Santiago a chance for English Derby start

Russian Emperor winning the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Russian Emperor is a confirmed English Derby runner for champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Aidan O’Brien has not ruled out Irish Derby winner Santiago turning out again quickly in the English Derby.

Due to calendar changes following the coronavirus shutdown, the Derby at Epsom on Saturday comes after both the Royal meeting and the Curragh Classic this year, when it would normally be the first of the three events to be run.

O’Brien won the Irish Derby for the 14th time on Saturday, providing the first four home, yet despite the race coming only eight days after his Ascot win over a mile and three-quarters in the Queen’s Vase, Santiago has not yet been ruled out of Epsom, along with those he beat at the Curragh.

“If any of them come out of the race exceptionally well and they want to make an entry, that’s what will happen,” O’Brien said.

“They didn’t do much today, they’ll do a canter tomorrow and a decision will be made some time during the morning.

“We’ll see what they want to do, but it’s not impossible. We’ll see what other horses are going to Epsom.

“It was unconventional to run them so soon after Ascot, but they came out of the race well and that is why they ran. Nothing is definitely ruled out.”

As for those targeting Epsom who did not run at the Curragh, O’Brien said: “The lads are thinking about Mythical, who was a very nice two-year-old last season, a Camelot horse, then there’s a horse called Amhran Na Bhfiann, who finished fourth in the maiden the second, third and fourth from the Irish Derby ran in.

“We’ve Russian Emperor, who won at Ascot, he seems to have come out of it well, then we’ve Mogul who seems to have come out of Ascot well.

“We wanted two races before the Derby for him which is why he went there, we were trying to squeeze two races into one – we’ve been very happy with him since.”