Irish Derby on the radar for Epsom disappointment Arrest

Juddmonte-owned horse weakened out of contention and passed the post 10th but owners are considering Curragh

Disappointing Derby favourite Arrest could bid for redemption in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh next month.

With his partner Frankie Dettori having claimed the Oaks aboard stablemate Soul Sister the previous afternoon, John and Thady Gosden’s colt was the 4-1 market leader to provide the popular Italian with a dream victory in his final ride in the premier Classic.

But pre-race fears regarding the quickening ground and the idiosyncratic nature of the Epsom track proved well founded as after racing keenly on the front end, the Juddmonte-owned Arrest weakened out of contention and passed the post 10th of the 14 runners.

Connections of the impressive Chester Vase winner are keen to let the dust settle before committing to future plans, but Juddmonte’s racing manager Barry Mahon has confirmed another bid for Classic glory on July 2nd is a possibility.


“I met John and Thady in France on Sunday and they said he was fine and I was talking to them last night and they said he came out of it in good shape,” he said.

“We’ll see how he does in the next couple of weeks and give the Curragh some consideration. I think the track would suit him, as I think John said pre-Epsom, that the Curragh would suit him better being a more conventional track.

“We saw early on the other day he had a leg going in every direction and he was very unbalanced, so on a track like that he probably wants a bit of ease in the ground.

“I think on a more conventional track he’ll be fine on faster ground, but we won’t make any plans until we see how he is.”

The Ralph Beckett-trained Bluestocking looked an obvious Oaks candidate for Juddmonte after winning on her Salisbury debut and being narrowly beaten on her reappearance in Listed company at Newbury.

But the team ultimately decided against a trip to Epsom and she will now either head for Royal Ascot or across the Channel for the French Oaks.

Mahon added: “She worked well on Tuesday morning and has the option of the Ribblesdale and she also has the option of the Prix de Diane as well.

“She’s a filly who probably won’t want rattling fast ground, so that will probably sway us as to where we end up going. If the forecast was mostly dry and Ascot was looking very quick, then we could consider going to France as I know there is rain forecast for there early next week.”

On the decision to sidestep Epsom, Mahon added: “It was purely down to a lack of experience. You need a bit of experience to handle a track like that.

“It would have been her third run and if you’re very streetwise and it’s your third run it’s fine, but we saw at Newbury she was quite green and looked inexperienced and cold.

“To be green on a conventional track like that I think didn’t bode well for Epsom, so we all felt we’d give her a bit more time and run her on a more conventional track.”