The Curragh on Saturday hosts one of its most looked forward to cards of the year with the Irish Derby meeting and Aidan O’Brien heads the field as ever.
Epsom Derby winner and Anthony Van Dyck and Fourth in the feature Classic of the season Broome seem to be his most favoured chance for the Group 1 contest.
O’Brien is looking to land his 13th success in the Irish Derby and will want to get back to winning ways after suffering a narrow defeat to his Joseph O’Brien as he took the contest with Latrobe.
Another of O’Brien’s headline acts this season is the very expensive Japan who was a superb winner of the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot but it looks as if he will be savoured for other Group 1 contests in the future.
(Credit Racing Post) O’Brien said: “Anthony Van Dyck came out of Epsom well and is in good form. The plan is to run him and Broome and possibly a couple of others in the Irish Derby.
“Japan definitely won’t be running at the Curragh. We’ll wait a bit before making a plan for him. We have the option of either the Grand Prix de Paris (July 14) or the King George Vl and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (July 27).”
O’Brien will be looking to land the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby in the same season for the fifth time in his training career as Anthony Van Dyck heads to the curragh.
His other four winners of both the Group 1 races consecutively are Galileo, High Chaparral, Camelot and, most recently, Australia in 2014.
On the rest of the Irish trainers team after Royal Ascot, leading filly Hermosa who has won both the Irish and English 1000 Guineas this season finished second in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes behind shock winner from France Watch Me.
O’Brien added: We haven’t made a plan for Hermosa. We might keep her to a mile but we also have the option of going up in trip.
Fourth in the Commonwealth Cup Ten Sovereigns is likely to be kept over six furlongs having ran at both that distance and a mile this season and his trainer said: “Like all the horses we ran at Ascot, we’ll wait and see how he has come out of his race. I’d imagine we’ll probably keep him to sprints and I’m sure the July Cup is a race we’ll consider for him.”
On the Sunday at the Curragh is the Irish Oaks where Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes Second Fleeting could head to after coming out the Royal Ascot race well.
O’Brien said: “The Irish Oaks will be an option for Fleeting but there are also some fillies races in the US that we might look at.”
Arizona was a real eye-catcher for the Ballydoyle yard, landing the Group 2 Coventry Stakes and he looks as if he will be racing at the Curragh on August 9th in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.
The Irishman had a super five days at the Royal meeting landing five winners over the festival and picking up his 10th trainers championship. He was also the only Irish trainer to win a race at the meeting and this is the first time t has happened since 2009.