O’Brien’s Justify Colt Drops Back In Trip

Prepping for Gr1 Coral-Eclipse in July

The first three home at Epsom will not all re-oppose in the Irish Derby on 30 June.

Derby hero City Of Troy will bypass the Irish equivalent and instead line up in Sandown’s midsummer showpiece – the Gr1 Coral-Eclipse on the first Saturday of July.

Aidan O’Brien’s City Of Troy is heading for the Gr1 Coral-Eclipse in July

Aidan O’Brien’s City Of Troy is heading for the Gr1 Coral-Eclipse in July (Pic – Ballydoyle Racing)

Aidan O’Brien’s colt was outstanding when bouncing back from Guineas disappointment to earn Classic glory at Epsom, with connections subsequently undecided between Sandown and the Curragh.

On Sunday it was announced that the Justify colt will drop back in trip to a mile and a quarter. He will represent the three-year-old crop against older horses for the first time, but the stable is confident he can follow up on his easy Derby victory.

O’Brien stated: “City Of Troy has pleased everyone since Epsom and the plan is to head to Sandown next for the Eclipse. We were delighted with him at Epsom, and we’ve been delighted with him at home since then too. It’s all gone smoothly.”

“He has plenty of pace so the drop to ten furlongs won’t be a problem for him and we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can do at Sandown.”

City Of Troy is an even-money favourite (from 6-4) with the sponsor for next month’s Coral-Eclipse and will attempt to become the first Derby winner since Golden Horn in 2015 to follow-up at the Esher track.

Epsom runner-up Ambiente Friendly will raid Ireland in search of Classic success in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at month-end.

The Gleneagles colt chased home City Of Troy at Epsom but with the winner bound for Sandown, the James Fanshawe-trained runner’s main opposition looks to be Epsom third Los Angeles.

Bookmakers have priced up Ambiente Friendly as 5-4 favourite, with the Aidan O’Brien trained Los Angeles 6-4.

Ambiente Friendly will have to be added to the Curragh Classic at a cost of €100,000, although that supplementary fee is covered as part of an incentive linked to his win in the Lingfield Derby Trial in May.

Owner Tim Gredley said: “We’re going to take Ambiente Friendly to the Irish Derby. We genuinely want to keep him to a mile and a half and it’s a Classic.”

“Rab Havlin will keep the ride and both he and James Fanshawe and Freddy Tylicki have been included in the discussions.”

O’Brien who could well win both Group 1’s reflected on his Irish Derby hopeful: “Los Angeles ran a big race at Epsom and has done well since. We think the Irish Derby will suit him.”

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