New Approach remains a short-priced favourite for Sunday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby – despite continuing doubts about his participation.
Trainer Jim Bolger is planning to leave it until the 11th hour before making a decision on his Epsom Derby winner, who was said to be “not 100% comfortable” in his box on Friday.
Bolger said: “There’s no update and nothing really to add to what I said yesterday evening.
“There is less heat in the foot and we are treating it.”
Paddy Power still have New Approach as the 10-11 favourite to confirm the Epsom form with runner-up Tartan Bearer and third Casual Conquest.
Tartan Bearer is reported to have arrived safely at the track but Sir Michael Stoute and big-race rider Ryan Moore appreciate the task they face if New Approach turns up in top form.
Stoute said: “He flew over and seems to be in good shape, but he will need to be.
“The ground will be fine and hopefully he will run a good race.”
Moore added: “He is in good order but I do think the favourite will be hard to beat.
“My horse is very tough. I hope he has progressed from Epsom and I think he will run a big race.”
No fewer than six horses who finished behind New Approach at Epsom take their chance again on Sunday.
Curtain Call was 10th on that occasion but he was only three lengths behind New Approach in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh when trained by Jessica Harrington last year.
Now with Luca Cumani, the Newmarket handler admits he is just looking for some kind of improvement on his disappointing Epsom run.
He said: “I am very happy with the horse but I am not so happy with the opposition as it looks strong!
“He has been working well and is in good form and happy in himself.
“I am hoping that his run at Epsom was not his true form and while I would be hard-pushed to say that he would have finished better than fifth or sixth, I would like to think that on his true merits, he wouldn’t have been 10th.
“I will be relieved if he runs a good race.”
Curtain Call is a 14-1 chance with Paddy Power, who make Tartan Bearer and Casual Conquest 11-4 and 5-1 chances respectively to topple New Approach this time.
Stan James have announced they will refund all wagers, including ante-post bets, on New Approach if he does not make it to post in the Irish Classic.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby betting:
Paddy Power: 10-11 New Approach, 11-4 Tartan Bearer, 5-1 Casual Conquest, 11-1 Alessandro Volta, 14-1 Curtain Call, 25-1 bar.
Stan James: 10-11 New Approach, 9-4 Tartan Bearer, 11-2 Casual Conquest, 12-1 Alessandro Volta, 14-1 Curtain Call, 20-1 Washington Irving, 25-1 bar.