Irish Derby 2017: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Aidan O'Brien already has 11 Irish Derby victories to his name
Aidan O'Brien already has 11 Irish Derby victories to his name

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Irish Derby at the Curragh.

"Will stay this longer trip and acts on soft going, so has plenty in his favour..."

Irish Derby
Curragh
Saturday 1st July, 17:20

Capri (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan)
Big, strong colt whose three wins last season (all in a tongue-tie) included the Beresford Stakes at this course. Close third to Douglas Macarthur in Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May, and produced best effort yet when three and three quarter lengths sixth of 18 to Wings of Eagles in the Derby at Epsom last time, suited by the increase in trip (without looking at home on track).

Cracksman (John Gosden/Pat Smullen)
Well-made colt who showed useful form when winning first two starts, a two-year-old maiden at Newmarket and the Derby Trial at Epsom (by short head from Permian) on reappearance in April. Missed intended engagement in the Dante at York because of soft ground, but improved again when a length third to Wings of Eagles at Epsom last time, ridden much closer to the pace than other principals (on and off the bridle). Big player on that form but significant rain would be a worry.

Douglas Macarthur (Aidan O'Brien/Donnacha O'Brien)
Rather leggy colt who won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown (by head from Yucatan) in May, and did well under the circumstances when four and three quarter lengths seventh to Wings of Eagles at Epsom last time, setting strong pace but not headed until 1f out. Contender if given a more patient ride.

Dubai Sand (Jim Bolger/Kevin Manning)
Close-coupled colt who won a listed race at Leopardstown (by half a length from Diodorus) in 2016. Ninelengths fifth of six to Douglas Macarthur in Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at same course last time leaves him with plenty to find and needs to improve significantly for the longer trip.

Grandee (Jessica Harrington/Colm O'Donoghue)
Useful performer who won a maiden at the Curragh (by one and a quarter lengths from Dubai Sand) in 2016. Improved fore reappearance when a head-second in a 13f listed race at Navan and again showed stamina to be a forte when making all in a seven-runner listed race at Leopardstown last time by two and a quarter lengths from Eziyra. Needs to progress again.

Taj Mahal (Aidan O'Brien/Wayne Lordan)
Strong, good-bodied colt who won a nursery at Dundalk in 2016, his sole win from 12 starts. Has taken another step forward on last two starts, however, finishing one and a half lengths fourth to Brametot (Waldgeist second) in Prix du Jockey Club, before filling same position behind Benbatl in Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. Tried in a variety of headgear.

The Anvil (Aidan O'Brien/Miss Ana O'Brien)
Tall, rather lightly-made colt who won a maiden at Dundalk in March and was subsequently third to Venice Beach (Wings of Eagles second) in Chester Vase in May. Helped force pace in Derby at Epsom last time and pacemaking duties may await once more.

Waldgeist (Andrew Fabre/Pierre-Charles Boudot)
First foal of a half-sister to St Leger winner Masked Marvel, from the family of Deutsches Derby winner Waldpark. Two wins in 2016 included Criterium de Saint-Cloud (by length from Best Solution), and runner-up both starts this year, in Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud (beaten two and a half lengths by Recoletos) and Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly (by short head to Brametot, short of room 2f out and staying on well to lead final 50 yards but caught near line). Will stay this longer trip and acts on soft going, so has plenty in his favour.

Wings of Eagles (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore)
Considerately handled when second to Venice Beach in Chester Vase on reappearance, but much improved when winning 18-runner Derby at Epsom last time by three quarters of a length from Cliffs of Moher, coming from long way back and twice hampered in the straight. The way he surged to lead late on - in a style very reminiscent of his sire Pour Moi - suggests that he still has plenty more to offer, and he has the potential to establish himself more at the top level. Looks the pick of his trainer's runners.


Timeform Irish Derby 1-2-3
1. Wings of Eagles
2. Waldgeist
3. Cracksman

Timeform Analyst's Irish Derby Verdict:
WINGS OF EAGLES sprang a real surprise when taking the Epsom Derby last month, but there looked to be little fluke about that success and there's no reason why he can't develop into a high-class performer in time. He can enhance his reputation by following up here. French Derby runner-up Waldgeist should appreciate this stiffer test and is much respected, whilst Cracksman also enters calculations.

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