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All systems go for House party

Carlton House is reported to be at the top of his game ahead of his bid for Classic glory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt has been the subject of a media frenzy this year, owing to the fact that he is owned by the Queen, and he started a hot favourite to give her a first victory in the Derby at Epsom before finishing third, beaten just a length by Pour Moi.

"It's all very exciting and we're thrilled that the horse has come out of Epsom extremely well. I'm thrilled for the Queen as that has given her something to very much look forward to this weekend," said Her Majesty's racing manager, John Warren.

The reopposing Treasure Beach was narrowly ahead of Carlton House at Epsom, while Memphis Tennessee, Native Khan and Seville were all behind and are in attendance again.

Warren went on: "It should be a fascinating race with much of the field from Epsom, apart from the winner, converging on Ireland. It will be interesting to see what these three-year-olds will do with themselves and it will interesting to see who has come out of Epsom best.

"I think it would be fair to say they are all on the cusp of making improvement. They make improvement from their trials to the Derby, and it is now about which ones have gone on again from there.

"What we are excited about is that we hope all those little issues that he had going into the Derby are now behind him. With only eight runners, it should be a really true and fair race."

He went on: "I don't think we're querying whether he really stays a mile and a half because he stayed enough to run as well as he did at Epsom. I don't think there are any concerns about the trip, the ground or the course. We are just hopeful he's progressed enough to find himself in front when it counts.

"Ryan (Moore) has always said the horse likes quick ground, but he did win on soft ground as a two-year-old. We haven't even had a conversation about the ground as conditions aren't going to be too extreme either way.

"I think it's the first Royal runner in the Irish Derby and it would be a great achievement for the Queen in her career as a racehorse owner to have a Derby winner - that is what we are rooting for. Sadly, she is unable to attend."


From Belfast Telegraph