High Definition primed for Irish Derby date

High Definition belatedly has his chance to bid for Classic glory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

Having come from the clouds to win the Beresford Stakes in September, the Galileo colt spent the winter months at the top of ante-post lists for the Derby at Epsom.

However, unsatisfactory blood test results ruled him out of his intended return in the Lingfield Derby Trial – and while he performed with credit to finish third in the Dante at York the following week, connections ultimately decided against a return to Britain.

Instead, High Definition will line up at the Curragh on Saturday as the hot favourite to provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a 15th Irish Derby success in the hands of Ryan Moore.

“High Definition has been in good form since the Dante – everything has gone well with him since then,” said the Ballydoyle handler, whose first Irish Derby came with Desert King in 1997.

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“Obviously when he wasn’t going to Epsom, it was decided this was the plan.

“I think he’s versatile ground-wise, but we think the better the ground, the better it will suit him.”

O’Brien also saddles Irish 2,000 Guineas third Van Gogh – who was last seen finishing down the field in the French Derby – as well as Wordsworth, Arturo Toscanini and Matchless, all of whom ran at Royal Ascot last week.

O’Brien added: “It’s Van Gogh’s first time over a mile and a half. We were happy with his run in France – he didn’t have a good draw, but we thought he ran very well.

“Wordsworth is in in good form. He only ran in Ascot last week (second in the Queen’s Vase), but he seems to have come out of the race well.

“We always thought he would stay well. It was the first time he ran over that distance (a mile and three-quarters) in Ascot, and obviously his brother (Kew Gardens) stayed very well.

“Arturo Toscanini ran very well in the Gallinule, but he got chopped back in Ascot in a slowly-run race (seventh in Queen’s Vase), and we think it probably didn’t suit him. We think he’ll leave that run behind him.

“Matchless ran well in Ascot (eighth in the Hampton Court Stakes). He’s going up another two furlongs as well, and we will see what happens – he looks like a horse that will stay further.”

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