Having seen Dawn Approach snared by a slow pace in the Derby, Godolphin seem determined to retain control of their own destiny with the colt they have since acquired out of the same race. Libertarian, who charged home for second as Dawn Approach was tailing off at Epsom, will run in Godolphin colours for the first time when making his final appearance for Elaine and Karl Burke in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday. And he will be joined by Cap O'Rushes, upgraded from handicap company at Royal Ascot last week, as security against a lack of pace in his rematch with Ruler Of The World.
Stoutly bred as he is, Libertarian did well to make up so much ground in a sprint finish at Epsom, having been left with plenty to do when failing to handle the descent into Tattenham Corner. He will again be ridden by William Buick.
Four of the 11 colts still in contention are trained by Aidan O'Brien, who has so dominated the Irish Derby in recent years. These are headed by Ruler Of The World, who himself could hardly have been expected to profit from a slow gallop at Epsom but none the less won well on only his third career start.
Galileo Rock, third at Epsom, must also reverse form with Sugar Boy, who had beaten him at Sandown in April. (Libertarian was behind them both that day, albeit with excuses.) Another fresh factor in the equation is Little White Cloud, bred to improve at the longer trip. "He's an outsider," his trainer, John Oxx, acknowledged. "But he is a nice horse who has run well in two trials after we had a virus which knocked us for six."
Coral offer 33-1 against Little White Cloud, behind Ruler Of The World at 6-5 and Libertarian 100-30. Jim Bolger will be represented in his own silks by Trading Leather, a 6-1 shot alongside Galileo Rock. Battle Of Marengo and Sugar Boy are the only others given a serious chance, at 8-1, but O'Brien may be reluctant to turn out the former so soon after a hard race at Ascot.
Chris McGrath's Nap: Reset City (4.00 Beverley)
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