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Dubai Sand gallops clinch Irish Derby run for Godolphin

J A McGrath

Jim Bolger has been so impressed by the recent progress of Godolphin's Dubai Sand that he confirmed the colt an intended runner in Saturday's G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The son of Teofilo was last seen on a racecourse when finishing fifth (beaten 9 lengths) in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on May 7.

Last year, he won a nine-furlong race for two-year-olds at Leopardstown, sparking hopes that he would measure up to Classic standard. 

"Recently, he has been working very well," Bolger reported. "He's getting back to where he was last year in his attitude.

"Yes, he did lose his way in late Spring and early Summer (this year). I had been looking at Epsom," he pointed out.

But Bolger said he had since been greatly encouraged by the colt's impressive work at home.

"He galloped yesterday, and while it wasn't strenuous, he pleased me. He's in good form and wants to get on with it," the trainer said.

Dubai Sand prefers racing on top of the ground. "We would reconsider (running in the Derby on Saturday) if the ground changed dramatically," Bolger added.

Meanwhile, the trainer predicted a competitive renewal of the Classic. "So far, it looks an average year for three-year-olds, but this Derby looks a competitive race. We have the winner and third from Epsom, plus the best from France," he pointed out.