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Derby delight as top quartet get green light :horse; DARSI & DRAGOG FOR CURRACH.

Byline: By PETER O'HEHIR

FRENCH Derby winner Darsi was one of four colts supplemented yesterday for Sunday's Budweiser Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The Aga Khan-owned colt, which is trained by Alain De Royer-Dupree, heads the market for Ireland's premier classic, being quoted as 7/2 favourite by both Paddy Power and Cashmans, while Boylesports make him a 3/1 chance.

The E100,000 supplementary entry fee paid was matched by the connections of Vodafone Derby runner-up Dragon Dancer, impressive Italian Derby victor Gentlewave and the David Wachman-trained Cougar Bay, runner-up to Heliostatic at listed level at the Curragh last time.

A total of 16 colts, five of them trained by Aidan O'Brien, stood their ground at yesterday's forfeit stage, although Sir Michael Stoute's Royal Ascot winner Papal Bull was left in as a precaution as his stable-companion Best Alibi is the stable's intended runner, with Michael Kinane in the saddle.

Sunday's race looks wide-open, with the three firms which furnished prices yesterday, quoting seven horses at less than 10/1.

All firms make Darsi favourite ahead of Aidan O'Brien's Epsom third Dylan Thomas while Cashmans reported support for Gentlewave, which they now make 7/1 (from 10/1).

Ground conditions were described as good on the round course at the Curragh yesterday, a situation which prompted Geoff Wragg to enter Epsom runner-up Dragon Dancer.

Dylan Thomas is Ballydoyle's shortest-priced contender, plenty of interest will also surround his stable-mate Puerto Rico, which impressed some astute judges when slamming Mon Michel in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes over ten furlongs last month.

Stable-jockey Kieren Fallon will be available to ride over the weekend having been successful in his appeal to defer a four-day ban picked up at Royal Ascot. The Clare man will now serve the suspension from next Monday to Thursday.

Elhamri, which gave Declan McDonogh and trainer Sylvester Kirk, their first Royal Ascot success last week, is among 16 entries for the Group 2 Anheuser Busch Adventure Parks Railway 2-Y-0 Stakes.

Tommy Stack's smart colt Drayton will be another leading contender for this event while O'Brien will choose between Eagle Mountain, Holy Roman Empire and promising maiden Duke Of Marmalade.

The listed King Of Beers Stakes over five furlongs promises to be a smashing contest, with regular visitor Benbaun set to lock horns with local speedster Osterhase and the Con Collins-trained Dandy Man, unlucky in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot.

Meanwhile, Eddie Lynam might register a double on tonight's Naas card with Free Roses and Medico.

CAPTION(S):

DARSI: New favourite
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 28, 2006
Words:423
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