The 2012 Irish Derby has been moved to the Saturday card at the Curragh in a bid to encourage attendances, and Aiden O'Brien is heavily fancied to claim the Classic once more, with his trio of runners. O'Brien has won the last six renewals of this race, and we run through the main contenders below.
Montjeu colt Camelot (1/4 To Win The Irish Derby) is having a stellar three-year-old season, which began by winning the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket despite concerns over his breeding and the easy ground. He went on to win the Epsom Derby in convincing fashion, running on superbly on the quick surface, and there can be little reason to oppose him here or indeed when he looks to take the English Triple Crown by claiming the St Ledger.
O'Brien also runs Imperial Monarch (9/2 To Win The Irish Derby) and Astrology (33/1), who finished third in the Epsom Oaks, but the former is still not a certainty for the race, with the trainer hinting at a possible niggle in the horse's foot. The main threat to Camelot could be in the shape of John Oxx's charges Born To Sea and Akeed Mofeed, both of whom are yet to fulfil the promise they are rumoured to possess.
Akeed Mofeed (20/1 To Win The Irish Derby), not seen since September, has long been touted as a serious horse but without a run this season there are questions as to how fit he can possibly be, although the presence of William Buick in the saddle will no doubt give him as good a chance of a strong performance as is possible.
Born To Sea (20/1 To Win The Irish Derby) has been a tricky customer, with connections initially of the opinion he wouldn't get a mile and a half. However, his performance in the Irish 2000 Guineas, and once again in the St. James' Palace Stakes at Ascot, where he stayed on well on both occasions, suggest he has more to offer.
His dam has sired some great middle distance horses, including Sea The Stars and Galileo, and jockey Johnny Murtagh is optimistic, saying: "Urban Sea has produced a lot of middle-distance horses and she has a huge influence. At the start of the year we didn't think he'd want to go this far, but maybe he does. I still believe he's a Group One horse."