Oxx to wait for Irish Derby with Akeed Mofeed

Akeed Mofeed will miss the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas due to a minor setback.

John Oxx’s three-year-old was forced to bypass the Newmarket Guineas and had been second favourite for the Investec Derby at Epsom before he was also ruled out of the Derrinstown Derby Trial last weekend.

As Oxx was not prepared to take him to Epsom without a run, the Irish Classics were to be his aim but the plan has had to be rejigged again.

Oxx now hopes to prepare him for a tilt at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on June 30 at the Curragh instead.

“He won’t be ready in time for the Irish Guineas, it will be too much of a rush for him,” said Oxx.

“The annoying thing is it’s nothing serious, just a little tweak, but they take time to get over.

“At this stage of the season, all the races come at you fast and it doesn’t need to be much for you to miss a few of them.

“Hopefully he’ll come right some time next week and we’ll take it from there and start preparing him for the Irish Derby.”

Meanwhile, Ascot Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory is due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan on Sunday.

Aidan O’Brien’s champion stayer, who also won on Champions Day at Ascot, is a short-priced favourite to follow up in the Gold Cup again this year.

He is one of 13 entries in this weekend’s Listed race and could be joined by stablemate Grand Admiral.

Dermot Weld has entered a pair of classy mares in Unaccompanied and Sense Of Purpose, while Notable Graduate could also represent the master of Rosewell.

All three Weld entries are owned by Moyglare Stud.

Jessica Harrington has entered both Bob Le Beau and Steps To Freedom.

The sole British entry is Mark Johnston’s Eternal Heart.

lAndrew Balding’s Derby hope Bonfire puts his reputation on the line in tomorrow’s Betfred Dante Stakes at York.

An easy winner on his debut at Salisbury last season, he was an unlucky third in a Group One in France at the end of the campaign.

That form has since been boosted by the winner, French Fifteen, who ran so well to finish second in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-owned Bonfire was supposed to run at Chester last week but the desperate conditions saw Balding change his plans at the last minute and re-route his charge to the Knavesmire.

He is unlikely to have it all his own way, however, with John Gosden’s 2000 Guineas sixth Fencing bringing Classic form to the table after a good juvenile campaign which saw him finish third behind Guineas winner Camelot at Doncaster.

Roger Varian’s Ektihaam is the only one of the seven declared runners to have won this season.

The giant colt finished last in the Dewhurst but showed that to be all wrong when returning this season with a smooth performance at Newbury.

Godolphin’s Mandaean was unbeaten in France last season for Andre Fabre, including a Group One at Saint Cloud. He has since joined Mahmood Al Zarooni.

Another viable candidate is Aidan O’Brien’s Ernest Hemingway. A few dry days in Yorkshire have encouraged O’Brien to let the once-raced 10-length maiden winner take his chance.

Clive Cox has declared the maiden Dream Tune, while Bryan Smart runs 2000 Guineas seventh Ptolemaic. Henry Cecil has decided against running both Noble Mission and Wrotham Heath.

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