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Epsom runner-up Madhmoon on course for Anthony Van Dyck rematch in Irish Derby

Derby runner-up Madhmoon is set for a rematch with his Epsom conqueror Anthony Van Dyck in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on June 29.

Madhmoon, who finished fourth in the 2,000 Guineas, will attempt to give 86-year-old Curragh-based trainer Kevin Prendergast his first win in a race his father Paddy won four times, most notably with the Bing Crosby part-owned Meadow Court in 1965.

Angus Gold, racing manager to Madhmoon's owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "Kevin is delighted with the horse since his fantastic run at Epsom and Sheikh Hamdan is keen to run in the Irish Derby, a race he won with Salsabil in 1990."

Madhmoon stumbled running down the hill at Epsom but kept finding for pressure to get within half of length of Anthony Van Dyck, who is likely to lead a typically strong team for Aidan O'Brien who is seeking a 13th victory in the Irish Derby.

Anthony Van Dyck heads the betting at 2-1, with Madhmoon a best-priced 6-1 with Betfred. The Dermot Weld-trained Rakan, who is also owned by Sheikh Hamdan, and Guaranteed, trained by Jim Bolger, are also reported to be on course for the Classic.  

Hughie Morrison is weighing up whether to tackle the Coral-Eclipse with Telecaster or give the Dante winner a longer break after disappointing in the Derby and instead head across the Channel to Deauville in August.

Telecaster was supplemented for the Derby at a cost of £85,000 on the Monday before the race, despite reservations expressed by connections the Classic might come too soon for the free-going colt, who produced an impressive performance to defeat Too Darn Hot at York.

Telecaster trailed in last at Epsom, 19 lengths adrift of winner Anthony Van Dyck after he had sweated freely and racing keenly under jockey Oisin Murphy. The Derby was the colt’s fourth race of 2019 and Morrison feels another couple of runs may be he needs this year as he mentally matures.

“Telecaster’s extremely well and I’m very pleased with how he’s come out of the race,” Morrison said on Friday. “He always looks really well in himself so that makes it a little tricky to know when he’s fully over a race or not, but he seems in really good shape. He’s always going to be on his mettle in races and I hope to be able to get him to relax a bit more in future.”

He added: “He was the only horse who’d had three runs this season going into the Derby and in the end our first thoughts about whether or not to go there were right. He may only run a couple more times this season.”

Telecaster holds entries in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown next month, as well as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, but Morrison is eyeing a drop in grade for the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano for his stable star.

He said: “He won’t go to Royal Ascot and we’ve left him in the Eclipse. He’s got plenty of speed, as he showed in the Dante, so going a mile and a quarter at Sandown might work well for him.

“But I could well give him another month off and we could end up running in a Group 2 in France in August for three-year-olds over a mile and a quarter as the penalty structure favours him. That might be the right way to go.” 

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