Record Classic raid in prospect

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The Independent Online
Britain is set to launch its biggest ever Classic raiding party after nine acceptors were yesterday confirmed for Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby. The team, which includes the first seven in the betting, is set to establish a new record.

The previous highest number of British-trained runners was seven in 1930, a feat which was equalled in 1967. The visitors dominated the Classic in both years, filling the first five placings in 1930 and the first four in 1967. French entrant Supreme Commander is out, leaving Ireland to field a maximum of five - Dermot Weld's Zagreb is not a definite runner.

Willie Supple took the remaining ride in the race when he was booked for 50-1 outsider His Excellence. But Ireland's best chance of featuring in the finish seems to rest with the jockey Michael Kinane, who rides Dr Massini. Kinane is the most experienced jockey in the race. He will be riding in the contest for the 15th time but has yet to win it. Alhaarth has been heavily backed. His trainer Dick Hern decides today whether to run the colt in blinkers. The going at the Curragh remains good to firm but rain is forecast.

Ladbrokes bet: 7-4 Dushyantor, 9-4 Dr Massini, 3-1 Alhaarth, 10-1 Polaris Flight, 12-1 Sharaf Kabeer, Don Micheletto, 20-1 bar.