It was double delight for trainer Dermot Weld this past weekend, with this prized asset Harzand claiming victory at the Irish Derby, adding to his previous success in the Derby at Epsom just a matter of weeks ago. Harzand held off strong competition, in what was a high quality field, from the likes of Idaho and Stellar Mass, who finished in second and third respectively, to become only the 18th horse in history to compete the Epsom-Curragh double.
Harzand had unsurprisingly been the pre-race favourite with bookmakers Coral, and the son of 2009 Epsom winner Sea of Stars, didn’t disappoint in winning by half a length from Aiden O’Brien trained Idaho. With expectations at this year’s event at Curragh reaching new heights due to the quality of the runners, it had at one stage looked likely the winner would come in a surprise form, with the early running coming from outsiders in the horse racing betting odds. Ebediyin was the first horse to make his move, before Stellar Mass moved into the lead late on, however eventually it was in fact left to Harzand and Idaho to battle it out for supremacy in the final stages. With nothing separating the two contenders, it was Weld’s prized asset who managed to muster energy from somewhere to claim victory.
With a number of high profile races to look forward to over the summer months, there is now another thing to consider for Weld, in terms of the next race for Harzand. However, it looks likely that the Prix de L’Arc de Triopmhe will be the next run for Harzand in October. The race was famously won by his father in the past, and Harzand will be looking to continue his impressive form so far this year. Indeed, Harzand is already placed as the joint second favourite in the horse racing betting odds with Coral, with odds of 8/1. Luca Cumani trained Abandoned is the 4/1 favourite with Coral for the race in Chantilly, with another Aiden O’Brien horse in Minding also given odds of 8/1.
Having been the odds on favourite with Coral for the recent St James’ Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, before eventually losing out to Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori, The Gurkha will be looking to make amends in France also. The O’Brien trained three-year-old is given odds of 16/1, and could well be worth backing as an excellent outsider for the race.