Leopardstown will stage its premier Classic trial fixture this Sunday with the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial attracting a dozen entries which include last month’s Ballysax Stakes winner, Nelson.
Nelson is set to spearhead Aidan O’Brien’s quest for a 12th victory in the prestigious 10-furlong trial, which he first won with Risk Material in 1998.
The Pentagon, who was third in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy behind Saxon Warrior last year, is another possible Ballydoyle representative and has been entered in the race alongside stable companions Delano Roosevelt, James Cook and Zabriskie.
Jessica Harrington’s Gowran Park maiden winner, The King, is an Irish 2000 Guineas and Irish Derby entry and a notable inclusion in the Derrinstown Derby Trial Stakes. The King defeated Dermot Weld’s Irish 2000 Guineas bound Imaging last September and looks a smart colt for the County Kildare trainer.
This Sunday will mark Derrinstown’s 34th year sponsoring the Derby Trial, making it one of the longest standing sponsorships in Irish racing and looking ahead to this weekends feature race O’Brien commented; “The Derrinstown is always an important race as a trial and Nelson, Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon would look likely to be our three like runners at the moment.”
A strong list of 16 entries have been received for the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial. Aidan O’Brien again holds a strong hand with four of the early nominations including the Group 2 winner, Magical.
Who’s Steph, an impressive Group 3 winner at Leopardstown last month, is set to make her debut for new owner George Strawbridge while Yorkshire trainer Karl Burke could be represented by Group 3 winner Ellthea, who made a successful trip to Naas last season. Mary Tudor may look to book her place in the Irish 1000 Guineas after impressing in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan last month for trainer Willie McCreery.
McCreery said on Tuesday; “Mary Tudor has come out of her first run of the season really well. Sunday will be on better ground again and back over the Guineas trip to it will be a nice trial for her. I feel the better the ground the better she will be and it was just nice to get that win with her as she had some very good form last year. She is growing and maturing all the time and she’s getting more relaxed too so we are looking forward to Sunday.”
Sunday’s card also looks set to stage a vintage renewal of the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes in which Jim Bolger’s well bred filly Goldrush could look to extend her unbeaten run as could Fozzy Stack’s two-time winner Zihba.