2021 Irish Derby Tips: Hurricane Lane to blow rivals away at the Curragh

Irish Derby Tips: Check out our prediction for the Curragh showpiece.
Irish Derby Tips: Check out our prediction for the Curragh showpiece.

Steve Chambers previews the 2021 Irish Derby, which takes centre stage at the Curragh on Saturday, and he picks out his 1-2-3 for the Group 1 Classic...

Aidan O'Brien will bid for an epic 15th victory in the Irish Derby this weekend, and the master of Ballydoyle will unleash a five-pronged attack at the Curragh Classic, and his team will be spearheaded by High Definition, who is set to be sent off clear favourite for the event.

Unbeaten as a juvenile, which included an impressive win in the Beresford Stakes, the son of Galileo made his comeback appearance in the Dante Stakes at York, but he was only able to finish third behind Hurricane Lane, who he's set to lock horns again with at the weekend. Having bypassed Epsom and the Cazoo Derby, High Definition will bid for Classic glory in the Irish equivalent, and if improving on that York run looks a key player in the event. The step up to one mile and a half should bring on significant improvement, and having missed the Derby at Epsom he heads to the Curragh a fresh horse. 

But, while he's been touted as a potential superstar of Ballydoyle, he could lack the experience some of his rivals possess on Saturday, and he may find it tough to reverse the form with Hurricane Lane, who ran an excellent race in defeat to Adayar in the Derby a few weeks ago.

Charlie Appleby's raider may have lost his unbeaten record at Epsom, but the son of Frankel ran a fine race to chase home his stablemate, and while needs to produce that sort of effort again, he has shown he had the measure of High Definition over ten furlongs in the Dante, and having shown to like the Derby trip at Epsom then he could well have the ability to frank the form with High Definition. Significantly bigger in the betting, at the time of writing, the Godolphin raider could be a little under-estimated in this event, and while O'Brien's astonishing record in this race means it's hard to oppose him, Hurricane Lane has shown to be a real top notch middle distance performer, and he can claim Classic glory here.

Jim Bolger has been in red-hot form this season and Mac Swiney will be looking to provide the veteran handler with another big-race success this weekend. The son of New Approach produced a career best when bounding to victory in the Irish 2000 Guineas, but he failed to land any sort of blow when finishing fourth in the Derby at Epsom. A colt that relishes testing going, Mac Swiney will be hoping the heavens open in the lead-up to the race, as he would be a major player if the ground was on the soft side, but with the ground good, good to firm in places at the moment, then he may find it tough.

Richard Hannon's decision to supplement Mojo Star is extremely eye-catching as the Sea The Stars colt ran a career best when chasing home Adayar in the Derby, and while he was 50/1 for that event at Epsom he will be a fraction of that price on Saturday. Yet to get his head in front, Mojo Star has gradually improved with each run, but while he has shown to be a real top notch performer, he may just find a couple too good on the day at the Curragh, and he can be ignored at relatively skinny odds.

High Definition will be the shining beacon among the O'Brien contenders, but the likes of Van Gogh and Wordsworth will add more depth to the challenge from Ballydoyle, and Van Gogh is particularly of interest. A Group 1 winner at Saint-Cloud last season, Van Gogh was eighth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, before he was third behind Mac Swiney in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Last seen finishing a poor tenth in the Prix du Jockey Club, Van Gogh will enjoy a return to Irish shores and has shown he can produce the goods at the highest level, but he could be another that wants a bit of the wet stuff to improve his chances.

Of the others, Lone Eagle was last seen winning the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood and is on the upgrade, but this could just be beyond his capabilities at the moment, while Earlswood and Fernando Vichi add more depth to the race that can go the way of Godolphin and Hurricane Lane, as the O'Brien stranglehold on the race is briefly halted for this season at least.


  1. Hurricane Lane
  2. High Definition
  3. Van Gogh
Irish Derby
Hurricane Lane silk

Hurricane Lane

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