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blogirish derby 2024 los angeles grosvenor square aidan obrien

Irish Derby 2024 – Los Angeles & Grosvenor Square Could Make it Sweet 16 for Aidan O’Brien

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Another week means another potential milestone for master trainer Aidan O’Brien as he seeks a record-extending 16th win in the Irish Derby at the Curragh on Sunday, 30 June. He holds six of the 10 remaining entries at penultimate declarations with the Emerald Isle’s premier Classic cutting up badly from 58 runners at the previous stage.

All but one of the Ballydoyle maestro’s 15 Irish Derby winners have come since 2001. Despite farming the race for almost a quarter of a century, the leading betting sites don’t have an O’Brien runner as favourite this time.

That honour instead goes to James Fanshawe inmate Ambiente Friendly. Supplemented at a cost of €100,000 following his second to City Of Troy in the English equivalent at Epsom, he now travels to race overseas for the first time.

The most likely O’Brien horse to win the Irish Derby, according to bookmakers, is Los Angeles. He has just over three lengths to find with Ambiente Friendly on the Epsom run.

This is a home fixture for Los Angeles, however, and he now gets Ballydoyle stable jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle for the first time. Despite a long association with the yard and its powerful backers, he has only one victory in the Irish Derby. That came aboard Auguste Rodin 12 months ago.

Irish Derby Set for Small Field

Also prominent in the market on horse racing betting sites is Roger Varian’s UK raider Matsuri. He takes a massive step up in grade following a wide-margin win in a Leicester novice.

Due to three of the potential O’Brien Irish Derby runners turning out at Royal Ascot the previous week, a small field looks certain. The Euphrates (fifth), Agenda (seventh) and Chief Little Rock (12th) contested the King Edward VII Stakes on 21 June.

Euphoric, second to Los Angeles in the official Irish Derby Trial and ninth at Epsom, could also represent Ballydoyle. Sunway, who has run well on soft ground before for David Menuisier, and Ger Lyons inmate Keeper’s Heart complete the possible runners at the Curragh.

There is no danger of a five-runner field like in 2014 when Australia won for O’Brien, but there may be fewer than eight in the line-up. This obviously gives the race a different shape for punters that like to bet each way.

Prize money in the Irish Derby goes down to sixth place with the winner receiving €712,500. Connections of Ambiente Friendly need a top three finish to get their supplementary fee back.

British Raider 5lb Clear on Official Ratings

He tops official HRI figures for the contest on a mark of 118. Los Angeles is the best of the O’Brien contingent rated 113. French Derby seventh Sunway is the only other runner on 110 (or higher).

Handicap ratings in Classics don’t tell the full story as they cannot gauge potential further improvement. Despite this, those marks suggest Ambiente Friendly has more in hand over old rival Los Angeles than the distance between them at Epsom.

The great Galileo, who won the Irish Derby in 2001, has his impact all over the pedigrees of the market principals. He is the grandsire of the favourite, Grosvenor Square and Sunway. Los Angeles represents a different breeding by 2012 hero Camelot and out of a Dansili mare.

Grosvenor Square has the same dam as 2020 victor Santiago and missed the Queen’s Vase, a race his sibling won en route to Curragh glory, to be kept for this. Regally bred horses belonging to the Coolmore partners are all over the recent history of the contest.

All 15 Aidan O’Brien Irish Derby Winners

  • Desert King (1997)
  • Galileo (2001)
  • High Chaparral (2002)
  • Dylan Thomas (2006)
  • Soldier Of Fortune (2007)
  • Frozen Fire (2008)
  • Fame And Glory (2009)
  • Cape Blanco (2010)
  • Treasure Beach (2011)
  • Camelot (2012)
  • Australia (2014)
  • Capri (2017)
  • Sovereign (2019)
  • Santiago (2020)
  • Auguste Rodin (2023)

WATCH: Ambiente Friendly & Los Angeles in The Derby at Epsom

Michael Lee
Michael Lee
Michael Lee

Michael has worked in the sports betting industry for many years. Following football, horse racing and track and field athletics, he has covered the last three Olympic Games, World Cups and other major sporting events.

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