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Saxon Warrior and Dee Ex Bee meet again in Irish Derby

29 Jun 2018

Pair both played prominent roles in Investec Derby and will clash for second time.

Saxon Warrior is ods-on to gain more Classic glory. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Three horses who have already made their mark on the QIPCO British Champions Series this year will be among the star acts running in Ireland this weekend.

Saxon Warrior, winner of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and fourth in the Investec Derby, heads a field of 12 for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh tomorrow.

He is the general 8-11 favourite and among four runners for champion trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is seeking to win the Classic for a 13th time.

O’Brien said: “He was a bit babyish at Epsom and a bit taken back by the track and everything. He’d always run on very uncomplicated tracks, and that was the first time he had to encounter anything like that.

“Ryan (Moore) said he was a little bit at sea coming down the hill and a bit unsure of himself. It was the same when he came into the straight, he never really got himself organised but he kept going.

“Everyone knows the Curragh is probably the fairest track in the world, and physically and mentally we are very happy with him and we think he should have learned a lot.”

Dee Ex Bee, runner-up at Epsom, will try to go one better for trainer Mark Johnston. He is available at 4-1.

“There was cut in the ground at Epsom and we know he does handle cut in the ground, as he’s won on soft ground before and it may inconvenience others,” said trainer Mark Johnston. “At the same time, I would be pretty confident that he would handle fast ground.

“I’ve got the utmost respect, as everyone has, for Aidan. We are the one who finished in front (of Saxon Warrior) and we are the one who is guaranteed to stay. We are coming there more than hopeful.”

Masar won the Investec Derby and his trainer, Charlie Appleby, is represented by Old Persian, who was supplemented for the race on the back of his win in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Forever Together, the Investec Oaks winner, is one of three O’Brien-trained runners in the Group One Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Bye Bye Baby, who finished third at Epsom, and Athena, fourth in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, also represent O’Brien.