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Oaks winner Qualify is on course to make Irish Derby

By Nick Robson

Published 23/06/2015

Aidan O'Brien has won the Curragh prize an incredible 11 times
Aidan O'Brien has won the Curragh prize an incredible 11 times

Aidan O'Brien is set to add Epsom Oaks winner Qualify to his team for this Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock was a shock 50-1 winner of Epsom's fillies' Classic earlier this month, a victory which entitles her to a free entry into the Irish Derby thanks to the new 'win and you're in' incentive associated with certain races in the build-up to the prestigious event.

O'Brien, who has won the Curragh prize an incredible 11 times, plans to supplement Qualify on Tuesday and will also confirm at least four other horses in Epsom Derby fourth Giovanni Canaletto, Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Highland Reel, Lingfield Derby Trial winner Kilimanjaro and Chester Vase winner Hans Holbein.

"Qualify is in good form since Epsom and John and Chantal (owners) would like to let her take her chance," said the Ballydoyle handler.

Meanwhile, Marco Botti fears the handicapper may have Suegioo in his grip but last year's runner up will return to Newcastle in good heart for Saturday's John Smith's Northumberland Plate.

The Dr Marwan Koukash-owned six-year-old enjoyed a lucrative spell last summer, winning the Chester Cup and chasing home Angel Gabrial in the Plate, also owned by Koukash.

"He is fresh and should be competitive," said Botti.

"Whether or not that is good enough to win is a different question."

Belfast Telegraph

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