Australia can claim second Derby in style

If Roger Varian decides not to run Kingston Hill in this evening’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh then that will obviously rob the race of much of its interest.

Varian continues to be worried about the likelihood of fast ground, so the Curragh executive will be praying he gives the son of Mastercraftsman the green light.

Hopefully, Kingston Hill will face the starter and that will afford him another opportunity to lower the colours of Aidan O’Brien’s potential champion, Australia.

The pair clashed in the Epsom Derby, with Australia beating his rival a length and a quarter into second. That was a magnificent performance by Australia, considering O’Brien’s horses were struggling badly at the time.

Fascinating Rock, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kingfisher and Orchestra were all down the field at Epsom and it will be a major shock should any of them prove good enough now, while John Oxx’s Ponfeigh simply looks outclassed.

Australia, no matter who lines up against him, to win and win in style has to be the confident prediction.

O’Brien’s Giovanni Boldini is the nap choice in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Millenium Millionaire Celebration Stakes.

He ran his best race to date when third to Mustajeeb in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and can be fancied to build on that.

Another O’Brien possibility is Cape Clear Island in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises EBF Maiden. The Fastnet Rock colt certainly made a promising start when runner-up behind Ger Lyons’ Bertie Le Belge at the Curragh earlier this month.

At headquarters tomorrow, John Oxx’s Ebanoran gets the nap in the Group 3 Friarstown Stud International Stakes. He failed to stay when only ninth behind Australia in the Epsom Derby and two furlongs less to travel and far weaker opposition should prove to his liking.

Dermot Weld’s Pale Mimosa, especially if there is an easing in the surface, can land the Group 3 At The Races Curragh Cup.

She swerved the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot because the ground was deemed to be too quick, having made an excellent start to the campaign when third to Leading Light at Navan.

Weld’s Stormfly is the one to beat in the Grangecon Stud Stakes. She improved plenty from her first two outings to fill third spot behind Beach Belle in a Listed event at Naas last time.

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