Harzand: will be prepared for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
HARZAND was reported none the worse for his bruising battle with Idaho in Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, with trainer Dermot Weld intending to bide his time before deciding whether to give the dual Classic winner a prep for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Weld has never won the Arc but Harzand – who is a top price of 8-1 with Coral – is 5-1 joint-favourite alongside Postponed in places after becoming the 18th horse to complete the English-Irish Derby double.
Speaking on Sunday, Weld said: “Harzand is very well and ate up everything last night. He’s a tough colt and he took the race well. He’s sound and I’m very happy with him.
“I will train him for the Arc now. The short-term plan is to give him a break and he certainly deserves a little rest after what he has done in the first half of the season.
“Whether he will have a prep or not I’m not sure yet. There are options but I’ll have a closer look nearer the time. He will be trained with the Arc in mind now.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s race, Weld said: “I got a chance to watch it again last night and it confirmed my initial reaction that it was a top-class horse race between two very good colts.
“I thought it was a very good renewal of the race. My colt is tough and he gives you everything, as you saw on Saturday.
“I am very proud of him.”
Gave it our best shot
Aidan O’Brien also expressed his delight with half-length runner-up Idaho, who had previously finished third at Epsom. He said: “I am sorry we got beat but Idaho keeps on progressing. We thought he had improved from Epsom and he did, but Dermot’s colt outfought us in the last 50 yards.
“I was proud of him and you have to try to win these big races. We gave it our best shot.
“I was delighted for Dermot, Pat [Smullen] and the Aga Khan, who is a great supporter of racing here.”
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