbly Bellini make some appeal in this grade. Reply and Arctic have their sights lowered with a 10lb claimer helping the cause of the former while Royal Empress looks the best of the three-year-olds.
Aidan O'Brien has failed to win this for the last three years. That's something of a drought for him as he'd won seven of the eight renewals prior to that. COACH HOUSE can see him back in the winners' enclosure today, however, as he found only the American No Nay Never too good in the Norfolk at Ascot last week giving the impression this extra furlong would suit in the process. Stablemate Stubbs ran below par when favourite in the Coventry, also at Ascot, and is fancied to get the better of Leopardstown winner Sudirman if back to his best though the latter has the beating of both Sniper and Muscle Beach. Big Time is preferred to Focus On Venice of the two winning debutants.
UK raiders have won four of the past five renewals and are well represented this year. None of the previous winners were three-year-olds, however, so Morawij will do well to follow up his Listed win at Sandown a fortnight ago. Move In Time makes more appeal as he had Medicean Man behind when seventh in the Kings' Stand at Ascot last time and will find this easier, but the home team are fancied to come good this time in the shape of SLADE POWER. The latter finished a head of Maarek in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at last week's Ascot and beat Parliament Square, Russian Soul and Antious when a close-up third to Hitchens over course and distance in May. Ed Lynam's sprinter is fancied to come out best with a similar effort today.
Aidan O'Brien bids for his 11th victory in this having won the last seven renewals. He's represented this year by the unbeaten RULER OF THE WORLD who arrives on the back of an impressive win in the Derby at Epsom. Libertarian and Galileo Rock filled the places at Epsom with Festive Cheer well beaten and it's difficult to see any of that trio turning the tables with the Ballydoyle colt in this. Libertarian, now racing in Godolphin's colours but remaining in the charge of Elaine Burke, hit a flat spot in the Derby and may push the likely favourite a bit closer but Sugar Boy is the most interesting of today's opposition. He beat Libertarian and Galileo Rock in the Classic Trial at Sandown in April and there should be more to come from him stepping up in trip. Trading Leather beat Cap O'Rushes last term and should go well having won a Listed event over 1m2f here earlier this month, though was behind Libertarian at York earlier.
Call Me Bubbles is fit from racing and winning over hurdles. He's scored twice on the Flat before but is an unknown when it comes to fast ground. Last year's Cesarewitch winner, Domination, makes more appeal though he's been below par in a couple of starts so far this term. Abou Ben is progressing well and beat Admiral Barry over 2m at Limerick recently while Tiger At Heart and Ozeta may improve tackling today's longer trip on the Flat for the first time but JUSTIFICATION deserves another chance. He ran nowhere near his best behind Well Sharp in last week's Ascot Stakes but a repeat of his earlier effort when only beaten four lengths in the Chester Cup should see him go close in this.