O’Brien trio get Irish Derby go-ahead

AIDAN O’BRIEN plans to have three big contenders in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby as he goes for a sixth successive win in the Classic at the Curragh on Sunday week.

The Ballydoyle trainer is looking to Treasure Beach, Memphis Tennessee and Recital giving him a total of nine victories in the race.

The trio finished second, fourth and sixth respectively in the Investec Derby, and O’Brien reports all three to be on course for their second Derby.

Other likely Irish-trained contenders including Kevin Prendergast’s Dunboyne Express and Notable Graduate, who will aim to give trainer Dermot Weld his third success in the race.

Native Khan, trained in Newmarket by Ed Dunlop, is also set for the Curragh after staying on well to finish fifth behind Pour Moi at Epsom.

Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien feels the Curragh will suit Misty For Me much better than Epsom when she lines up in the Stobart Ireland Pretty Polly Stakes on June 25.

The filly landed the Irish 1000 Guineas at Irish racing’s Headquarters last month but could finish only fifth in the Oaks at Epsom.

However, the Ballydoyle handler has revealed that Misty For Me failed to act around the unique cambers of the Surrey venue, and the more galloping track at home will suit her much better.

Dual Oaks heroine Snow Fairy will make her first start of the season in the Pretty Polly.

Last seen in the Far East winning the Hong Kong Cup, the four-year-old was forced to miss the Dubai Sheema Classic through a setback, but is set to return.

“This has been the plan for Snow Fairy for some time now and it’s all systems go,” said trainer Ed Dunlop.

* AIDAN O’Brien’s Await The Dawn heads a field of 10 declared for tomorrow’s Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Group Two event announced Harbinger on to the big stage 12 months ago and Michael Stoute’s charge went on to win the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in spectacular fashion.

Await The Dawn has won four of his five starts, most recently landing the Huxley Stakes with the minimum of fuss at Chester.

Godolphin are strongly represented with three runners. Saeed bin Suroor has Campanologist (Ted Durcan), no match for So You Think in Ireland on his last start and Passion For Gold (Mickael Barzalona), while Mahmood Al Zarooni runs Calvados Blues (Johnny Murtagh) who was third to Rewilding in the Sheema Classic.

Luca Cumani’s Afsare is on a retrieval mission while Cumani also runs the supplemented Drunken Soldier who will be ridden by Olivier Peslier.

If the rain continues to fall that will suit Clive Cox’s Poet.

First-season trainer Roger Varian runs Laaheb, with Harris Tweed and King’s Gambit complete the field.

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