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

The O'Briens will team up with Ruler of The World

Timeform run the rule over the nine runners set to go to post in the Irish Derby...

Ruler of The World won his maiden here (1¼m) in April before landing the 4-runner Chester Vase, and improved again to take the Derby at Epsom 4 weeks ago by 1½ lengths. Will continue to take all the beating.


Cap O'rushes won his first 2 starts and has shown useful form in defeat since, fourth in the 18-runner King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. However, plenty more improvement required to feature here.

Festive Cheer ran out an easy winner of a Dundalk maiden at 2 yrs and improved again when narrow third in an 11f Longchamp Group 2 on return. Ran as well as could be expected when tenth behind Ruler of The World in the Derby.

Galileo Rock is closely related to the high-class stayer Saddler's Rock. Not beaten far when third in the Sandown Classic Trial on return and filled the same position in the Derby 4 weeks ago. Place claim again.

Libertarian dented some lofty reputations when finding plenty to win the Dante, and was finishing best of all in the Derby earlier this month, grabbing second late on. Open to further improvement.

Little White Cloud won a 1m Dundalk maiden in November, and has posted smart efforts in defeat in a pair of 1¼m Group races since. May do better still stepped up to this trip, but difficult to fancy here.

Ralston Road won a 1½m maiden at Leopardstown and an 11.4f handicap at Chester last month before finishing mid-field in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last week. Fitted in first-time blinkers here.

Ruler of The World won his maiden here (1¼m) in April before landing the 4-runner Chester Vase, and improved again to take the Derby at Epsom 4 weeks ago by 1½ lengths. Will continue to take all the beating.

Sugar Boy made up into a smart performer at 2 yrs, completing a hat-trick in a 9f listed event at Leopardstown, and had Galileo Rock and Libertarian behind when landing the Sandown Classic Trial in April.

Trading Leather won the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket in October, and placed in the Dante and Irish 2000 Guineas before improving again to take the listed Silver Stakes here (1¼m) earlier this month.

Timeform 1-2-3:
1. Ruler of The World
2. Libertarian
3. Galileo Rock

Timeform View: Aidan O'Brien's 3 previous Epsom Derby winners, namely Galileo, High Chaparral and Camelot, all followed-up in this event and Ruler of The World, who was value for more than the 1½ length winning distance 4 weeks ago, looks set to add to that tally. It wouldn't be a surprise if Libertarian and Galileo Rock are the ones to chase him home again.

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