Truth Or Dare emerges as a very useful sort

 

ALTHOUGH not bred to stay, there is little doubt that Truth Or Dare, the impressive winner of Saturday's Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown, will have no problems in getting a mile and a half. He is in the Budweiser Irish Derby with the liklihood of a preliminary run in the Gallinule Stakes.

Truth Or Dare, who might conceivably be supplemented for the French Derby, went for his race early in the straight and clear from a furlong down, powered away to beat Touch Judge by six lengths. Also impressive when winning on his previous start at the Curragh Truth Or Dare is a lovely looking colt with a very attractive head. However, despite running for the third time this season he is still a big baby - at least according to rider Christy Roche.

"He is improving all the time. I don't think he will have a problem in getting a trip but he is not entered for the Epsom Derby. There is no way he would handle the course," said Charles O'Brien of the winner, surely the best horse he has trained to date.

Truth Or Dare is by Royal Academy out of the Lear Fan mare Rose De Thai who won twice over a mile, and is owned by Lebanese businessman Naji Pharaon who has horses in training in France. He was bought cheaply as a yearling at Deauville for 360,000 francs. Derrinstown Stud Trial winners Golden Fleece and St Jovite progressed to win the Epsom and Irish Derbys.

Touch Judge ran green but stayed on well. He will improve from the outing and will next contest the Italian Derby.

Appearing for the first time this season, the James Burns-trained maiden Tossup won the Derringstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial and Mrs Tony O'Reilly's filly will take her chance in the Irish Classic. Burns must have been over the moon after his charge Sagar Pride finished a close-up third in yesterday's Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp. The filly was his first runner in France.

The superbly consistent Idris was an easy winner of the listed Amethyst Stakes, leading from inside the distance to beat the English challenger, Cadeaux Tryst. The Jim Bolger trained six-year-old, who had previously beaten Burden Of Proof in the Group Three Gladness Stakes and last season won the valuable Golden Pages Handicap over this course, is next bound for Leopardstown's seven furlong Group Three Ballycorus Stakes in June, a race won last year by his erstwhile stable-companion Desert Style.

Following his Ormonde Stakes success with Oscar Schindler - next stop Royal Ascot's Hard wicke Stakes - Kevin Prendergast saddled a patently decent two-year-old in Mrs O'Reilly's Verglas to trounce his nine rivals in the opening Stepaside Maiden. Taking up the running two furlongs down the grey shot clear in a few strides to beat Keeping The Faith by eight lengths. As the latter had run the Aidan O'Brien trained Classic Park to less than a length at the Curragh the form could be good.

Verglas, purchased by Prendergast as a yearling for 26,000 guineas and sold on to the O'Reilly's was running for the second time having run very green at the Curragh where he finished strongly to take third place behind Aidan O'Brien's charge Check The Band. Future plans for the winner are fluid but his handler believes his owner would like to concentrate on the O'Reilly-sponsored Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes in August.

Space Trucker, the battling winner of yesterday's £20,000 Murphy's Irish Stout Handicap Hurdle at a well-attended but chilly opening to Killarney's four-day spring meeting, must have every chance of following in the hoofprints of stable-companion Oh So Grumpy in the Guinness Galway Hurdle on August 1st.

Like Oh So Grumpy, who won the Galway Hurdle two years ago for Jessica Harrington, Space Trucker handles fast ground - and it was pretty fast yesterday.

Off the bridle a long way out the big, Kambalda gelding jumped extremely well for John Shortt who was seen at his best in wresting a neck victory from the well backed favourite Just Little, who had a marginal advantage jumping the last. But the winner landed running and responded courageously.

"The Galway Hurdle has been his objective for a long time." said Jessica Harrington who has numbered some good handicap hurdle races including the Ladbroke among her 20 successes this National Hunt season.

Huncheon Chance, trained by Ian Ferguson, followed Friday's success at Downpatrick when scoring at the same venue on Saturday with an emphatic eight-length success in the Strangford Fuels Handicap.