Kevin Prendergast hopeful Epsom runner-up Madhmoon can win Irish Derby


Madhmoon was second in the Investec Derby and connections are hopeful he can go one better in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

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MADHMOON’s veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast hopes for better luck in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby than when narrowly beaten by Anthony Van Dyck at Epsom.

Madhmoon finished half a length adrift of the Aidan O’Brien-trained winner in the Investec Derby after a stumble at the top of the straight lit him up and he went to the front earlier than jockey Chris Hughes wanted; with Hughes later saying he would have preferred to have waited a bit longer.

O’Brien runners filled five of the first six places at Epsom and Anthony Van Dyck heads five representatives from Ballydoyle in the final field of eight runners on Saturday, where the 86-year-old Prendergast hopes to land is first Irish Derby at his local track.

“My father [Paddy Prendergast] won the Irish Derby four times, the first one being Dark Warrior in 1950,” Prendergast said. “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. All the horses that ran in the Derby have run creditably since.

“Aidan said it was one of the better Derbys that he’s had horses to run in, so hopefully he was right.

“Madhmoon’s absolutely bombing – he’s in great form and couldn’t be better.”

Hayes, reflecting of the Investec Derby, added: “To go down by half a length because of things you can’t control, is a bitter pill to swallow but hopefully we can put it right on his next start. I think the Curragh will suit him better.

“Epsom is very demanding, and you need things to go right, as I found out. The Curragh is a fair track and I’ll imagine he’ll be much more at home, it’s also just five minutes up the road which has to be a positive.

“I don’t think the occasion got to him, everything went right until the road crossing which set him racing sooner than I wanted. We were half a length off being perfect, hopefully we can put that right.”

Meanwhile Horse Talk was in tremendous form at Royal Ascot, tipping four winners and a second from five selections [Royal Ascot 2019: Five of the best bets for the royal meeting].

Blue Point got followers of this column off to a great start when winning the King’s Stand Stakes on the opening day of the royal meeting, before Crystal Ocean went in as predicted in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes the next day to secure his first Group 1 and Dee Ex Bee was second in the Gold Cup.

Advertise rewarded punters who had taken the early price of 16-1 as suggested here when running out an easy winner of the Commonwealth Cup last Friday.

Blue Point then capped a great week for Horse Talk followers when backing up to win the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.

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