Can Aidan O’Brien, Coolmore, and Ryan Moore take the Irish Derby with a filly

June 24, 2022

Can the filly Tuesday give Aidan O’Brien a 15th Irish Derby on Saturday?

Ireland’s leading flat trainer Aidan O’Brien will unusually have just one representative in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Saturday.

The Master of Ballydoyle will rely on the Cazoo Oaks winner at Epsom, England, Tuesday. The filly was supplemented by her owners, the Coolmore partnership, earlier this week, as she bids to give O’Brien an incredible 15th victory in Ireland’s Premier Classic.

Leading jockey at the recent Royal Ascot meeting Ryan Moore will take the mount on the regally-bred daughter of Galileo out of Lilly Langtry. Tuesday was runner-up to the Dermot Weld-trained Homeless Songs in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas in May.

It is interesting that the Ballydoyle-Coolmore team is relying on a filly in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby as fillies don’t usually contest this Classic, they are instead aimed at the Juddmonte Oaks in July.

The most recent filly to beat the colts in the Irish Derby was the Sadler’s Wells filly Salsabil in 1990. In an illustrious career the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned filly also won the Prix Marcel Boussac, English 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Prix Vermeille. Whether Tuesday is up to that standard only time will tell.

Westover, third in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom at the beginning of the month, and trained in England by Ralph Beckett, will pose a strong challenge to the Ballydoyle filly. Westover will have the support of Irish flat champion jockey Colin Keane from the saddle. The other overseas representative is the David Menuisier-handled Lionel, the mount of Irish-born English-based rider Jamie Spencer, a man who previously held the role of leading jockey for the Coolmore partners. 

Hannibal Barca, a son of Coolmore Stud stallion, Zoffany, was a winner of the Heider Family Stables Gallinule Stakes at The Curragh on his first start in Ireland last month. Formerly handled in England by Irish trainer Brian Meehan, the colt is now in the care of Joseph O’Brien, son of Aidan. The O’Brien family will have three runners from the eight-horse field in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby as Joseph’s younger brother Donnacha will be represented by Piz Badile, a winner twice in his four career starts. He disappointed most recently in his run in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom when finishing 12th of 17 runners behind Desert Crown, beaten a total of 16 and a half lengths.

Cork trainer Paddy Twomey’s French Claim, owned by Teme Valley Racing, is also a dual winner from four career races but will be viewed as an outsider as he steps up to compete in  Group 1 company for the first time.

Glory Daze will represent trainer Andy Oliver. The Cotai Glory colt has won just once in six races but was runner-up to the Aidan O’Brien winner of the Group 3 Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown on 8 May, Stone Age. Glory Daze subsequently contested the Cazoo Derby at Epsom, finishing 14th of the 17-runner field.

The well-raced Jim Bolger-handled Boundless Ocean completes the eight-horse line-up. The son of Teofilo, who was also previously trained by Bolger, has just one win (in a maiden) from eight races. He finished third to another of his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby rivals Hannibal Barca at The Curragh last month.

The 2022 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh will be broadcast on TVG and NYRA in the USA and on HPI TV in Canada.

Photo: The Curragh

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin writes about Irish, British, French and Australian horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in the history of racing...

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