The Irish Derby Guide 2021

Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
4(10)
Ryan Moore

High Definition

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 115
Days: 44

Aidan O'Brien is seeking a back to back hat-trick of wins in the Irish Derby and his entrant, High Definition, will head a strong team of five runners looking to give the trainer an unprecedented 15th success in the race.

Long time ante-post favourite, High Definition, went unbeaten across his two runs as a 2yo, winning the Group 2 Beresford Stakes (8f) on just his second career start.

The son of Galileo made his seasonal re-appearance in the Group 2 Dante Stakes last time out when upped to the 10.5f for the first time, finishing as a staying-on 3rd, 2 1/2 lengths behind re-opposing rival Hurricane Lane.

The 3yo colt is more than entitled to come on for that comeback run and will strip much fitter with it now under his belt.

Ryan Moore, who is yet to win the Irish Derby, is equipped on board and if relishing the further step up to the 12f distance, High Definition has leading claims in this one.

Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
9(4)
Rossa Ryan

Mojo Star

J:
 
Rossa Ryan
T:
 
Richard Hannon
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 114
Days: 21

Richard Hannon's entrant, Mojo Star, crosses the Irish Sea to try his hand at the Irish equivalent of the British Epsom Derby (G1, 12f) by which he finished runner-up in last time out.

The Sea The Stars colt made a huge step forward from his runner up finish in a class 4 maiden on his seasonal re-appearance at Newbury to keep on well at odds of 50/1 to finish a clear, although well beaten, 2nd ahead of re-opposing rivals Hurricane Lane and Mac Swiney in the Epsom Derby.

He'll be sure to appreciate the forecasted rain ahead of the meeting and is entitled to take another step forward here on his second try at the 12f distance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21DON14.5GS9-12
14/08/21NBY12Gd9-51
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-25
05/06/21EPS12GS9-02
14/05/21NBY10GS9-52
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
5(3)
William Buick

Hurricane Lane

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
Charlie Appleby
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 112
Days: 21

Charlie Appleby's Hurricane Lane went unbeaten across his opening 3 runs, latterly winning in the Dante Stakes (G2, 10f) ahead of re-opposing rival, High Definition.

The son of Frankel was then stepped up to 12f last time out in the Epsom Derby (G1), finishing an eventual 3 1/4 lengths behind runner-up and re-opposing rival Mojo Star but beating alternate rival Mac Swiney by 3 1/4 lengths who finished 4th.

He would most likely prefer the ground to be on the quicker side come race day, although has run well over testing conditions before, albeit over a shorter distance (8f).

Godolphins colt does however look to have a task on his hands to reverse that form with Mojo Star.

Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
7(7)
Kevin Manning

Mac Swiney

J:
 
Kevin Manning
T:
 
J S Bolger
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 118
Days: 21

Jim Bolger is a twice winning trainer of the Irish Derby, most recently in 2013 and he once again tries his hand in the race, sporting the Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1, 8f) heavy conditions winner, Mac Swiney.

The son of New Approach's form has worked out fantastically from the Irish 2,000 Guineas with the 2nd placed horse that day, Poetic Flare, going on to land the St James' Palace stakes (G1, 8f) at Ascot last week.

Mac Swiney, on the other hand, was subsequently stepped up to 12f in an attempt to land the British equivalent of today's race, the Epsom Derby (G1), by which he only managed a well-beaten 4th.

The runner will be sure to appreciate testing conditions however based on last times evidence, another attempt at 12f looks a stretch, especially considering the ground he needs to make up to reverse the form on Mojo Star and Hurricane Lane.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/10/21ASC10GS9-13
11/09/21LEO8Gd9-80
18/08/21YOR10.5Gd8-135
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-26
05/06/21EPS12GS9-04
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
6(8)
Frankie Dettori

Lone Eagle

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
Martyn Meade
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 109
Days: 36

Lone Eagle represents British raider Martyn Meade in the race and has been given the boost of Frankie Dettori's employment in the saddle, a once winner of the Irish Derby in 1994.

Impressively bred out of Galileo, Lone Eagle was extremely progressive as a 2yo, winning 3/4 runs last season, improving with each to land the Zetland stakes (G3, 10f) on his final run of 2020.

He continued his progression this season with a respectable 4th placed finish in the Classic Trial at Sandown (G3, 10f), from which both, King Edward VIII Stakes (G2, 12f) winner Alenquer and Epsom Derby (G1, 12f) winner Adayar, have emerged from.

A bigger bonus coming out of that race was that Lone Eagle clearly needed the run and subsequently turned a 3 3/4 beating from the 3rd placed horse, Yibir, into a 4 length win when re-opposing that rival at Goodwood (Listed, 11f) next time out upon soft conditions.

He will want the ground soft once again come race day and should appreciate the extra furlong on offer, posing a decent each way bet in the race should conditions suit.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-22
21/05/21GOO11Sft9-51
23/04/21SAN10Gd9-14
10/10/20NMK10Sft9-21
12/09/20DON8Gd9-21
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
10(5)
Colin Keane

Van Gogh

J:
 
Colin Keane
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 111
Days: 20

Aiden O'Brien's second entrant, Van Gogh, returns to Irish soil on the back of a Group 1, 10th placed effort, in Chantilly (FR) last time out (10.5f).

