Sugar Boy sold ahead of Derby date

Leading Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby contender Sugar Boy has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.

Sugar Boy sold ahead of  Derby date

The Authorized colt secured a determined victory in the Sandown Classic Trial on his most recent appearance for trainer Patrick Prendergast, notably beating subsequent Epsom Derby second and third Libertarian and Galileo Rock respectively.

He will run for Prendergast in this weekend’s Irish Classic, but will be switched to an unspecified trainer afterwards.

Prendergast said: “He has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, but we will continue to train him for the Irish Derby.

“That is what we’re focussing on and it would be absolutely great if he can go and win it. He’s in great form.

“He’s been a great servant to us, we’ll be sorry to see him leave, but there will be no long faces as we do sell horses on.”

The deal has been brokered by Blandford Bloodstock agent Stuart Boman, who did not want to disclose who the colt would be trained by after his Classic attempt on Saturday.

Boman said: “I can confirm the horse has been sold to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.

“He will stay with Patrick Prendergast, who has done such a fantastic job with the horse, until after he runs in the Irish Derby.

“After that he will be transferred.”

Asked which trainer he will be sent to, Boman said: “I would prefer not to say at this stage.”

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa has a long-standing association with leading South African trainer Mike de Kock and has also had horses in training in Britain with a number of handlers in recent years, including Mick Channon, Richard Fahey and Marco Botti.

Aidan O’Brien meanwhile is responsible for five of the 14 remaining fillies in the mix for Sunday’s Oxigen Environmental Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

The master of Ballydoyle has saddled two previous winners of the 10-furlong Group One in Peeping Fawn (2007) and Misty For Me (2011) and this year’s quintet is headed by 2012 Epsom Oaks heroine Was.

O’Brien also has last week’s Ribblesdale Stakes runner-up Just Pretending, Magical Dream, Say and Moth engaged, although the latter has been declared to run at Naas tonight.

John Gosden’s The Fugue was interestingly among the entries having run an excellent third on her seasonal reappearance in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, Curragh general manager Paul Hensey revealed on Twitter she would not be lining up this weekend.

He said: “The Fugue will not run in the Oxigen Pretty Polly Stakes. Her inclusion on the runner sheets is an administrative error.”

Among the leading contenders are Dermot Weld’s Princess Highway, Tommy Stack’s Alive Alive Oh and Kevin Prendergast’s La Collina.

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