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It’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby time again this Saturday as the retailer moves its focus from the Middle East to The Curragh racetrack in Dublin.
As regular readers of this Blog will know, each year we enlist the expert assistance of one of the world’s leading punters, the legendary Moodie Tipster, to try to predict the winner of the big race.
We’re also again offering readers the chance to put their own punditry skills on the line. Anyone picking the winner of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby in our competition goes into the draw to win a ticket in the retailer’s ‘Finest Surprise’ raffle – offering the chance to win a luxury car.
Simply send in your selection by e-mail headed ‘Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Contest’ to Martin@TheMoodieReport.com by 3p.m. Irish time this Saturday to be in to win.
To help you on your way, listed below are the runners and The Moodie Tipster’s insider advice. As the photo above shows, he has been cleverly disguised to protect his anonymity. Take note, despite a fall from grace last year when he urged readers to bet against the white-hot 1/5 favourite Camelot (who won by half the width of the Irish Sea), the Tipster has an outstanding track record over recent years, predicting the winner in 2009 and 2011 (he missed the race in 2010) and is quietly confident of another success in 2013.
Remember too that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby follows on closely from the English (Epsom) Derby (won this year by Ruler of the World) and in recent years the Irish race has tended to confirm the form of the earlier Classic.
Ruler of the World: The even money favourite and Epsom Derby winner comes from the hotter than hot stable of Aidan O’Brien, who has produced the winner for the past seven years and has every chance of an extraordinary eighth. The handicapper has given Ruler of the World the lowest official rating of an Epsom Derby winner this century but don’t let that fool you. He’s lightly raced, unbeaten and, given Dubai Duty Free’s undisputed status as the world-ruling travel retailer for a single airport, there’s plenty of hints in his name. The one to beat.
Libertarian: The runner-up to Ruler of the World in the Epsom Derby is ridden by a jockey called Buick but may need to ride in one to beat the favourite. This is his last race for trainer Elaine Burke as the three-year old has been sold to Godolphin, the famous stable owned by Sheikh Mohammed, Dubai’s ruler, who knows a good horse when he sees one. Like any Libertarian, he’ll run freely. But just not freely enough to win. Odds 7/2
Trading Leather: A winner at the Curragh earlier this month, this likely-looking colt looks good value at 5/1. What’s in a name? Plenty. Few travel retailers trade more leathergoods than Dubai Duty Free. A strong upset chance.
Galileo Rock: A classy third in the Epsom Derby suggest this 7/1 shot is not without a big chance here. But we beg to differ – like the original Galileo you’ll need to pull out your telescope to spot him at the end of the race.
Sugar Boy: Can this classy three-year old, never further back than third in eight starts, live up to his name and taste sweet success? Another contender with Middle East connections, having just been bought by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, he’s already won four times in just eight starts, which suggest his 7/1 odds may be generous. He’ll need plenty of sugar snap to win this but don’t lump in him with the no-hopers.
Battle of Marengo: Historians will know that the original Battle of Marengo was fought in 1800 between the French under Napoleon Bonaparte and the Austrians near the city of Alessandria, Italy and Alessandria is about as close as this old war horse is likely to be from the winner in the big race. 10/1 odds don’t lie. A battle all the way. [UPDATE: Battle of Marengo has been declared a non-runner – something we said all along…]
Festive Cheer: Now I know the three-day meeting is called the Dubai Duty Free Festival but don’t let that entice you. Trained by Aidan O’Brien but so are others in this race. 16/1 so there will be plenty to be cheerful about for any backers of this colt if he wins. He won’t.
Count of Limonade: Do you really expect us to recommend a horse with a spelling mistake in its name? Sired by Duke of Marmalade out of Hoity Toity, which suggests he’ll be stuck in a high-class jam long before the finish. 25/1.
Little White Cloud: Also at 25/1 there’s as much chance of this cloud raining on the favourite’s parade as there is of Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman Colm McLoughlin riding the winner. Belying his name, this colt is actually gray, the offspring of Quest for Eternity. And an eternity will be exactly how long it takes for him to finish.
Cap O’Rushes: Out of a dam called Valley of Gold, a sure synonym for one of Dubai Duty Free’s best-selling product categories. But at 33/1 we suggest you save your money and go buy some duty free jewellery instead next time you’re in the UAE.
Ralston Road: Now at 66/1 these are the sorts of odds that mean big winnings if he upsets the favourites. Unfortunately they also mean a Leprechaun wearing flip flops would finish the race sooner. Interestingly his father was named Dylan Thomas which suggests he stanza chance. As in slim or none. And Slim, as they say, just left town.
There you have it. The Moodie Tipster’s pick? Ruler of the World to prevail over Sugar Boy, Libertarian and Trading Leather.
[Footnote: Readers who are considering following The Moodie Tipster’s advice are reminded that the value of their investment can go down as well as up and may well fly out of the window altogether.]