Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
Group 1, Curragh 17:20
€1,500,000 added,
3yo only, 1m, 4f   
Saturday 25th June 2016

1 Harzand 4/6F
2 Idaho 11/4
3 Stellar Mass 33/1
9 ran Distances: ½l, 3¾l, shd
TIME 2m 38.05s (slow by 7.55s)

Derby hero Harzand displays fantastic attitude to follow up at the Curragh

The Investec Derby form came to the fore as Epsom third Idaho went upsides Harzand in the run for the line, but the winner battled well under Pat Smullen to hold on by half a length from Aidan O'Brien's challenger.

Jim Bolger's Stellar Mass ran on for third.

Dermot Weld employed a pacemaker in Ebediyin and he did his job, forcing a good gallop in the early stages although he was largely ignored.

© Racehorse Photos

Harzand sat off him in a prominent position throughout and he was well placed when asked to go and win the race in the straight.

Idaho mounted a really strong challenge under Ryan Moore, but Harzand, just as he did at Epsom when US Army Ranger loomed up on the outside, pulled out more for maximum pressure.

Smullen said: "He's such a great horse, he's got such courage and determination. Ryan (Moore, on Idaho) came with one good determined run, I needed this horse to dig deep for me and he did - how good is he?

"This matches Epsom, in front of our home crowd.

"The pressure was on and we pulled it off."

Smullen went on: "He's a dual Derby winner now. He's so courageous. You can give horses good rides, bad rides - but when they're as good as this lad and they're as determined as this horse it just makes it easy. There's no knowing where this horse will end up.

"He's so tough and he's not just tough, he's got pace. He's a very, very good horse and I'd love to think he'd be an Arc horse."

Weld said: "I knew Aidan would have his horse better than at Epsom so I knew our horse had to be better than at Epsom to win again.

"He ran a magnificent race. He showed the speed that he has today. People were saying he didn't have speed, well you saw it today.

"Those two horses really picked up and quickened. Idaho is a high-class horse, he's always been that and he was at his best today. It was a great day, a great ride - a special day. It was a proper horse race.

"He'll have a good break now and we'll train him for the Arc."

The son of Sea The Stars remained unchanged with Sky Bet at 6-1 second-favourite for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe behind 5-1 market leader Postponed.

MansionBet cut Weld's star to 5-1 (from 7-1) for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, for which Postponed is the even-money favourite.

Weld added: "I was concerned because he had a very hard race at Epsom. We always knew he was very tough, but he had to be 110 per cent today.

"This is a very very special race and I've been enjoying it since I was a child. I've been fortunate enough to win it three times now."

Winning owner the Aga Khan said: "This horse is very good. It's a wonderful family and we checked him with all our mares and he'll mate very well with them, so we're looking forward to when he goes to stud and we'll be right behind him.

"Things are shaping up very well. I'm not sure we really know his limits. Neither at Epsom nor here, I don't think we've seen the best of this horse, he can do more."

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1)
€1,500,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (2) Harzand (IRE) 4/6f P J Smullen
D K Weld 3
2nd (4) ½ Idaho (IRE) 11/4 R L Moore
A P O'Brien 3
3rd (1) Stellar Mass (IRE) 33/1 R P Whelan
J S Bolger 3
4th (9) s.h Red Verdon (USA) 10/1 S De Sousa
E A L Dunlop 3
5th (5) Port Douglas (IRE) 14/1 J A Heffernan
A P O'Brien 3
6th (7) Moonlight Magic 11/1 K J Manning
J S Bolger 3
7th (3) 2 Shogun (IRE) 33/1 C O'Donoghue
A P O'Brien 3
8th (6) Claudio Monteverdi (IRE) 50/1 D O'Brien
A P O'Brien 3
9th (8) 35 Ebediyin (IRE) 50/1 L F Roche
D K Weld 3

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