Horse Racing: Luxembourg, the Derby favourite heading into the season, returns to action on Saturday in the Fitzdares Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh.
He finished his juvenile career unbeaten at two and with a convincing victory in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, a race with a long tradition of producing Derby winners.
Aidan O’Brien was counting down the days until Epsom after finishing third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket behind Charlie Appleby’s combination of Coroebus and Native Trail, who went on to win the St. James’s Palace Stakes and Irish Guineas, respectively.
Although O’Brien won all of the official Derby trials at Chester’s May meeting, his top Derby hope sustained a strained muscle and was unable to compete at Epsom.
“He has obviously been off a long time and you wouldn’t expect him to be cherry-ripe, but we have obviously been happy with his recent progress, as his fitness is built back up after his injury,” his jockey Ryan Moore told Betfair.
“I thought he ran a great race to finish third in the Guineas, especially as his winning chance was compromised when stumbling early, and we were obviously looking forward to running him in the Derby.
While his son Joseph manages Point Gellibrand, O’Brien also oversees Anchorage and Realism. The final two horses in the field are Georgeville, trained by Ger Lyons, and Willie McCreery’s Insinuendo.
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