Pat Smullen gets Cracksman Irish Derby ride
Smullen to step in for the injured Frankie Dettori at the Curragh
Pat Smullen, seen here winning the Irish Derby on Harzand last year, will ride Cracksman at the Curragh this weekend. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Pat Smullen has been booked to ride Cracksman in Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh. With regular pilot Frankie Dettori currently sidelined by injury, John Gosden was in need of a new rider for his Epsom Derby third as he has a second shot at Classic glory.
Gosden has wasted no time in securing the services of Smullen, who will be bidding for a third Irish Derby success following Grey Swallow in 2004 and Harzand last year.Smullen’s agent Kevin O’Ryan said: “He has been booked to ride Cracksman. He’s an absolutely brilliant ride to get.”
Derby Cracksman is one of 12 colts still in contention following the confirmation stage.
Aidan O’Brien, who has saddled a record 11 previous winners, has eight possible runners, headed by Epsom hero Wings Of Eagles. The other Ballydoyle contenders are Capri, Douglas Macarthur, Finn McCool, Spanish Steps, Taj Mahal, The Anvil and Venice Beach.
The Jim Bolger-trained Dubai Sand and Grandee from Jessica Harrington’s stable make up the home team. The field is completed by Andre Fabre’s French challenger Waldgeist.