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Horse Racing

Aidan O’Brien and Ballydoyle reveal Derby plans with runners for Epsom and the Curragh outlined

THE Ballydoyle Derby chess pieces are a step-closer to being positioned at Epsom and the Curragh ahead of their respective Classics.

Aidan O’Brien has declared six for the Irish Derby on Saturday, with a further six horses potentially heading to England for the Derby next weekend.

Royal Ascot hero Santiago heads the Ballydoyle sextet for the Curragh this weekend, while Mogul and Russian Emperor could be the leading lights for Epsom.

Curragh hopeful Santiago was a comfortable winner over a mile and six furlongs in the Queen’s Vase, but he drops back in trip to 12 furlongs just eight days later in search of Classic glory.

Arthur’s Kingdom, who finished second in the King Edward VII Stakes, also makes a swift return to action with Derrinstown Trial third Iberia also taking his chance.

Tiger Moth, Dawn Patrol and Order Of Australia, who filled the first three places in a Leopardstown maiden at the start of the month also line up.

O’Brien’s sons, Joseph and Donnacha, are also represented in the Group 1, with Joseph running the supplemented filly New York Girl along with the unbeaten Gallinule Stakes winner Crossfirehurricane and Curragh maiden victor Galileo Chrome.

Donnacha O’Brien sends out Gallinule third Sherpa.

Jessica Harrington’s Gold Maze finished second in the Gallinule and tries his luck again while Chiricahua, Fiscal Rules, King Of The Throne and Sunchart complete the 15-strong line up.

With Epsom following on just a week later, O’Brien has been forced to split his squad and joining Mogul and Russian Emperor on the plane could be Armory, Mythical, Vatican City and Amhran Na Bhfiann.