Friday, June 28, 2013

Irish Derby 2013 - Ruler to convince the world

Although he won the Epsom Derby quite convincingly, Ruler of the World still has doubters about whether he is the real deal and is indeed the creme de la creme of the Classic division. He will have the opportunity to put the question to bed in Saturday's Irish Derby.

Some would say that Battle of Marengo was unleashed too soon at Epsom which ruined his chances at the finish. The way that ROTW stormed by in the closing stages seems to indicate that he still had the race in control had the sprint to the finish line started later than actual. The fact that ROTW is still undefeated in 3 races and looks a progressive type means that he is the deserved favourite for the Curragh Classic. At evens, he might be a little short, but he definitely should be in the first 3, albeit without regular partner Ryan Moore in the saddle.

I believe the main challenge will come from Libertarian, Sugar Boy or Trading Leather. Derby runner-up Libertarian looked a very good closer at Epsom which looked to indicate that the St Leger might be up his alley. He will certainly appreciate the less-undulating Curragh track and cannot be dismissed in any trifecta.

There is a slight question mark on Trading Leather at a mile and a half distance. He's produced high-class races at a mile and ten furlongs this year and he might have too much speed for the Classic distance. He's from the top drawer though and very possibly the best 3-year old in Jim Bolger's care after Dawn Approach. If he gets the distance, he represents a good value each-way chance.

Sugar Boy beat Libertarian in the Sandown Classic Trial at ten furlongs. He's been either in first or second places in his last 6 races, and has made the frame in all 8 of his outings. He will relish the distance. It remains to be seen how to interpret his 64 day absence from the tracks; will he be too fresh or just fresh enough to run down quite a few opponents that might still not fully recovered from the Epsom race?

I think that if ROTW runs his race, he should win. For the placings, I see value in both Sugar Boy and Trading Leather. One stands not to lose if at least one of them makes it in the first 3.

Win: Ruler of the World
Place: Trading Leather/Sugar Boy 

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