Aidan O’Brien has been successful in the Irish Derby on 14 occasions. The Ballydoyle man may be set to extend his record in 2022, with strong representation once again in the Irish Classic.
Stone Age has put himself in the Classic picture this season following two impressive performances at the start of the season. The son of Galileo scored at Navan to break his maiden back in March. He then stepped up in class to land the Group Three Derby Trial Stakes by just over five lengths.
Stamina is unlikely to be a problem for Stone Age, so a step up to 1m4f could produce more improvement. O’Brien’s colt is the 9/4 favourite in the horse racing odds online for the race at the Curragh.
As shown in the horse race results, Stone Age finished a close second in a Group One contest at Saint-Cloud last season in his two-year-old campaign. His connections will be hoping he can prove to be a big player at the highest level in the middle-distance division in 2022.
Changingoftheguard At Top End Of Ballydoyle Pecking Order
The Chester May Meeting is a fixture O’Brien has often aimed his best three-year-olds at over the years, so the signs could be good for Changingoftheguard. He was successful in the Chester Vase, a race that takes place over 1m4½f.
O’Brien’s runner only had three other rivals to beat at Chester, but he did it with ease, scoring by six lengths. The distance of that race is further than he will encounter in the Derby and Irish Derby, so he has proved his stamina.
Changingoftheguard is 7/2 in the Irish Derby betting. He could enhance his reputation further before he appears at the Curragh, which would leave stable jockey Ryan Moore with a dilemma over which horse to ride in the Irish Classic.
Piz Badile The Biggest Threat To O’Brien Duo
The biggest threat to the talented O’Brien duo in this year’s Irish Derby is likely to come from Piz Badile, a horse who has won two of his three outings to date.
After scoring on his debut at Killarney, the son of Ulysses finished second in the Group Three Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown last season over 1m1f. He did not have to wait long to score in a pattern race for the first time, as he was successful in the Group Three Ballysax Stakes on his return to Leopardstown.
The Ballysax Stakes winner has often gone on to prevail in a Classic. Galileo, High Chaparral and Fame and Glory all scored in it before going on to win the Irish Derby. Connections of the horse will be hoping their runner can do the same thing.
Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Piz Badile in the Derby at Epsom. That partnership may stay together for the Irish equivalent of the race. Dettori won the Irish Derby in 1994 onboard Balanchine. He has won eight Irish Classics, so he is a good jockey for the big occasions.
The 2022 Irish Derby takes place on Saturday, 25th June. It will be the 157th renewal of the most prestigious Irish Classic.