Derby Lowdown: Tuesday's history date, classy Hornby praises Keane's Curragh class

All the latest gallops gossip ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Champion Jockey Colin Keane's 'Curragh class' was hailed by the jockey he'll replace on Saturday favourite Westover

Champion Jockey Colin Keane's 'Curragh class' was hailed by the jockey he'll replace on Saturday favourite Westover

Aidan O'Brien's decision to fire Tuesday at this weekend's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby has turned a headline act into a showstopper, writes James Toney.

There isn't much that O'Brien hasn't achieved in racing, with the Derby victories of Galileo and Camelot right up there in sporting folklore.

But the trainer who has won the race more than any other - 14 times and counting - could achieve a first if Epsom Oaks hero Tuesday demonstrates her undoubted girl power at the Curragh on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday has already delivered Ballydoyle one bit of history this year - winning a record 41st English Classic for O'Brien to move him into a league of his own.

The last filly to win the Derby was Frankie Dettori's Balanchine in 1994 and since then only four have even attempted it. Qualify, who like Tuesday won the Oaks, was sixth to Jack Hobbs in 2015, while Joseph O'Brien's New York Girl was seventh two years ago.

It would also be some story for Ryan Moore - who has never won the Irish Derby and arrives at the Curragh having claimed a ninth career top jockey title at Royal Ascot.

Classy Hornby praises Curragh quality of Keane

Rob Hornby admitted he was 'deeply disappointed' by the decision to stand him down from the ride on leading British contender and market favourite Westover.

Hornby has partnered Ralph Beckett's charge in all five of his races, including an eye-catching third place at the Epsom Derby.

But connections wanted three-time Champion Jockey Colin Keane to take the ride, given his experience of winning big races around the Curragh.

Local knowledge is seen as important at the Curragh and Hornby has ridden at the track just once, Keane has ridden 99 winners and two Classics.

“I was made aware [of the decision] on Saturday morning. I was actually galloping him that morning," Hornby told RacingTV.  "I also had a sit on him again on Monday and he's in great shape. It’s deeply disappointing for myself, but to have had that that opportunity of riding him in the Derby in the first place was a great privilege.

“Obviously, Colin has an association with Juddmonte Farms in Ireland and has ridden them lots of notable winners and he's a three-times champion jockey in Ireland. He’s an exceptional talent and a very good rider. I've had one ride at The Curragh but Colin knows it like the back of his hand."

Ryan replaces Dettori on Donnacha's Piz Badile

Donnacha O'Brien has also made a jockey change on the colt he fired at the Epsom Derby - replacing Frankie Dettori with Gavin Ryan.

Piz Badile won the Ballysax Stakes narrowly at Leopardstown but clearly didn't handle Epsom, finishing well off the pace in 12th.

"He didn't run his race, so we don't really know if he'll run a mile and a half, we will get a better guide at the Curragh," he said. "He's coming out of Epsom well and this is an even track and it'll suit him better."

Aidan O'Brien Irish Derby winners 
Desert King (1997)
Galileo (2001)
High Chaparral (2002)
Dylan Thomas (2006)
Soldier of Fortune (2007)
Frozen Fire (2008)
Fame and Glory (2009)
Cape Blanco (2010)
Treasure Beach (2011)
Camelot (2012)
Australia (2014)
Capri (2017)
Sovereign (2019)
Santiago (2020)

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