Dermot Weld admits Harzand concerns

Dermot Weld admits he would have preferred another week to prepare Harzand for Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Dermot Weld admits Harzand concerns

The Aga Khan-owned colt finally provided the legendary trainer with a first win in the Investec Derby at Epsom earlier this month despite some drama on the morning of the race.

Harzand pulled off a shoe in transit and also managed to prick the sole of his foot with a nail and it needed plenty of treatment to allow him to make the line-up at Epsom.

The rest is history, but all that effort took its toll on Harzand and Weld just hopes the Curragh Classic is not coming too soon.

“I’m satisfied with the horse, he had a tough race at Epsom and he’s just taken time to come out of the race, as you can understand,” he said.

“He’s a horse that gives his all, he’s a very courageous horse, and it just left its mark on him for the first week, but we’re more happy with him now.

“My concern now is that he’s over all that but he had to go on antibiotics for a few days to prevent infection and you never know what they take out of you at the time.

“I think he’s putting his weight back on and perking up. He’s moving very nicely and provided we’re satisfied with him on Thursday at declaration time, he’ll run on Saturday. The ground should be all right.

“My only worry is that he had a tough race and it took a lot out of him. It is definitely coming a week sooner than I’d like.

“The final decision will be made on the day of the race.”

Harzand is one of 11 possibles at the five-day stage, along with stablemate Ebediyin. There was on supplementary entry in Ed Dunlop’s Red Verdon, who was also supplemented for Epsom where he ran a fine race to finish sixth.

Aidan O’Brien has six remaining options. His Epsom second and third US Army Ranger and Idaho are joined by and Port Douglas and Shogun, who ran down the field on the Downs.

Claudio Monteverdi and surprisingly Queen’s Vase winner Sword Fighter are also in the mix.

Jim Bolger’s duo Moonlight Magic and Stellar Mass complete the list.

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