We take a look through the runners set to contest the Curragh’s feature race on Saturday 27th July to bring you our 2020 Irish Derby tips.
For over 150-years, the best middle-distance colts from across Britain and Ireland have been travelling to the Curragh in June, with the hope of winning the Irish Derby
This Classic usually comes three weeks after the equivalent race at Epsom, meaning several horses each year will run in both races. However, due to travel restrictions and rescheduling in 2020, no horse will be able to run in both races and no British raiders will feature in Saturday’s final field.
2020 Irish Derby Odds
2020 Irish Derby Favourite
Santiago2020 Irish Derby FavouriteGET 3/1 HERE
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Vatican City and Armory had been vying for ante-post favouritism at the start of the week. However, it seems O’Brien has performed a U-turn, removing his top two from the race and thrusting Santiago into the mix.
On his first start of the season, Santiago jumped straight up to 14-furlongs and won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. While that looks a solid piece of form to bring into the Derby, I don’t think that was a particularly strong renewal of the Queen’s Vase.
Santiago could be a little vulnerable dropping back to the Derby trip, and I’m prepared to take on Aidan O’Brien’s St Leger candidate this weekend.
2020 Irish Derby Form Guide
Aidan O’Brien will be looking to land his 12th Irish Derby in the last 15 years, his 14th overall, and he’ll likely fire a handful of arrows at the top prize.
Arthur’s Kingdom looks like he’ll run again, having stayed on to finish second to Pyledriver in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. Frankie Dettori’s mount couldn’t match the winner as he strode clear down the home straight that day, but the experience he gained over a mile-and-a-half that day will stand him in good stead.
Despite the addition of blinkers, Iberia still looked green and unfinished in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on his reappearance. He could still go on to achieve great things, but he doesn’t look ready at this stage of his career.
Tiger Moth and Dawn Patrol finished first and second in a 10-furlong maiden at Leopardstown two weeks ago, but I’d be shocked if either had the quality to challenge in this Group One.
Mythical was given his chance to shine in the Gallinule Stakes earlier this month, but a dreadful performance that day all-but ended his hopes of challenging in a Derby.
The fortunate winner of the Gallinule Stakes that day was Crossfirehurricane. I say fortunate because the odds-on favourite, Mythical was so poor, but in truth, Joseph O’Brien’s colt ran out a comfortable winner, beating Gold Maze by almost two lengths.
Although he is unbeaten in four starts and has a Group Three victory under his belt, I still think Crossfirehurricane will have to take his game to a whole new level to win a Classic as competitive as this.
O’Brien has also handed New York Girl the opportunity to take on the colts in the Irish Derby. A Group Three winner at two, New York Girl stayed on to finish fourth in the Irish 1000 Guineas, despite playing up and unseating her rider at the start. She looks certain to see out this trip, and could be an each-way player. Only one filly has ever won the Irish Derby, however, so history is certainly against her.
2020 Irish Derby Tips
Fiscal Rules E/W2020 Irish Derby TipGET 8/1 HERE
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Although half of the last 20 renewals of the Irish Derby have been won by favourites, a few of those – Galileo, Australia and Camelot – carried ridiculously short prices to post. The last two winners, Latrobe and Sovereign went off at 12/1 and 33/1 respectively, so upsets do happen in the Irish Derby on a regular basis.
Of Aidan O’Brien’s mass of entries, Arthur’s Kingdom appeals most. However, I’m going to bet against the Ballydoyle brigade and back the promising FISCAL RULES at an each-way price.
Jim Bolger’s colt was sent off as a 14/1 shot when he made his two-year-old debut. Fiscal Rules almost took that contest out from the front, but was ran down late on by Wichita, who’s gone on to win a Group Three and place in both the 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes.
On just his second career start, Bolger threw Fiscal Rules into the Irish 1000 Guineas. I gave this once-raced son of Make Believe little-to-no chance, but Kevin Manning’s mount outran my expectations considerably. Fiscal Rules looked calm and composed, making up some good late ground after being outpaced at the two-pole to eventually finish a four-length fifth.
Jim Bolger’s colt is a half-sister to Cimeara, who won Listed and Group Three prizes over 14-furlongs. The presence of Galileo in the dam’s side of his breeding catches your eye too. There’s plenty of reason to believe this Fiscal Rules will improve as he’s stepped up over a mile, and he’s yet to fulfill his huge potential. 8/1 looks a cracking each-way price.