Travelling the key to Darsi bid

ALAIN de Royer-Dupre is concerned about how Budweiser Irish Derby favourite Darsi handles the flight over from France.

The Aga Khan-owned colt, a classy winner of the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) over 10 and a half furlongs last time out, has never flown before but will touch down in Dublin today ahead of Sunday’s big race at the Curragh.

While happy with Darsi’s current well-being, De Royer-Dupre is keeping his fingers crossed the mount of Christophe Soumillon, supplemented for the race to the tune of €100,000, will still be in top shape on the eve of the mile-and-a-half contest.

“He looks well but I’m only afraid about the travelling by plane – he has never been on a plane before,” said De Royer-Dupre.

“Apart from that everything is good.

“He worked very well on Monday and had a gallop at Chantilly on Monday.

“Christophe is very happy and knows the track well and I think we have a chance – I am just afraid of the travelling.”

By contrast, connections of Best Name, who flies over with Darsi from France, are confident the son of King’s Best will be unfazed by the journey to Ireland.

Robert Collet’s colt, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, is an 11-2 chance with William Hill after finishing second in the French Derby at Chantilly, only three-quarters of a length in arrears of Darsi.

Prior to that, Best Name was singled out as a really progressive type after winning a Listed race at Longchamp with some authority.

“He is very mentally-balanced horse and the travelling will not be a problem for him,” said Collet. “He is very well and is in perfect shape and perfect health.

“We have (stall) number four which will be a help as well I think.

“We are sure that he can get 2400 metres (12 furlongs) and Christophe Lemaire will ride him.

“He worked very well on Monday and I am sure he can improve for his run at Chantilly.”

Italian Derby winner Gentlewave, trained by Andre Fabre and ridden by Johnny Murtagh, has also been supplemented for the race.

Lincoln Collins, racing manager to owner Gary Tanaka, reported the son of Monsun to be firmly on course for the Irish equivalent after his impressive four-length success at Capannelle.

“He won the Italian Derby impressively and we’ll take our chance,” said Collins.

“As always with these races you wonder how the Italian form is going to translate but he did it easily and impressively.

“Andre thought he was worth supplementing and so Gary went ahead and did it.”

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