The Ulster Derby (15:25 22nd June) is the big race of the flat racing season at Down Royal Racecourse in Northern Ireland. It is a Premier Handicap run over 1 mile 4 furlongs and 50 yards and it traditionally takes place in June. It was established in 1936 and the most notable winner is Media Puzzle who went onto win the Melbourne Cup.
Check out our trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tip for the Ulster Derby 2019.
Ulster Derby 10-Year-Trends
Weights carried by the winners have varied between 8-4 and 9-12. Trainer Jim Bolger has dominated the race recently with four winners in the last five years and he is the only trainer to have a runner this year that has won the race in the last decade.
Favourites don’t have a great record in the race, but the biggest-priced winner was returned at odds of 14/1.
Ulster Derby Runner-By-Runner Guide
Has a maiden win to his name but he’s struggled in two handicaps this season so far. The handicapper has dropped him a few pounds for those runs, but a further step-up in distance may not be what this son of the sprinter Oasis Dream wants.
Won a class-5 maiden on his final start at two (second well-beaten since) and he’s been down the field in the Lingfield Derby Trial and the Derby this season. The handicapper has raised him 6lb for those efforts and it’s hard to know how he’ll fare in his first handicap.
Beaten in his first three handicaps but seemed to relish the step up to 12-furlongs last time. The handicapper may have overreacted a bit by raising him 11lb, but he’s still respected for shrewd trainer Joseph O’Brien.
Didn’t look anything special until being stepped up to 10-furlongs for his latest handicap, which he won nicely from South Pacific who has won at Royal Ascot this week over 12-furlongs. Unlike that horse, Dadoozdart isn’t guaranteed to appreciate the extra two-furlongs here but could be a danger to all if he does off an 8lb higher mark.
English-trained runners aren’t that common, but trainer Ralph Beckett sends over Future Investment after just three career runs. He’s won the last two of those and there could be more to come.
Won a maiden on his third start at two, but he was brushed aside easily in a Group 3 after that. He also finished well behind Dadoozart on his seasonal debut, but this son of Camelot could take a big step forward now stepped up to 12-furlongs by Joseph O’Brien.
A Wave Of The Sea
Third possible runner for Joseph O’Brien and this one is on a hat-trick after winning a maiden and a handicap. He should also be suited by the step-up in trip.
Another English raider, this time for up and coming trainer Archie Watson. Won an all-weather maiden on his first start but he could only finish fifth of nine runners on his turf debut.
Trained by Jim Bolger, who has targeted this big first prize with ruthless efficiency in the past few seasons. He looked like he’s got a handicap in him when finishing second on his last two starts, and it’s likely that the soft ground and longer trip will bring his stamina into play here off a workable mark.
Finished fourth on all three starts so far but looked short of pace when tried over further on similar ground on the second of those. Could still have some improvement to come but may want even further to show his best.
Ran well to be second over a shorter trip last time but had looked a possible non-stayer over this trip on the all-weather previously. However, he had big weights to carry on both those occasions and gets in off bottom weight here.
Ulster Derby Summary 2019
Dadoozdart won nicely last time and the form has been boosted significantly since by the paced horses who ran well at Royal Ascot. However, the trip could be a step too far if he’s anything like his sire.
Joseph O’Brien has yet to saddle the winner of this race, but he looks to have three live chances in A Wave Of The Sea, King’s Vow, and Millswyn, all of whom could be suited by running over today’s trip.
However, jockey bookings don’t make it easy to decide which one is the most fancied of the trio.
The two English runners also add an extra layer of intrigue to a fascinating race but picking the winner could simply be as easy as following trainer Jim Bolger, who has targeted this race to great effect with four winners in the last five years. Halimi is his representative for the 2019 Ulster Derby and he’s expected to improve significantly for what looks sure to have been his main target, with a nice lightweight on his back.