Holland hopeful Dancer will take Curragh chance

DARRYLL HOLLAND is hoping the ground at the Curragh will be suitable for Dragon Dancer to take his chance in the Budweiser Irish Derby.

The state of the going will be paramount as connections decide whether to pay €100,000 to put the Vodafone Derby runner-up in Sunday’s feature at today’s supplementary stage.

Underfoot conditions are presently good to firm, although the aim is to introduce a little ease into the turf.

General manager Paul Hensey confirmed that the course will be watered over the next couple of days with officials keeping a very close eye on the weather throughout the week.

“Watering is continuing today and tomorrow and our objective is to start the meeting on good ground,” he said. “We will monitor the situation weather wise from Thursday onwards as there is a possibility of some heavier rain later in the week.”

Holland remains hopeful Dragon dancer will run but warned. “It’s a decision that is not going to be taken lightly. If conditions aren’t right he won’t run.

“He did come back a little bit sore from Epsom and missed his engagement at Royal Ascot.”

Holland reported Dragon Dancer, who is still a maiden, to be in tip-top form now.

“I sat on him the other morning. He did a nice piece of work on the Watered Gallop and stretched away from his galloping companion. He gave me a really nice feel,” he went on.

“He hasn’t surprised me this season. We always knew he had the potential there and he’s improved with every run. He was second to Papal Bull at Chester where he just got trapped a little bit wide and he improved for that run at Epsom.

“When I sat on him the other day, I felt he’s improved again.”

And Holland is looking forward to Dragon Dancer renewing rivalry with Dylan Thomas who was just a head behind the Geoff Wragg-trained colt at Epsom.

“Dylan Thomas had very much the run of the race at Epsom. Johnny (Murtagh) set a nice sedate pace and quickened up the straight but my horse was very brave. I’d like to think I could beat him again,” added the jockey.

Linda’s Lad has been ruled out of the Irish Derby.

The Andre Fabre-trained colt, who won the Lingfield Derby Trial before finishing ninth in the main event at Epsom, will instead remain in France for his next start.

Herve Barjot, racing manager to owner Sean Mulryan, said: “It was decided after the Derby that Linda’s Lad would have a break and, while he came back from there in very good form, we’re sticking to that.

“His next race is likely to be the Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte on July 23.”

Meanwhile, Red Bloom is among 10 standing their ground for the Group One Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday following the confirmation stage.

The five-year-old mare, owned by the Cheveley Park Stud and trained by Michael Stoute, was beaten a head by Alexander Goldrun in this mile-and-a-quarter feature 12 months ago.

The latter’s trainer Jim Bolger has also left in Tropical Lady while Aidan O’Brien is also currently double-handed with Kushnarenkovo and Queen Cleopatra.

There is a second possible British raider in Rajeem, trained by Clive Brittain, while the acceptors are completed by Ardbrae Lady, Chelsea Rose, Perfect Hedge and Tamazug.

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