Johnny Murtagh believes the Andre Fabre-trained Royal And Regal will be suited to conditions in the Budweiser Irish Derby at the Curragh.
Fabre’s charge, an impressive scorer at Longchamp on his last start, is joined in the line-up by compatriot Shamdinan, third behind Lawman in the French Derby.
“I rode Anton Chekhov to beat Royal And Regal in the Prix Hocquart at Longchamp and he looks like a lovely, big horse,” said Murtagh.
“I’d say he should suit the Curragh as he looks a galloping type and I’m really looking forward to riding him.
“Mr Fabre is a great trainer and any time he takes a horse outside France is worth noting – he wouldn’t be sending him over if he didn’t think he had a good chance.
“He knows what it takes to win the race, he’s won it before and I’m looking forward to a good ride.
“I rode in the Irish Derby for him last year and finished second (on Gentlewave) so I hope I can go one better.”
Kieren Fallon is odds-on with most bookmakers to ride his first Classic winner since his return from suspension.
The 42-year-old gets the leg-up on Aidan O’Brien’s Eagle Mountain, with the bookies hoping the ’Fallon Factor’ fails to materialise.
Runner-up behind Authorized in the Derby at Epsom, he has been installed as the 10-11 favourite by Coral and 5-6 with William Hill.
“Eagle Mountain’s second place behind runaway Derby winner Authorized ensures he’s a warm order for Sunday’s big race,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“The presence of Kieren Fallon in the saddle means he’ll be well supported on the day as well.”
O’Brien’s assault on the Classic does not end there, however, as he also saddles Soldier Of Fortune, Alexander Of Hales and Spanish Harlem.
Kevin Prendergast is hoping the likely cut in the ground will help Ballysax Stakes winner Mores Wells, who came back jarred up after his last start.
“He was a bit ’feely’ after the Derrinstown Trial but nothing that four or five days rest after didn’t fix,” said Prendergast.
“There will be cut in the ground this weekend and as he’s a Sadler’s Wells it suits most of those.
“His dam won over two miles so I wouldn’t have thought the step up to a mile and a half should prove a problem. I presume the extra two furlongs will be a big help to him.
“I’m hoping that he’ll be there or thereabouts.”
Mark Johnston runs the supplemented Boscobel and is hoping Sheikh Mohammed’s colt can add to his victory at Royal Ascot last week.
“He is in fantastic form. Obviously he wouldn’t have been supplemented if he wasn’t,” Johnston told Racing UK.
“He didn’t lose a lot of weight and put it all on again. We are delighted with him.”