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It’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby time again, with Ireland’s biggest, most prestigious horse race due to take place at the Curragh, just outside Dublin, this Saturday.
Once more The Moodie Davitt Report has teamed up with Dubai Duty Free to offer our readers a fantastic chance to win US$1 million. And once again The Moodie Tipster, our infamous anonymous horse racing expert, is, doing his best to guide one lucky reader towards a fabulous US$1 million prize.
The winner of our competition goes into a draw to win a ticket in the retailer’s ‘Millennium Millionaire’ raffle – offering the chance to win – yes, really – a million Dollars. US Dollars that is.
All you have to do is choose which horses you think will finish first, second, third and fourth from the entries below and send them by e-mail marked ‘Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby’ to Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com by Saturday 1 June at 12.00 Ireland time (you must work in the travel retail industry to participate).
Simply put each of your selections by no 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The winner will be selected on a countback process, starting from first place through to fourth and if necessary beyond until we have a clear winner. In the unlikely event of a tie, a Dubai Duty Free executive will draw the winner from a hat. The judge’s decision is final.
To help you, I hand over to someone much wiser about the elegant equine examples on show this weekend. The Moodie Tipster has picked the winner numerous times in previous years. Last year he selected second, first and fourth but not in the right order. Close but no Cohiba. Will he do better this year? Over to The Moodie Tipster.
Thanks Martin. And they’re off! Well, ok, they’re not off yet but they soon will be. At least some of them. A couple of the candidates look as though they’ll be lucky to get out of the starting gates. So, let’s examine the best and worst of what shapes as the most open Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby field in memory:
WINGS OF EAGLES: The stylish winner of the Epsom Derby in England is currently the short-priced favourite with the bookies but I’m not so sure. He’s French-bred (like a baguette) and Irish-trained (like the Dublin to Sligo railway), a dangerous nationalistic combination if I ever saw one. At least if you back him and he loses, you can drown your sorrows with a glass or two of Hennessy Cognac.
But I’m not convinced that these eagle’s wings will fly, or even if they’re worth a flutter. Remember he won at odds of 40-1 in the Epsom Derby, having never previously won a stakes race. He’s won two out of his five starts, and been placed in one other, hardly the stuff of Derby legends. Trained by Aidan O’Brien (as are most of the field and probably the starter, course steward, groundsmen and entire catering team), he deserves to be favourite but won’t win. You read it here first. Odds: 2/1
WALDGEIST: His owners and trainer chose to point him at the Prix du Jockey Club rather than the Epsom Derby so we’ll never know how he would have fared against Wings of Eagles. What we do know is that he was just beaten in France by a superstar mayor, sorry mare, and looks likely to appreciate the step-up to 1 mile and 4 furlongs. Trainer André (note the accent, entirely French, even his horse is reputed to say ‘non’ instead of ‘neigh’) Fabre is bidding for his third Irish Derby win here and we think he could make it ‘un quatuor’. Odds: 5/2
CAPRI: Another Aidan O’Brian runner, which ran moderately well in the Epsom Derby, finishing sixth having been prominent for a long time. But that’s like saying Hillary Clinton did moderately well in the US Presidential election, finishing second having led till the finishing strait. Less the Isle of Capri, much more a beaten-up Ford Capri with the latter’s fast back but unfortunately slow legs. And they’re what matters. Odds: 9/1
CRACKSMAN: Finished a fine third in the Epsom Derby, having started as warm favourite. It was the first taste of defeat for Craftsman who won the valuable Investec Derby Trial as a 3yo. After just three starts his earnings are already £212,444, not a bad hourly rate. Trained by Englishman John Gosden, the colt shapes as a major challenge to Aidan O’Brien’s supremacy. Heck, he’s even got his own Wikipedia entry so he’s got ego as well as class. Odds: 3/1
DOUGLAS MACARTHUR: Now, I ask you, what chance has a long-dead American general who only had two legs when he was alive got against some of the fastest four-legged animals on the planet? Now I know he once famously said, “I shall return” but I thought he was talking about the Philippines not the Curragh. Oh, hold on a minute. There is a horse called Douglas Macarthur. He finished seventh in the Epsom Derby having threatened to lap the others such was his early pace. Note that I said early. For it’s a pacemaker he’ll be needing after this challenge. Douglas MacArthur will return alright. Straight to his stable. Odds: 14/1
DUBAI SAND: Given the name of the Derby’s sponsor, you’d have to give this 3yo chestnut colt a chance, right? Yep, and I do, a million to one chance. By the time he makes his way down the finishing straight, he’ll be labouring like he was climbing up the steepest sand dunes in the Dubai desert. Odds: 50/1
GRANDEE: The only runner with a female trainer (the much-respected Jessica Harrington) but there doesn’t look to be too much grand about his prospects here. He has won twice out of seven including his last start. But that was at Leopardstown and everyone knows a Leopardstown winner doesn’t change its spots. Ms Harrington has enjoyed a phenomenal year but Grandee has about as much chance as my Granddad of winning. Maybe a place chance. As in fourth. Odds: 28/1
TAJ MAHAL: Trained by, you guessed it, Aidan O’Brien, and nothing in his form book suggests the bookies haven’t got it spot on again with his long odds. Frankly the real Taj Mahal in Agra would have more chance of winning this and would at least look better. Chances between slim and none. And Slim just left town. Odds: 40/1
THE ANVIL: Google reveals that an anvil is a block with a hard surface on which another object is struck. It is also a name of a heavy metal band from Toronto, Canada. Either, frankly, would run faster than the equine version, which finished 17th out of 18th in the Epsom Derby, which led to the horse that came 18th being drug-tested. Last time around his jockey had to feed him Epsom salts to revive him – and that was after the first 200 metres. On Saturday he’ll need a few pints of Guinness. And a miracle. Odds: 66/1
Third: Wings of Eagles