Epsom hero Anthony van Dyke heads Aidan O'Brien's team of six for the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Derby at The Curragh on Saturday evening. The Ballydoyle maestro will have a team of up to six runners for the feature race of the year at the refurbished Co. Kildare track.
O'Brien spoke at an event to launch this year's Dubai Duty-Free Irish Derby where he confirmed Epsom jockey Seamie Heffernan will not be on board. The stable number one jockey Ryan Moore will ride the Derby winner Anthony van Dyke. Riding arrangements for the remaining runners have yet to be confirmed.
O'Brien is looking for a record 13th success in the race. Anthony van Dyke is looking to become O'Brien's fifth dual Epsom-Curragh derby winner. Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014) being the previous four.
Broome, who finished just behind Japan at Epsom will also line up At The Curragh. While Norway and Sovereign who finished down the field in the Derby will take their chances on Saturday. Il Paradiso, who will be stepping up from a maiden win last time out, runs. While Western Australia, well beaten at Ascot last week, makes up the remainder of the Ballydoyle battalion.
Three veterans of the training world and one with a fresher face are responsible for the remaining four runners. Dermot Weld, Kevin Prendergast and Jim Bolger have nearly a century and a half's worth of training experience between them while last year's winning trainer Joseph O' Brien is only 26 years old.
The Prendergast family are synonymous with racing on The Curragh and Kevin an octogenarian is looking to do like Joseph did last year and win a first Irish Derby. His father Paddy, won four. Madhmoon could crown an incredible career for Prendergast by winning his home Derby, having been narrowly denied at Epsom.
There are just ten runners for the feature event at twenty past five on Saturday evening. The action controversially clashes with the Kildare GAA qualifier scheduled at the same time. Curragh CEO Derek McGrath said earlier "...a lot people who will be here and will probably want to be in Newbridge and those in Newbridge who will probably want to be here." If Madhmoon delivers the first Derby for Kevin Prendergast, those in St Conleth's Park will wish they were at The Curragh.