O'Brien horses dominate Irish Derby line-up

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for nearly half of the field at the confirmation stage for Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for nearly half of the field at the confirmation stage for Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The Ballydoyle handler could saddle five of 12 possible runners in the Group One contest.

Odds-on favourite Eagle Mountain, runner-up to Authorized at in the Vodafone Derby at Epsom, may be joined in the final line-up by Yellowstone, Soldier Of Fortune, Alexander Of Hales and Spanish Harlem.

The two other Irish-trained acceptors are Kevin Prendergast's Mores Wells and Prince Erik, trained by Dermot Weld.

Royal Ascot winner Boscobel has been supplemented for the race.

Connections have decided to go for Classic glory following the all-the-way win by Sheikh Mohammed's progressive colt in the King Edward VII Stakes last Friday.

"He's very well and is in great shape. I'm very pleased with him and quite amazed how's he come out of Ascot," said trainer Mark Johnston.

Peter Chapple-Hyam, who won the Epsom Derby with Authorized, relies on Striving Storm, while the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Al Shemali completes a three-strong British contingent.

Two French-trained horses - Shamdinan, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, and Andre Fabre's Royal And Regal - make up those standing their ground for the Irish Derby.

Bookmakers William Hill have installed Eagle Mountain as their 4-5 favourite.

Hills spokesman Tony Kenny said: "On paper, Eagle Mountain looks like a worthy favourite for the race.

"He's a fairly short price at 4-5, but with Kieren Fallon set to take the ride, it's almost guaranteed that he'll go off a shorter price on the day."

The going at the Curragh is currently described as good to yielding and yielding on the straight course.

"It is forecast to be relatively dry for the rest of the week and then we're expecting some rain over the weekend, but at this stage it's difficult to say just how much and when," said racecourse manager Paul Hensey.

"Luckily we have escaped the heavy rain that has hit the UK.

"Hopefully it will remain dry for the rest of the week and we will see what the weekend brings."

Budweiser Irish Derby

William Hill Bet: 4-5 Eagle Mountain, 5-1 Shamdinan, 13-2 Boscobel, 8-1 Royal And Regal, 9-1 Soldier Of Fortune, 16-1 Al Shemali, Mores Wells, 25-1 Prince Erik, Yellowstone, 33-1 Striving Storm, 50-1 Alexander Of Hales, 66-1 Spanish Harlem.

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