Today’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby will incredibly be the very first time that trainers Jim Bolger, Kevin Prendergast and Dermot Weld will each have a runner in the same Irish Derby.
Between the three hugely respected legendary trainers they can boast 147 years of training experience with Prendergast, the longest serving with a trainer’s licence, hoping to finally break his duck in the Irish Derby with Madhmoon.
Prendergast took out his licence in 1963 and will turn 87 next Friday. The Curragh-based son of legendary trainer ‘Darkie’ Prendergast most recently enjoyed Classic success with Awtaad in 2016 and can has eight Irish classic victories at The Curragh in total.
Jim Bolger relies on Guaranteed in this year’s renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby but may be filled by confidence as the colt is following a similar path as the stables 2013 winner Trading Leather, having won the Silver Stakes en route to winning the Irish Derby.
Bolger began his training career in 1976 and his first Irish Derby winner St Jovite, under jockey Christy Roche, in 1992 has held onto the track record at The Curragh ever since. Give Thanks in the 1983 Irish Oaks was the first of six Irish classic victories for the Wexford native.
Weld is the nearest trainer to the Curragh Racecourse itself and his career began when he took out a trainer’s licence in 1972 while still riding as an accomplished amateur jockey.
Ireland’s winning-most trainer surpassed the 4,000 winner milestone in 2016 and has three Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby successes to his name, along with 15 other Irish classic winners.
Weld’s first Irish Derby winner was Zagreb in 1996, followed by Grey Swallow in 2004 and most recently the English/Irish Derby double winner Harzand in 2016. Rakan will be the Rosewell House representative this evening.
Aidan O’Brien is the fourth trainer to be represented in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby this year and he will seek a 13th success in the race as he saddles the Investec Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, Broome, Il Paradiso, Norway and Sovereign.