Racing: High-Rise top of Irish odds

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THE FORM of last Saturday's Derby at Epsom received approval from a significant judge yesterday when Liam Cashman, one of Ireland's leading bookmakers, issued the first odds on the Irish Derby at the Curragh a fortnight on Sunday.

The race is expected to see the first meeting in Ireland since 1993 of the winners of the English and French Derbys, with both High-Rise and Dream Well, winner of the Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) at Chantilly, among the intended runners. Cashman's, though, believe that City Honours, who went down by just a neck to High-Rise at Epsom, is a more likely winner than Dream Well.

Indeed, the pair are even closer in the betting than they were on the racecourse five days ago, with both priced at 2-1 for the Irish Derby. Dream Well is next in the list on 5-1, with Saratoga Springs, who finished fourth at Chantilly and eighth at Epsom, an 8-1 chance. Sunshine Street, who started at 150-1 at Epsom but beat most of the favourites to finish fourth, is at 14-1, and it is 25-1 bar.

The St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next week will also bring together the best three-year-olds in their division following the addition to the field yesterday of Victory Note. The winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) was supplemented at a cost of pounds 20,000, to join Desert Prince, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, and Lend A Hand, runner-up to King Of Kings in the Guineas at Newmarket, in the feature race on the first day of the Royal meeting.

"We beat Desert Prince last time [at Longchamp] and there is no reason we shouldn't beat him again, although you never know as horses aren't machines," Peter Chapple-Hyam, Victory Note's trainer, said. "We are as ready as we will ever be."

Persian Punch, who has been ridden by Kieren Fallon (twice) and Walter Swinburn on his outings this year, is to have a new partner in John Reid for the Gold Cup next week.

Scotland Yard confirmed yesterday that an eighth arrest had been made in connection with an investigation into doping and race-fixing. The unnamed 55-year-old man was questioned and then bailed until September. Searches were also carried out at five addresses in the London area.