The son of American Pharoah is a past Group 1 winner over 8f as a 2yo and appears to be pretty versatile groundwise.

This will be his first attempt up at the 12f distance and he is expected to last out the trip, although does need to bounce back here, meaning he offers an interesting proposition in the race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/06/21CHA10.5Sft9-20
22/05/21CUR8Sft/Hy9-23
01/05/21NMK8GF9-08
24/10/20SAI8Hy9-01
10/10/20NMK8Sft9-12
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
2(9)
Ben Coen

Earlswood

J:
 
Ben Coen
T:
 
J P Murtagh
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 108
Days: 34

Johnny Murtagh landed the Irish Derby four times as a jockey, setting the race up for a real fairytale story should he land the race again as a trainer with his very first entrant, Earlswood.

The son of Pivotal won at the Curragh last time out in the Gallinule Stakes (G3, 10f), 1 3/4 lengths ahead of re-opposing rival Arturo Toscanini upon soft/heavy conditions.

He will appreciate testing conditions and should improve once more for the step up to 12f given the manner he stayed on to win going-away last time out.

Having said this, the Irish Derby represents a sharp increase in class for the runner, meaning a huge step forward will need to be taken once more in order to be involved here in his first Group 1.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/08/21CUR10Y9-31
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-24
23/05/21CUR10Sft/Hy9-51
06/05/21CHS10.5GS9-03
27/03/21NAV8Hy9-71
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
11(11)
Seamie Heffernan

Wordsworth

J:
 
Seamie Heffernan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 106
Days: 10

Aidan O'Brien's Wordsworth was a well backed favourite ahead of the Group 2 Queen's Vase at Ascot last week (14f).

The son of Galileo took a little while to get going in that affair, however once he did, he kicked on nicely, despite being unable to catch the eventual winner Kemari who was already well clear once the late headway was made.

He's a past course winner at the Curragh over 10f, albeit in a maiden, and does appear to be fairly versatile ground-wise.

The drop back to 12f does pose some question marks however over his suitability to deal with the pace of some of these, especially given the manner he kept on over the longer distance.

Testing conditions would turn this race into more of a stamina dependent affair which would play better into Wordsworth's hands.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/08/21CUR14Y9-05
29/07/21GOO12GS9-15
14/07/21LON12VSft9-22
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-23
16/06/21ASC14GF9-02
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
3(6)
Gavin Ryan

Fernando Vichi

J:
 
Gavin Ryan
T:
 
Donnacha Aidan O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 107
Days: 23

Fernando Vichi will be looking to give Donnacha O’Brien his first Derby winner as a trainer having won the race as a jockey with Latrobe.

The son of Australia actually got the better of re-opposing rival Mac Swiney on good ground at Leopardstown in May when finishing a well beaten 3rd behind Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (G3, 10f).

He then subsequently landed the Listed Nijinsky stakes when just holding on at Leopardstown, on his first step up to the 12f distance.

Gavin Ryan's mount should improve once more here over the distance, however their are question marks over his suitability to the track given that this will be his first race at the Curragh having run his last 5 races at Leopardstown which clearly suits his run style.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/09/21DON14.5GS9-17
12/08/21LEO14Gd/Y9-72
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-29
03/06/21LEO12Gd9-51
09/05/21LEO10Gd9-53
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
1(2)
Emmet McNamara

Arturo Toscanini

J:
 
Emmet McNamara
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 105
Days: 10

Aidan O'Brien's fourth entrant, Arturo Toscanini holds a decent record at Curragh with a win on debut at the track over 7f as a 2yo before placing runner-up here on his penultimate run over 10f in the Gallinule Stakes (G3, 10f) upon testing conditions.

The son of Galileo was subsequently stepped up to 14f on quicker ground last time out in the Queen's Vase however only managed 7th, although was notably short of room 2f out.

It's an interesting proposition dropping back down to 12f as he looked worth another shot at the longer trips, which on paper he looks bred for.

He also has a job on his hands in reversing that form with Earlswood, who beat him going away in their meeting 2 starts back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-27
16/06/21ASC14GF9-07
23/05/21CUR10Sft/Hy9-52
13/04/21NMK9Gd9-08
02/11/20CUR7Hy9-51
Curragh - June 25 2021
Curragh 14:45
8(1)
Michael Hussey

Matchless

J:
 
Michael Hussey
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 97
Days: 9

Aidan O'Brien's final runner, Matchless, will need to bounce back from a poor run at Ascot last week in the Hampton Court Stakes (G3, 10f) upon ground a little too lively for his liking.

This will be his first try over the 12f trip and should improve for being upped in trip whilst also preferring more cut in the ground ahead of the Irish Derby.

Having said this, his current levels of form fall short of what is to be expected of a potential Group 1 winner, especially his 6 1/2 length beating by Earlswood on his last visit to Curragh in the Gallinule stakes (G3, 10f).

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/01/22STH11St/Slw8-110
16/12/21CFD14St9-67
27/07/21GAL8.5Sft10-07
10/07/21NAV10Gd9-104
26/06/21CUR12Gd9-20

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