Jim Bolger, trainer of long-time Derby favourite Dawn Approach, was impressed by the Aidan-O’Brien-trained Magician’s win in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
Magician was one of 15 runners left in the race yesterday.
“I thought Magician’s performance on Saturday was very smart,” he said.
Bolger confirmed Trading Leather had been left in the race in case anything happened to Dawn Approach.
He said: “Trading Leather has been left in the Investec Derby as a precaution. If anything were to happen to Dawn Approach, I would run Trading Leather.
“Dawn Approach is continuing to please me and I am looking forward to running him on Saturday.
While Dawn Approach has a big question mark over his stamina on pedigree, the same cannot be said of Dante Stakes winner Libertarian and Epsom Classic Trial scorer Mirsaale.
Libertarian is trained by Eliane Burke and her husband and assistant, Karl said: “Dawn Approach is a superb horse, trained by a genius, and he’s the one to beat, but he’s got more questions to answer as far as the trip goes than we have.”
The Dante is usually seen as the best trial in England but because the Elaine Burke-trained Libertarian lowered some lofty reputations at York, many were quick to write it off as a poor renewal.
However, the trainer’s husband and assistant, Karl Burke, feels he will be even better over an extra two furlongs.
“He’s crying out for a trip. He’s not a mile and a quarter horse,” said Burke on At The Races.
“People are telling me it was a moderate Dante but the second horse (Trading Leather) has been third in a Classic (Irish 2,000 Guineas) and time will tell how good a race it was, but I can tell you this fellow will only improve for going further.
“He ran a great race at York, a lot of people haven’t given the horse the credit he deserves. He’s come an awful long way in a very short time.”
Dawn Approach will face a maximum of 14 opponents after German contender Chopin has been supplemented at a cost of £75,000 by Andreas Wohler.
Aidan O’Brien can also call on Derrinstown Trial winner Battle Of Marengo, Newmarket Guineas sixth Mars, unbeaten Chester Vase winner Ruler Of The World, Flying The Flag and Festive Cheer.
Andrew Oliver’s First Cornerstone, who ran a pleasing race when fifth in the Irish Guineas on what was his seasonal reappearance, is another possible for Ireland along with David Wachman’s Galileo Rock.
Andre Fabre took the spoils two years ago with Pour Moi and has followed a similar route to Epsom with Ocovango.
The John Ryan-trained Ocean Applause is the only other potential runner trained in Britain.
Dawn Approach is the 10-11 market leader with Coral, whose spokesman David Stevens said: “His closest challenger in the betting could turn out to be a fellow 2000 Guineas winner in Magician, and if the latter makes a quick reappearance on Saturday, Joseph O’Brien’s decision on who he rides could well determine whether Magician or Battle Of Marengo starts clear second-favourite to the Godolphin colt.”
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