Pat Smullen handed Cracksman ride


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Pat Smullen has been chosen to ride Cracksman in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

The experienced Irishman will replace regular jockey Frankie Dettori at the helm after he was ruled out of the contest due to injury.

Smullen will certainly bring a wealth of experience to the Cracksman cause, as he has won the Irish Derby on two previous occasions, including last year’s success aboard the Dermot Weld-trained Harzand.

The 40-year-old’s agent, Kevin O’Ryan, confirmed the news on Tuesday, insisting that Cracksman is a brilliant ride for his client.

O’Ryan said: “He has been booked to ride Cracksman. He’s an absolutely brilliant ride to get.”

Cracksman’s trainer John Gosden will certainly be hoping Smullen can make it a hat-trick of victories in the Group One race, as he goes in search of his own repeat success in the Irish Derby, following on from his triumph with Jack Hobbs in 2015.

Cracksman will go into the race on the back of a third-place finish in the Investec Derby at Epsom and he is likely to come up against the two horses that beat him in that contest, Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher, both of whom are trained by Aidan O’Brien.

The Anthony Oppenheimer-owned horse is priced at 3.50 to secure Derby glory on Saturday, while Epsom champion Wings Of Eagles is also available at 3.50 and Cliffs Of Moher is on offer at 7.00.

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