Signs Point to Hurricane Run In Irish Derby

Hurricane Run, whose fast close in the French Derby (Fr-I) three weeks ago makes him the strong favorite for Sunday's Irish Derby (Ire-I) at Curragh, has plenty going for him, trainer Andre Fabre feels.

Fabre thinks that his son of Montjeu, the Irish Derby winner in 1999, will get into stride faster than he did in France, where he was the runner-up to Shamardal. He should also appreciate an extra furlong of distance and the anticipated softer ground.

"He is in good shape," Fabre told Racing Post on Friday. "He is a horse I like and he will improve, but what is more important is that the distance and the course will suit him better."

Hurricane Run, who was purchased by Coolmore just days ago, had won his first three races, including a five-length win in the Prix Hocquart (Fr-II) on May 9 at Longchamp. The Irish-bred colt was leased back to owner-breeder Gestut Ammerland for Sunday's race.

Nine entered this year's 12-furlong Irish Derby, with Epsom Derby (Eng-I) second-place finisher Walk In the Park likely to present the biggest danger to the favorite.

The John Hammond-trained Walk In The Park, also a son of Montjeu, was five lengths behind Motivator at Epsom. He finished second in the Derby Trial Stakes (Eng-III) on May 7 in his seasonal debut.

David Wachman's Fracas, fourth at Epsom, will meet Walk In The Park once again, as will the Aidan O'Brien-trained Gypsy King, who finished fifth in the English Classic.

O'Brien also saddles Scorpion for his Ballydoyle connections.

Mark Johnston's Brahminy Kite makes a quick return after running second to Plea Bargain in last week's King Edward VII Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot at York. Clive Brittain supplemented another British invader, Bahar Shumaal, earlier in the week.

"He cantered this morning and is in very good form," Brittain said of his recent maiden winner. "I very much paid the supplementary because I expect him to run well. He has improved steadily and I have every confidence in him."

Irish Derby (Ire-I), 3-year-old entire colts and fillies, 1 1/2 miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Walk In The Park, Alan Munro, John Hammond
2. Gypsy King, Seamus Heffernan, Aidan O'Brien
3. Scorpion, Colm O'Donoghue, Aidan O'Brien
4. Helvetio, Pat Smullen, Dermot Weld
5. Fracas, Jamie Spencer, David Wachman
6. Hurricane Run, Kieren Fallon, Andre Fabre
7. Brahminy Kite, Kevin Darley, Mark Johnston
8. Bahar Shumaal, Ted Durcan, Clive Brittain
9. Shalapour, Fran Berry, John Oxx