Irish Derby Preview: O’Brien holds a strong hand in this domestic only affair

The current Covid-19 situation has pushed the Irish and Epsom Derby’s to within a week of each other and the Curragh will get their big race underway first on Saturday afternoon. The likelihood of any overseas runners travelling to the Curragh this weekend is extremely remote and as such, Ireland’s premier classic looks set to be purely a domestic affair. With that in mind, Aiden O’Brien holds an extremely powerful hand as he seeks a fourteenth success in this race.

The ante-post list has long been dominated by the Ballydoyle stable and Vatican City is a general 11/4 punt to go one better than his second-place finish in the Irish 2,000 Guineas earlier this month. The Aidan O’Brien-trained runner finished to some effect in what was a rough race at the Curragh although he finished a length and three-quarters behind the winner. The colt is a 16/1 punt in the Epsom Derby betting whereas his stable companion Russian Emperor  is priced as low as 8/1 in some quarters.

Mogul could only manage a fourth-place finish in the King Edward VII Stakes at last week’s Royal Ascot and the highly-rated runner features in the betting for both the Irish and Epsom Derbies.

In reality there is a dearth of Derby contenders across the Republic of Ireland and this throws open the question of just how Aidan O’Brien will divide his resources, something that will clearly have a big impact on the Curragh race this weekend. The picture will undoubtedly become much clearer following the acceptance stage for the Irish Derby on Tuesday.


Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Winner – William Hill Odds


3/1  –  Vatican City

5/1  –  Innisfree

6/1  –  Russian Emperor

7/1  –  Armory

7/1  –  Mogul

7/1  –  Arthurs Kingdom

10/1 –  Crossfirehurricane

12/1 –  Santiago

14/1 –  Fiscal Rules

16/1 –  Tiger Moth

16/1 –  Mythical

20/1 –  Sinawann

20/1 –  Cormorant

20/1 –  Degraves

20/1 –  Louisiana

25/1 –  Numen

25/1 –  Shekhem

25/1 –  Royal Dornoch

25/1 –  Dune Of Pilat

33/1 –  Emperor Of The Sun

33/1 –  Iberia

33/1 –  Chiricahua

33/1 –  Eastern World

33/1 –  Agitare

33/1 –  Gold Maze

50/1 –  Nobel Prize

50/1 –  Amhram Na Bhfiann

50/1 –  Sunchart

100/1 – Taramansour