Carlton team full of hope
Hopes high after clean preparation
Last Updated: June 25, 2011 5:35pm
Connections of Carlton House are delighted with his preparations ahead of Sunday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt has is owned by the Queen and he overcame a late injury scare to finish third in the Investec Derby at Epsom, losing a shoe in the closing stages.
A trouble-free run since has prompted connections to let the son of Street Cry take his chance in the Irish equivalent, and Her Majesty's racing manager, John Warren, is excited about seeing him in action again.
"It's all very exciting and we're thrilled that the horse has come out of Epsom extremely well," said Warren.
"I'm thrilled for the Queen as that has given her something to very much look forward to this weekend."
The reopposing Treasure Beach was narrowly ahead of Carlton House at Epsom, while Memphis Tennessee, Native Khan and Seville were all behind and are in attendance again.
Warren is looking forward to finding out which of the colts has progressed most.
"It should be a fascinating race with much of the field from Epsom, apart from the winner, converging on Ireland," he continued.
"It will be interesting to see what these three-year-olds will do with themselves and it will interesting to see who has come out of Epsom best.
"I think it would be fair to say they are all on the cusp of making improvement. They make improvement from their trials to the Derby, and it is now about which ones have gone on again from there.
"Most of them were unexposed horses going into the Derby and the margins have been close enough.
"What we are excited about is that we hope all those little issues that he had going into the Derby are now behind him.
"With only eight runners, it should be a really true and fair race."
Even in the aftermath of Epsom, many critics still doubt Carlton House's ability to stay a truly-run mile and a half - but Warren is not concerned.
He said: "I don't think we're querying whether he really stays a mile and a half because he stayed enough to run as well as he did at Epsom.
"Whether or not retrospectively he's going to be better over a mile and a quarter, we won't know that until he actually runs over a mile and a quarter.
"I don't think there are any concerns about the trip, the ground or the course. We are just hopeful that he's progressed enough to find himself in front when it counts."
With rain having fallen in Ireland in recent days and more possibly on the way, the ground is also likely to be slower than it was at Epsom, but Warren is confident it will not impact on their colt's chances.
"Ryan (Moore) has always said that the horse likes quick ground, but he did win on soft ground as a two-year-old," Warren added.
"He ran on very heavy ground on his debut, which he didn't like, but we haven't even had a conversation about ground as conditions aren't going to be too extreme either way.
"I think it's the first Royal runner in the Irish Derby and it would be a great achievement for the Queen in her career as a racehorse owner to have a Derby winner - that is what we are routing for. Sadly, she is unable to attend."