Racing: Rule Of Law aims for revenge at Curragh

On a damp, blustery Newmarket Heath yesterday morning, the Godolphin team put the finishing touches to Rule Of Law ahead of his third clash with North Light in Sunday's 139th Irish Derby. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the Kingmambo colt breezed seven furlongs on the bridle on the section of the historic Limekilns gallops known as the Trial Ground.

On a damp, blustery Newmarket Heath yesterday morning, the Godolphin team put the finishing touches to Rule Of Law ahead of his third clash with North Light in Sunday's 139th Irish Derby. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the Kingmambo colt breezed seven furlongs on the bridle on the section of the historic Limekilns gallops known as the Trial Ground.

And a tidy trial it looked too, if you did not know that North Light already had the best out of three in the bag. The blues' racing manager, Simon Crisford, was perfectly level-headed later about Rule Of Law's prospects of revenging defeats in the Dante Stakes at York and then in the big one at Epsom. "There's no evidence anywhere in the book that we should do," he said. "The other horse beat us fair and square on both occasions. But a horse like ours, a high-class middle-distance three-year-old, belongs at the Curragh on the last Sunday in June. And that's where he's going."

Rule Of Law must finish at least third in Sunday's £800,000 showpiece to recoup the £47,000 late entry fee needed on Monday to get him into the race after he missed last week's King Edward VII Stakes because of a low-grade upper respiratory tract infection. That can be translated as a slight head cold but the Kleenex and Lemsip are no longer needed.

"He has improved since Epsom," said trainer Saeed bin Suroor after watching his charge pull up, "and we had had no problems with him until just before Ascot. But he's healthy now." A length and a half separated North Light, who will have his final pipe-opener tomorrow, and Rule Of Law in the Derby, with Let The Lion Roar and Percussionist two heads behind. The last-two named will be in Sunday's field as well, which will make it the first time ever that all four Epsom principals meet again in Ireland. "We live in hope and we're going there positively, but realistically," added Crisford. "Rule Of Law seems to be progressing and he will certainly be better suited by the Curragh track than Epsom. But I have to say that the same probably applies just as much to North Light."

Percussionist's stablemate Day Flight, beaten only a length and a quarter when fourth in the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly earlier in the month, was given the green light for his second Classic after his work yesterday morning. The heavy rain that has eased the going at the Curragh to good-to-firm was good news for the connections of the two Manton inmates, both sons of Sadler's Wells. "The Almighty has been looking after us," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Day Flight's owner Khaled Abdullah.

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