O’Brien’s spoiling for an Epsom scrap

By Simon Clifford

With the Epsom Derby only a couple of weeks away, one man who is strengthening his hand every day is Aidan O’ Brien.

With Dawn Approach the outright favourite for the Epsom classic, O’Brien has to find a suitable challenger to go to battle with. This week he partially showed his hand when he had two recruits roll out at the Chester May meeting.

Ruler of the World and Magician were transformed from possible Derby outsiders to strong contenders. Sometimes these trials are hard to gauge but the style of Ruler Of the World’s Chester Vase success and Magician’s win in the Dee Stakes 24 hours later were a sign that these two horses were high up the pecking order in the O’Brien string for Epsom.

Ruler of the World beat three opponents over a trip similar to the Derby, with the runner up, Mark Johnston’s Impatience, some six lengths behind. Winning jockey Ryan Moore commented: “He was still a little bit green running around here but once I grabbed a hold of him he really lengthened well.”

This performance really impressed me but the question is, whether he is good enough to go on and win the Epsom Showpiece.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World

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