Ryan Moore is not taking anything for granted ahead of his bid for a first Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby success aboard red-hot favourite Auguste Rodin.
While trainer Aidan O’Brien is seeking a remarkable 15th victory in the Curragh Classic – and his 100th European Classic in total – it is one of the few top-level prizes that has so far eluded one of the world’s top riders.
Following victory at Epsom four weeks ago, Auguste Rodin is all the rage to complete the Derby double, a feat last achieved by Dermot Weld’s Harzand in 2016.
As usual, though, Moore is not getting carried away.
“His chance is obvious, as his price suggests, but there are few certainties in racing,” he told Betfair.
“I am sure the connections of the Epsom third and fourth, White Birch and Sprewell, will fancy their chances of at least getting closer to us on this more conventional track. And who is to say they won’t. Different day, different course, different result maybe.
“But everyone saw the real Auguste Rodin in the Derby, stepped up to a trip more in keeping with his superb pedigree, and everyone has seen how strong the form is with King Of Steel and Waipiro coming out and winning at Ascot
“If he runs up to the level of his form at Epsom, something is going to have improve markedly to beat him.”
O’Brien is responsible for more than half of the field, with Auguste Rodin joined by Epsom eighth Adelaide River, the 11th home San Antonio, last week’s Queen’s Vase seventh Peking Opera and Covent Garden completing his quintet.
The Ballydoyle handler’s two sons also saddle runners, with Up And Under out to provide Joseph O’Brien with his second Irish Derby as a trainer after striking gold with Latrobe in 2018, while his younger brother Donnacha is represented by Proud And Regal.
The field is completed by the aforementioned third and fourth from Epsom in John Joseph Murphy’s White Birch and the Jessica Harrington-trained Sprewell.
White Birch finished just over five lengths behind Auguste Rodin at Epsom, while Sprewell has seven lengths to find.