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As Donn McClean prepares for the Investec Derby, he makes a critical assessment of the Irish team and is looking outside the six members from Ballydoyle to find a good selection. Blackbook.com.au reports on his progress.
Any conversation about the Investec Derby has to start with Aiden O’Brien, he has sent out six Derby winners so far and therefore is not a person to be ignored. This is just one short of the all-time record. He is also responsible for seven of the thirteen horses in the line-up this year, so the chances are high that he can get another winner.
Once you have cracked who is going to be the best of that bunch, then you are well on your way to finding your Derby winner. But it is never that easy, with so many good horses in the running you have to be careful. Take High Chaparral, for example. He had a more significant price than Hawk Wing, and Ruler of the World out prices Battle Of Marengo. Sir Dragonet is a horse that sits at a shorter price than all twelve of the other horses including his six stablemates, and he had an impressive run in the Chester Vase last time out. A race that has seen a number of Derby winners do well at, including Ruler of the World as mentioned above and harking back to the eighties both Shergar and Henbit did well at the race before going on to win the Derby.
Sir Dragonet maybe the lesser fancied horse of the two colts that are running from the Ballydoyle stable, but there is total confidence in the way he runs in a relaxed manner, and in the Chester Vase, his jockey Donnacha O’Brien had such confidence in him that he knew he was going to be the winner before he attained his eight lengths lead to make it an easy victory in an impressive performance.
He isn’t always known for being on the short odds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will give a bad performance. Back in his debut in Tipperary in April, while running a twelve-furlong maiden his odds were out at 14/1, but that didn’t stop him giving an impressive performance over more fancied stablemates.
He class is obviously what is surprising, and despite the fact that he has ridden in just two races so far, the performances have been impressive. Alongside the fact that he is being ridden by Ryan Moore, then it is no wonder he is the clear favourite going into the race. But he is short, and for that reason, he may be beaten. And Madhmoon is one horse that could do it. He is a top-class juvenile horse that has put in some good performances, in particular at the one-mile maiden at Leopardstown in his debut. He stepped it up from there performing in the Group 2 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes at the same course back in September during the Irish Champions Weekend.