Patrick Prendergast was pleased with how Sugar Boy handled the ground at the Curragh yesterday as his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby candidate worked at the racecourse.
The Authorized colt has not run since winning the Sandown Classic Trial in April, where Galileo Rock and Libertarian, both placed at Epsom, were behind third and fourth respectively.
Prendergast, whose charge was second to Battle Of Marengo in the Ballysax Stakes prior to Sandown, has specifically waited for the Curragh Classic mainly in the hope of the track suiting him better than Epsom and also for the chance of softer ground.
However, with the ground unlikely to be soft at the weekend, Prendergast was keen to see how he coped and both the trainer and jockey Chris Hayes were pleasantly surprised how well he handled a quicker surface than he is used to.
“He moved beautifully. We held on to him a little bit. He travelled well and looks in great nick, but there’s no prize-money out there today!” said Prendergast, who took out a licence in 2003 after spells with Ed Dunlop and Sir Michael Stoute, and whose grandfather “Darkie” Prendergast won the race in 1965 with Meadow Court.
“I was delighted to see Battle Of Marengo run so well at Ascot and the form is holding up. He deserves his place in the line-up and after that who knows.”
William Buick will retain the ride on the supplemented Libertarian. The colt has recently been purchased by Godolphin and will be having his final start for Elaine Burke before he joins Saeed bin Suroor in Newmarket.
The son of New Approach won the Dante at York under Buick, who also rode him to finish a fine second to Ruler Of The World, whom he will meet again, in the Investec Derby. Karl Burke, Elaine’s husband and assistant, said: “William Buick will ride him again. He did a routine canter this morning. We are very happy with him.”
Aidan O’Brien confirmed current 5-4 favourite Ruler Of The World on target, and added that he may be joined by Derby also-ran Festive Cheer. “He’s in good form and everything has gone well since Epsom.” said O’Brien of Ruler Of The World, adding that he expected the Curragh to suit the unbeaten Galileo colt.