Saxon Warrior heads 12-strong field for Irish Derby

2000 Guineas winner heads four-strong team for race specialist Aidan O’Brien

Saxon Warrior heads a field of 12 declared for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

The brilliant winner of the 2000 Guineas is one of four runners from the Aidan O’Brien stable as he bids to put behind him a first career defeat in the Investec Derby. Saxon Warrior struggled to handle Epsom’s twists and turns and finished only fourth to Masar.

O’Brien has also declared Delano Roosevelt, Rostropovich and The Pentagon as he seeks to win the Classic for a 13th time. He withdrew his other two entries, Kew Gardens and Nelson, at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

Dee Ex Bee, runner-up at Epsom, will try to go one better for trainer Mark Johnston.


Masar’s trainer Charlie Appleby is represented by Old Persian, who was supplemented for the race on the back of his win in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A third hopeful from the UK is Harry Dunlop's Lingfield Derby Trial scorer Knight To Behold, who has to bounce back from a disappointing run at Epsom. Frankie Dettori has been booked for the ride.

Joseph O’Brien runs Latrobe as he attempt to break his father’s stranglehold on the Irish Derby.

Three-times winning trainer Dermot Weld saddles the unbeaten Bandua, while Michael Halford's Platinum Warrior, Fozzy Stack's Carlo Biraghi and the Jim Bolger-trained Theobald complete the line-up.

Marie’s Diamond has been confirmed an intended runner in the GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday. Mark Johnston’s juvenile has won two of his four starts to date, with his only disappointing display coming at Epsom in the Woodcote Stakes.

Connections put that run down to the ground and will be watching declarations closely to see which of Aidan O’Brien’s five runners will be turning up.

“The plan is to run. We’re not sure what happened at Epsom, we think it might have been the soft ground,” said Mike Prince of owners Middleham Park Racing.

"He's by Footstepsinthesand so fast ground is his thing. I suppose it all depends what Aidan runs, really, but he doesn't usually run his best ones in this so we'll see if Sergei Prokofiev runs or not.

“As Silvestre [de Sousa] was coming over for Dee Ex Bee in the Derby he’s free to ride which is a bonus, too.”