O’Briens confident Ruler of the World can best Derby field
‘We have been very happy with him . He impressed us at Epsom and we think the Curragh will suit him even better’
“Conditions should be fine for him. He wouldn’t want extremes either way, but other than that he’s fine. All these staying three-year-olds tend to progress through the summer, but being a May foal, you would like to think he has scope to improve more than the other horses that ran at Epsom.
“There is a lot of stamina on the dam’s side and he’ll see out the trip well. New Approach is turning into a superb stallion.”
On the possibility of his wife becoming first woman in history to train an Irish Derby winner, Burke said: “It would be great to do it for Elaine. He nearly did it at Epsom and hopefully he goes one better on Saturday.”
Despite the change of ownership, William Buick keeps the ride on Saturday evening and he too is confident of a bold show.
Buick said: “I’m really looking forward to it. He’s a lovely horse and he did very well in the Derby and the track should suit him better at the Curragh. Although he’s taking on the Derby winner, who will also improve for it being on a more galloping track, I’m very hopeful. We’ll have to see.”
Another horse who will switch yards after this weekend’s Classic is the Patrick Prendergast-trained Sugar Boy, who was snapped up by owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum earlier this week.
The Authorized colt beat Libertarian and Epsom third Galileo Rock on his latest start at Sandown, and Prendergast is hoping his extra freshness will stand him in good stead, although some rain at Curragh would have been welcomed.
Prendergast said: “He’s in good shape and we’ve had no problems. The rain dance I’ve been doing hasn’t worked, but there’s nothing we can do about that. If I had everything my own way we’d have had a drop of rain. I’d have been more confident about his chances then.
“It’s my first runner in the Derby and, to be honest, I haven’t even got round to thinking about the fact it will be his last run for me. We’re looking forward to the race, he’s going there well and fresh and he’s only going up the road, which is an advantage.
“I’m hoping Epsom might have emptied a couple of them out. We’ll see.”
Chris Hayes has partnered Sugar Boy on his last five stars and hopes to break his Classic duck.
Hayes said: “He’s probably the freshest horse going into the race as the others have been to Epsom and elsewhere. He’s been a great horse for me and I’ve only been beaten once on him and that was behind Battle Of Marengo in the Ballysax.