Trainer Kevin Prendergast's stable star Madhmoon is said to be in fine form ahead of his run in the Irish Derby on Saturday at the Curragh and it would come as an early birthday present for the Irish handler as he turns 87 in a week's time.
The veteran boss believes this is his best chance of landing the Irish feature Classic after having a lifelong ambition of winning the contest in his home country.
Madhmoon has been a superbly progressive horse so far this season racing three times since his two wins as a juvenile and although losing his unbeaten streak, he has stepped up massively in class and competed at the highest level.
On his seasonal debut back in April he ran over seven furlongs at Leopardstown in a 2000 Guineas trial and although not liking the soft ground was a good second and showed plenty of his two year old self.
He then stepped up for the Newmarket Group 1 feature and in the 19 strong field ran a cracker to finish a narrow fourth with plenty of speculation around draw bias and if the three year old would have been over on the stands side, he maybe would have been closer to the leader.
However, Prendergast from that run decided to change his tactics with his horses and sent him over further and with that in mind put him in the Epsom Derby.
What a great training decision this was as Madhmoon ran a stormer finishing a narrow second by half a length to Aidan O'Brien's Anthony Van Dyck but it showed that the step up in trip massively improved the horse.
Aidan O'Brien will be looking to stop Prendergast again entering his Epsom Derby winner and Broome who finished fourth in the Classic contest as well as two more potential runners.
Prendergast believes that Madhmoon can close that half length gap that his horse lost by in the Derby with the quick ground looking likely at the Curragh on the Saturday, which should play to the colts strengths.
(Credit Racing Post) The trainer said: It’s taken a long time to get here and I’m very lucky to have lived as long as I have, who has trained eight Irish Classic winners to go with his 2,000 Guineas success with Nebbiolo at Newmarket in 1977.
"I’ve got a good horse with a good chance. If he runs as well as he did at Epsom then we might get across the line first this time.
"He’s been bombing since Epsom and I couldn’t be happier with him. I’m not saying he’s better than he was going to Epsom but everything is good with him and the track will suit.
"The ground is due to dry out over the next few days and that too will be in his favour."