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City Of Troy heading to Sandown - Los Angeles and Ambiente Friendly to clash in Irish Derby

Last updated: 11 Jun 2024
Jon Vine 11 Jun 2024
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  • Key quotes from Aidan O'Brien and Tim Gredley
  • City Of Troy is being aimed at the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown
  • Gredley's Ambiente Friendly will take on Los Angeles in the Irish Derby
epsom derby
City Of Troy (left) beating Ambiente Friendly (second left) and Los Angeles (right) in the Epsom Derby. (Getty)

Plans have been confirmed for the first three past the post in the 2024 Epsom Derby, with winner City Of Troy heading to Sandown for the Coral-Eclipse.

Following his impressive victory at Epsom, Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore were weighing up two options for their Classic winner. It was a straight toss-up between the Irish Derby, run at the Curragh on Sunday 30th June, or a drop back in trip for the Coral-Eclipse, which takes place the following Saturday.

After a weekend of deliberation, Aidan O'Brien spoke to the press and confirmed that City Of Troy would be pointed at the Coral-Eclipse, a race Ballydoyle have won with St Mark's Basilica and Paddington in recent seasons.

"City Of Troy has pleased everyone since Epsom and the plan is to head to Sandown next for the Eclipse." O'Brien told the Racing Post.

"We were delighted with him at Epsom and we’ve been delighted with him at home since then too. It’s all gone smoothly. He has plenty of pace so the drop to ten furlongs won’t be a problem for him and we’re all looking forward to seeing what he can do at Sandown."

O'Brien also said that Los Angeles, third behind City Of Troy in the Epsom Derby, would be their number one runner in the Irish Derby.

Aidan continued, "Los Angeles ran a big race at Epsom and has done well since. We think the Irish Derby will suit him."

Splitting the two Ballydoyle colts at Epsom was Ambiente Friendly, who travelled ominously well into the contest under Rab Havlin. Despite coming up a little short on the day, owner Tim Gredley took plenty of encouragement from that outing and confirmed on Tuesday that his star would head to Ireland for the clash with Los Angeles in the Irish Derby.

"We're going to take Ambiente Friendly to the Irish Derby." Gredley told the press. "We're not going to Ireland because City Of Troy is going elsewhere, we genuinely want to keep him to a mile and a half and it's a Classic."

"All the conditions are in his favor and we think the Curragh will help him a bit like Epsom, whereas Sandown is a bit flatter and a hard race over a mile and a quarter at this point in his career is maybe not what he wants."

"It's important that we try to stay at a mile and half at the moment and we also get to stay against our own age group. We just think it ticks a lot more boxes positively for us to go to Ireland than it does to go to the Eclipse at this point in his career. We are just doing what is best by the horse.

"The Fanshawes spent all winter trying to settle the horse for a mile and a half, so it doesn't make any sense changing the plan when he clearly did stay at Epsom—he just got beaten."

Bookmakers Coral list Ambiente Friendly as the 5/4 favourite for the 2024 Irish Derby, with Los Angeles second in the market at 7/4. City Of Troy, meanwhile, is the 10/11 favourite for the Eclipse with the racesponsors, with Economics, Passenger, Auguste Rodin, White Birch and Luxembourg also featuring in the market. 

Irish Derby betting with Coral
5/4 Ambiente Friendly, 7/4 Los Angeles, 8/1 Arabian Crown,, 12/1 Ancient Wisdom, 12/1 Highbury, 12/1 Matsuri, 16/1 Bar

Eclipse Stakes betting with Coral
10/11 City Of Troy, 5/1 Passenger, 6/1 Economics, 7/1 Auguste Rodin, 8/1 White Birch, Luxembourg, 10/1 Alflaila, 12/1 Inspiral, 14/1 Bar

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