Harzand 1
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O’Brien quartet to take on Harzand in Irish Derby

| 20.06.2016

David Metcalf | June 20, 2016

Harzand 6/5 to complete Derby double

Harzand looks set to get the cut in the ground that he relishes at Curragh and is into 6/5 (from 6/4) with Coral to complete the Derby double on Saturday, June 25th.

Conditions at the track eased after 14.6mm of rain yesterday, and the going was this morning described as yielding on the straight course and good to yielding on the round course.

The forecast for the next few days also remains unsettled, and that will be music to the ears of Harzand’s connections who would not risk him in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby if the good was considered too quick.

2016 Investec Epsom Derby Festival - Investec Derby Day - Epsom Racecourse

Impressive success at Epsom

Trained by Dermot Weld, the three-year-old revelled in the soft ground when powering to Investec Derby glory at Epsom earlier in the month in the hands of Pat Smullen.

Harzand found plenty when US Army Ranger threw down a strong challenge inside the last to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths at the line.

Although many thought the runner-up was unlucky having come from a long way back, I though Harzand scored with real authority and he looks a worthy favourite to confirm the form and complete the Classic double.

US Army Ranger set for rematch

US Army Ranger is one of four intended runners in the race for trainer Aidan O’Brien, and is currently 11/8 with Coral to gain his revenge on Harzand.

After winning his first two starts in the manner of a top class performer, the son of Galileo lost little in defeat at Epsom when still showing distinct signs of inexperience.

US Army Ranger was held-up in the last duo by Ryan Moore and only in 16th position turning into the straight.


Cracking run after being given plenty to do

The beautifully bred son of Galileo then got hampered three from home, before powering down the outside to have every chance inside the last before being unable to find any extra close home.

In the circumstances it was a cracking effort given how the race panned out and US Army Ranger remains open to stacks more improvement.

O’Brien also plans to saddle Idaho (6/1), who finished third at Epsom, along with Port Douglas (50/1) and Shogun (50/1) who came 14th and 15th respectively in the race.


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.