AlreadyTattenham Hill seems densely sown with shamrock.
After the last feasible home candidates were unceremoniously dismissed here at York yesterday, it seems safe to say that the greatest prize contested on British turf will be claimed for Ireland three weeks tomorrow.
In fact, it now seems impossible to conceive a single indigenous colt intruding among the relevant protagonists in the Investec Derby.
Such is the hegemony being extended by Aidan O'Brien, who won three Derby trials in four days last week, and yesterday sent over two colts from Ballydoyle to share a photo finish for the Totesport Dante Stakes, Black Bear Island just nailing Freemantle at the post.
Among the credible Epsom contenders only Sea The Stars and Gan Amhras, first and third in the 2,000 Guineas, are stabled elsewhere — respectively with John Oxx, on the Curragh, and Jim Bolger, at Coolcullen.
Since O'Brien saddled Galileo and High Chaparral to win successive Derbys, in 2001 and 2002, he has tended to run several colts each year without ever quite matching quantity with quality. This time round, however, he has the option of both.
The colts who dominated the field yesterday — the strongest assembled for any of the Epsom rehearsals — are certainly entitled to join maybe half a dozen other legitimate contenders from the yard.
But there is no mistaking the sense that Fame And Glory is considered best of the lot, and some of the other trial winners may well be diverted to the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly, the day after the Derby.
Like both Galileo and High Chaparral before him, Fame And Glory was an arresting winner of the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown last Sunday, and he will certainly be ridden at Epsom by Johnny Murtagh.
But the Ballydoyle stable jockey's sleep may yet be disturbed by those same precedents — Sea The Stars is a half-brother to Galileo, while Black Bear Island is a full-brother to High Chaparral. He could duly be expected to further improvement should he make the step up in distance at Epsom.
As it was, the narrow margin of his success disguised the unique conviction he showed in a field that had otherwise been made to look pedestrian by the runner-up. Having set the pace on Freemantle, Murtagh was clear at the furlong pole but Colm O'Donoghue was able to send Black Bear Island surging through from last to first to win the race.