André Fabre bids for third Irish Derby win with Waldgeist
June 27, 2017 04:29am

Legendary French trainer André Fabre will bid to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a third time this weekend with Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Waldgeist set to line up for the €1,500,000 showpiece at the Curragh this Saturday 1st July.


Fabre won the race in 1995 with Winged Love and 2005 with Hurricane Run and Fabre is hopeful of a big run from Waldgeist who was a Group 1 winner last season.


“It doesn’t seem that any horse is able to be the best by 3lbs or 4lbs, they all seem to be very much together, so that is why I am taking my chance. I think it is a good opportunity for him.” Fabre said. 


“He stays well, he has a big heart and he has a good acceleration as well as the ability that he has already shown. I’m a great fan of the Curragh. It is a beautiful track, well designed, you cannot be unlucky as it is a very fair course.”


Also looking for a third win in Ireland’s premier race is jockey Pat Smullen who has been confirmed to ride Cracksman for John Gosden. 


Gosden won the 150th renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with Jack Hobbs in 2015 and the trainer is excited to see his colt renew rivalry with Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles, one of eight left in the race by trainer Aidan O’Brien. 


“Cracksman is in great form and I’m very happy with him. All being well we are going to the Curragh on Saturday, it is a lovely track and I think it will suit him. They are two very nice horses from Epsom and I thought Wings Of Eagles was impressive in the Derby. I’m very clear in my mind that he would have been an unlucky loser as he was stopped twice in running and still won it at the finish. I don't think it was a fluke but the pair of them are nice horses and it will be great to see them meet up at the Curragh.”


O’Brien’s team is led by Wings Of Eagles and the Epsom hero is joined on the remaining list of 12 acceptors by stable companions, Capri, Douglas Macarthur, Finn McCool, Spanish Steps, Taj Mahal, The Anvil and Venice Beach


Jim Bolger may be represented by Dubai Sand, while Jessica Harrington is bidding to add another historic chapter to a remarkable year with Grandee as the first female trainer to win the race.


Also on Saturday the Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes promises to be another fascinating renewal for which Jim Bolger has supplemented nine and a half length Curragh maiden winner Verbal Dexterity. Richard Hannon’s highly rated De Bruyne Horse is set to make a quick reappearance after Royal Ascot while Charlie Appleby’s Aqabah and Folk Tale remain in the line up. 


A high class line up of 14 fillies stand their ground for the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes on Sunday with Dermot Weld’s Group 1 winner Zhukova heading the entries. 

Last month’s Man O’ War Stakes winner at Belmont may clash with Aidan O’Brien’s consistent four-year-old Somehow, while Journey (John Gosden), Nezwaah (Roger Varian), and Smart Call (Sir Michael Stoute) form a smart British representation. 


Last years Irish St Leger winner Wicklow Brave could be set to return to the scene of his finest triumph as he is among 14 left in the Comer Group Curragh Cup, while 2015 Irish Champion Stakes winner The Grey Gatsby is on course to make his seasonal debut in the Group 3 Finlay Volvo International Stakes. 


Entries can be viewed here.

Source: The Curragh Racecourse


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