Dubai: Godolphin’s Hurricane Lane bids to hand trainer Charlie Appleby a maiden Dubi Duty Free Irish Derby (G1) when he faces 10 rivals in Saturday’s renewal of the Classic that is run at the historic Curragh Racecourse in Ireland.
A son of the outstanding racehorse Frankel, Hurricane Lane faces a second test at the highest level – having finished third to stable companion Adayar at Epsom three weeks ago.
On that occasion, Hurricane Lane did not appear to be best suited when tackling the famed Berkshire track which post the ultimate test for a thoroughbred racechorse.
The style of the track at the Curragh should suit him better and, if he (Hurricane Lane) can repeat his Derby effort, it will certainly make him very competitive
– Charlie Appleby, Godophin trainer
However, he did fare better than eight others on the day to finish third under stable jockey William.
The Jim Bolger-trained Mac Swiney, winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh in May and who was third at Epsom, returns to take his chances in the 2400 metre contest under veteran jockey Kevin manning.
Assessing Hurricane Lane’s chances of gifting him a Epsom and Irish Derby double, Appleby told the Godolphin website: “We were pleased with Hurricane Lane’s effort at Epsom Downs 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, who was unbeaten in three career starts until the Epsom Derby, registered a first Pattern-race success in the Group 2 Dante Stakes over an extended 10 furlongs at York in May when he hung on powerfully to win by three-quarters of a length.
Godolphin won the Irish Derby in 2005 with Golden Horn, a horse owned in partnership with legendary Irish handler Bolger.
Appleby’s Hurricane takes on a five-strong team, representing 14-time irish Derby-winner Aidan O’Brien, whose squad is headed by the highly-regarded High Definition.
The Bally Doyle handler also runs Arturo Toscanini, Van Gogh, Matchless and Wordsworth.
Irish Derby (Group 1) 2,400 metres Turf
At The Curragh, Ireland
Purse: €690,000 (2020)
Top three fastest times in Irish Derby
(Since High Chaparal in 2002)
2001 – Galileo (2:27.10)
2013 – Trading Leather (2:27.17)
2003 – Alamshar (2:28.20)