Qualify added to Irish Derby
Aidan O’Brien is set to add Epsom Oaks winner Qualify to his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby team for this weekend as he looks to win the Curragh Classic for an incredible 12th time on Saturday evening.
Qualify was a 50/1 winner of the Epsom Oaks earlier in the month but as a winner of that race is entitled to free entry to Saturday’s 150th running of the Irish Derby thanks to the new ‘win and you’re in’ incentive associated with certain races in the build-up the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. O’Brien confirmed on Monday that the daughter of Fastnet Rock is set to be added to the race at Tuesday’s forfeit and supplementary stage.
“Qualify is in good form since Epsom and John and Chantal would like to let her take her chance,” O’Brien said.
“We always thought she was a real nice filly and we always knew the minute she went beyond a mile there was the possibility she would really step up and Epsom was the first time she went beyond a mile so we were obviously delighted with that and look forward to Saturday.”
O’Brien also confirmed that he intends to leave at least four more horses in the race on Tuesday. Qualify will be joined by Epsom Derby fourth Giovanni Canaletto, Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Highland Reel, Lingfield Derby Trial winner Kilimanjaro and Chester Vase winner Hans Holbein.
“Giovanni Canaletto is in good form. We felt Epsom was maybe coming a little too quick for him but he came out of the race well and we look forward to seeing him run again on Saturday. Highland Reel will step up another quarter of a mile but we were happy with him in France last time and we’ve been happy with him since.
“Kilimanjaro ran a nice race at Epsom and the Curragh might suit him better than Epsom and also I think the same could be said about Hans Holbein.”
Supplementary entries for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby close at midday on Tuesday and another potential inclusion is last week’s Ribblesdale Stakes winner Curvy for trainer David Wachman who pinpointed the race as a possible target after she defeated Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach by a length on Thursday.
Friday is the opening evening of racing on Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby weekend and the DoneDeal Apprentice Derby is set to be a highly competitive affair with Gordon Elliott’s Eshtiaal a notable entry after winning his last three starts over hurdles and there are three interesting maidens on the card with Jim Bolger’s Siamsaicoht, a full sister to Group 1 winner Parish Hall entered in the opening When You Want It Done, Done Deal Maiden over seven furlongs.
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