Appleby looking to Hurricane Lane to secure Derby double
Epsom third Hurricane Lane will bid to complete a Derby double for trainer Charlie Appleby at the Curragh.
The Frankel colt was the best-fancied of three runners for the Moulton Paddocks maestro in the premier Classic at Epsom three weeks ago, having stretched his unbeaten record to three in the Dante Stakes at York, where he had High Definition in third.
Hurricane Lane was ultimately upstaged by his stablemate Adayar on the big day, but performed with plenty of credit to finish third – and Appleby is hoping he can provide Britain with a rare victory in Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Appleby, who is yet to win an Irish Classic, told the Godolphin website: “We were pleased with Hurricane Lane’s effort at Epsom, and he has more experience under his belt going into this.
“He was an inexperienced horse going into the Derby, and it may have found him out slightly, but he has definitely sharpened up for the run.
“The style of the track at the Curragh should suit him better, and if he can repeat his Derby effort it will certainly make him very competitive.”
Hurricane Lane has just over three lengths to find with Richard Hannon’s 50-1 Epsom runner-up Mojo Star.
If he runs the same race as he did at Epsom he'll go close to winning
Hannon said: “He ran a super race at Epsom. It was a brave/stupid call, but it paid off – and here we are.
“It looks like he’s going to be a very good horse. I think High Definition is the one to beat, and then there’s the battle of the placed horses from Epsom, but High Definition looks a very good horse and a worthy favourite.
“I think our lad has a very good chance, and if he runs the same race as he did at Epsom he’ll go close to winning.
“The favourite (High Definition) looks a very decent horse. I’m not sure he’s taken on horses of this calibre yet, but he’s obviously doing great things at home and they like him a lot – there’s a lot of strength in depth.”
The other British raider is Lone Eagle, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
The Cocked Hat Stakes winner missed Epsom because of a dirty scope, but is reported to be back on song by trainer Martyn Meade.
“We couldn’t be happier with him,” said the Manton handler.
“It’s not easy with all the travelling and everything. But he’s going in as a fresh horse, having missed Epsom, and we’ve got a good man on his back to run against the Irish – Frankie (Dettori) is the man for the job.
“What will be will be, but it would be nice to think if he runs up to his best he should have a really good chance.”
Johnny Murtagh, who won the Irish Derby four times during his illustrious riding career, relies on Earlswood to provide him with a first Classic success as a trainer.
Since making a winning debut for the yard at Navan in March, the former John Oxx inmate has finished third in the Dee Stakes at Chester and won the Gallinule Stakes at this venue last month.
Murtagh said: “We fancied him going to Navan first time, and he won a maiden over a mile in heavy ground, so I thought he might be a bit better than a maiden.
“I decided to go to Chester so he could learn a bit and we’d find out more. He ran well on the day, but got tapped for toe.
“We knew coming back from Chester we had a nice horse, and he won the Gallinule nicely on the day – which gave us a free ticket for the Irish Derby.
“He has a few pounds to find, but I’m hoping stepping up in trip will bring out more improvement in him.”