Epsom Derby hero Australia will become the seventeenth horse to try and successfully complete the Epsom and Irish Derby double when he is runner at the Curragh next Saturday.
Aidan O’Brien said last week about this latest superstar, “Australia is in terrific form and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is the plan for him. He is a good ground horse so he would not want testing conditions and a final decision on his participation will be taken nearer the time.”
The strong Irish trained team for the Group One Classic is also likely to feature the Dermot Weld trained Fascinating Rock and the John Oxx trained Ponfeigh and the Curragh based trainer said this morning “The plan is to run Ponfeigh in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. He is a horse we have always liked and that is why we have kept him in the race. The horse had a bit of a setback in April but he has gotten over that now. He has had two quick runs but he appears to have taken those races well. Ponfeigh has a terrific turn of foot and hopefully the step up in trip won’t catch him out. The race is worth a lot of money and it is great to have a horse good enough to run in it.”
The overseas challenge will be headed by the Roger Varian trained Epsom Derby runner up Kingston Hill “The horse could not be in better shape and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby remains the plan.”
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival takes place from 27th to 29th June with DoneDeal Derby Festival Friday kicking off the three day event with a live concert by country music star Nathan Carter after racing, Saturday is Irish Derby Day with an exciting mix of great racing, food, fashion and music, while Sunday’s Festival Family Day features the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes