Response to Lammtarra's absence is Cliche

Racing: Irish Derby
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The Independent Online
Lammtarra was withdrawn from the Irish Derby yesterday as a host of contenders emerged to take advantage of his absence and the probable defection of Celtic Swing from the Curragh Classic.

The Derby winner was scratched at yesterday's forfeit stage after it was decided that to run the Nijinsky colt in Sunday's big race only days after a minor training setback would be too great a risk to take.

Instead Classic Cliche, runner-up to Pentire in last Friday's King Edward VII Stakes, has been supplemented by the same connections at a cost of IRpounds 60,000 and Lanfranco Dettori, originally due to partner Presenting, called up for the ride.

To bolster his assault on the IRpounds 600,000 prize, Sheikh Mohammed, whose Godolphin operation has nurtured Lammtarra and Classic Cliche, also added his Prix du Jockey-Club third, Winged Love, to the field and left Annus Mirabilis among the acceptors.

The line-up for the race is much different from what had been expected before a wrenched hind leg claimed Lammtarra and owner Peter Savill issued his "50-50" warning about Celtic Swing's chances of participation.

Nineteen have been left in the race, six of whom - Annus Mirabilis, Classic Cliche, Court Of Honour, Munwar, Royal Solo and Winged Love - were thought to have alternative programmes.

The Godolphin racing manager, Simon Crisford, admitted that the decision to adopt a safety-first policy with Lammtarra was "a close call".

"It was anous-anous, Arabic for 50-50," explained Crisford. "It's not a long-term problem but he is not quite 100 per cent and therefore unable to train."

Lammtarra will now be aimed at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Ten British-trained horses are among the declared, although connections of Minds Music stressed that the colt is unlikely to run unless there is rain. That would free Cash Asmussen, who is retained by Stavros Niarchos, to partner Presenting as he did at Epsom.

IRISH DERBY, The Curragh, Sunday: Annus Mirabilis (trained by M Stoute), Bobinski (A Fabre), Celtic Swing (Lady Herries), Classic Cliche (Saeed bin Suroor), Court Of Honour (P Chapple-Hyam), Damancher (P Mullins), Daraydan (J Oxx), Definite Article (D Weld), Double Eclipse (M Johnston), Humbel (D Weld), I'm Supposin (K Prendergast), Korambi (C Brittain), Mendeluci (J Bolger), Minds Music (H Cecil), Munwar (P Walwyn), Oscar Schindler (K Prendergast), Presenting (J Gosden), Royal Solo (P Chapple-Hyam), Winged Love (A Fabre).