Kevin Prendergast is content with Madhmoon as he once more sets about tackling the Ballydoyle masses in this weekend’s Irish Derby at the Curragh. Madhmoon was second to the Aidan O’Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck this month in the Epsom Derby, going down by half-a-length in a frenetic finish.
The Ballydoyle supremo trained five of the first six home at Epsom and could have up to six contenders in Ireland this weekend. Prendergast, who turns 87 in a few weeks, would dearly love a Classic winner but knows taking on the might of the O’Brien legions isn’t going to be easy.
“Madhmoon is a good horse and hopefully he has a good chance. He’s got a battalion to beat but hopefully he can act as well as he did at Epsom, and we might get a result,” said the trainer.
“All the horses that ran in the Derby have run creditably since, I think there were two winners at Royal Ascot out of it. “Aidan said it was one of the better Derbys that he’s had horses to run in, so hopefully he was right. He’s absolutely bombing – he’s in great form and couldn’t be better.”
Outlining his plans for the race, O’Brien has revealed Ryan Moore is set to take over on Anthony Van Dyck, who was partnered by Seamie Heffernan at Epsom last time.
“At the moment it looks like Anthony Van Dyck, Broome, Norway and Sovereign, and we still have to decide on Western Australia and Il Paradiso,” said O’Brien, speaking at a press morning for the race.
“Ryan always rides the number one and that is obviously Anthony Van Dyck, that’s the way it always is in a Derby.” Anthony Van Dyck is favourite at 2.25 to win this weekend’s Irish Derby, with Madhmoon 3.50 to reverse the Epsom form.