Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien heads to Curragh on Irish Derby with 10 runners, as well as one at Newcastle, and discusses their chances in his exclusive column...
"He has to carry top weight, but he earned it with the form he showed last season, so hopefully he can justify it with a big run."
Looking for Speak in Colours to rediscover sparkle
Speak In Colours has been a brilliant horse for us, but he has been a bit slow to find his form this season. He's normally very reliable at the Curragh, but his last two runs there have still been below form. We're hoping that he comes back around to himself in the near future and this course and distance has suited him really well in the past, so hopefully he shows more sparkle in this.
Russian River has acquitted herself well since dropping back to sprinting, but she probably just found five furlongs at Cork a shade sharp for her last time. This course and distance should suit her well and while she has to find improvement to get seriously involved, it wouldn't be a surprise if she ran well.
French Rain is entitled to run well
French Rain made a really promising start for us when second in a handicap at Limerick earlier this month. She showed plenty of pace to travel into the race stylishly that day, so we're hoping she'll be effective back at this shorter trip. This is a stronger race, but she is entitled to run well.
Dilawara is a nice filly that joined us late last year and has settled in well. Her owners have been very lucky with us in recent years with the likes of Red Tea and Mighty Blue, so hopefully this filly will be another good buy for them. We'll be happy if she shows good promise for the future.
Stepping up in a strong race
Things didn't go right for Andreas Visalius in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. He missed the kick and met with interference entering the closing stages, so we don't think he ran too badly at all in mid-division. We've been looking forward to stepping him up in trip and hopefully he'll run well in what looks a really strong race.
Trio offer plenty to look forward to
We took a chance by running Southern Lights in the Derby and it didn't work out. He didn't enjoy the track at all and it was all a bit much for him at this early stage of his career. The aim here is just to get him back on track, as we still feel he is potentially a high-class colt. We are trying him in blinkers as he has always had a very laid-back way about him and they might just sharpen him up back over this shorter trip. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.
Raise You got back to his best when winning a handicap at this track earlier this season and probably just did too much too soon at Leopardstown last time. The round track should suit him well here and he won a Listed race over this trip much earlier in his career, so hopefully he'll run a strong race.
Dawn Patrol is a lovely horse that showed a high-class level of form when training in Ballydoyle last season. We've given him plenty of time to settle into his new regime and he's ready to start off now. This trip is obviously likely to be short of his best, but it represents a nice starting point for him and we are looking forward to seeing how he shapes.
Lovely horse looking to build on last season
State Of Rest had a little setback in the spring that slowed down his return, so as a consequence he has to start off against his elders here. He'll come on from the run, but he showed a high level of form last season and can hopefully show that he retains that sort of ability this season. He's a lovely horse.
Longer trip makes us hopeful of big run
Shoshone Warrior ran with promise on his first start for us at the Curragh earlier this month, just racing a bit fresh and paying the price late on. He should have progressed from that run and this longer trip will suit him. He has to carry top weight, but he earned it with the form he showed last season, so hopefully he can justify it with a big run.
Should relish stamina test
This is a race we've had in mind for Grandmaster Flash for a while, as he seems particularly effective on all-weather surfaces and should enjoy the stamina test that this race presents. He ran well in the Chester Cup considering he got hampered at the start and he seems in great order at home. Dylan has won on him the two times he has ridden him and hopefully he'll run a good race.
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