The Irish Derby may not hold quite the same prestige as the Epsom Derby in the racing world, but it is still one of the highlights of the racing calendar.
It is run over a trip of 12-furlongs at the Curragh, and in recent years it has been dominated by owners the Coolmore Stud, and trainer Aidan O’Brien. O’Brien has amazingly won 8 of the last 10 renewals, with the only other winning trainers being Jim Bolger and Andre Fabre, though the latter’s winner Hurricane Run also ran in the colours of Michael Tabor, one of the Coolmore giants.
This year’s renewal has just 9 entries at the 5 day declaration stage, so here’s our analysis and tip.
Jack Hobbs 8/11
The Derby runner-up has every right to be favourite having finished in front of several of his potential rivals here. Will be tough to beat if he runs to the same level of form as his Epsom performance, though trainer John Gosden has yet to win the race, and the horse travels abroad for the first time.
Highland Reel 7/1
The shortest-priced of four possible runners for maestro Aidan O’Brien after finishing runner-up in the French Derby. The winner looked different class that day, but he’s yet to be beaten by Jack Hobbs unlike some of this field.
Giovanni Canaletto 8/1
Finished 6 lengths behind Jack Hobbs in the Derby, but still looked a little bit green, as he did on his previous run at the Curragh. May just be coming to himself and, if he makes as much improvement as most of O’Brien’s horses have done recently, he may get a lot closer to the favourite here.
Storm The Stars 8/1
Split Jack Hobbs and Giovanni Canaletto in the Derby, but trainer William Haggas had his horses in imperious form at the time and that form has dipped since.
The Irish 1,000 Guineas winner finished runner-up over 12-furlongs at Ascot, and a line through her conqueror, Curvy, suggests she should finish behind Giovani Canaletto.
Shock Epsom Oaks winner who relished the 12-furlongs of that race. Not sure that means she can beat the colts, but it’s not impossible.
Sea the Stars colt who is unbeaten in three runs for trainer Dermot Weld, who won his sole Irish Derby in 1996. Beat an O’Brien horse by ½ a length last time; but O’Brien hasn’t bothered entering that horse in this.
6th in the Derby was a step in the right direction, though there’s no obvious reason why he should improve past the horses that beat him that day.
Carbon Dating 33/1
8th in The Derby, but looks the rightful outsider of the party here.
Whilst Jack Hobbs could hack up, Aidan O’Brien has a knack of getting one to peak for the big day and I think that horse may well be Giovanni Canaletto. He’s bred to win a Derby, and looks the horse to benefit most from the O’Brien’s stable sudden surge in form which was there for all to witness at Royal Ascot. There may be less than 8 runners on the day, so an ante-post wager at 8/1 with 3 places available looks the play.
Giovanni Canaletto @ 8/1 (888 Sport) ¼ odds 1-2-3