Trainer Dermot Weld plays down Harzand’s chances


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Trainer Dermot Weld has admitted that Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby may have come a week too soon for Harzand.

The three-year-old, owned by Aga Khan, stole the headlines earlier this month when he stormed to victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom. However, the brown colt didn’t have the best preparation and was nearly pulled out of the race just hours before the off.

He pulled off a shoe in transit and also managed to prick the sole of his foot with a nail, but Weld’s team managed to get him ready for the race.

Harzand eventually proved too much for the rest of the field but Weld insists this weekend’s race could be coming too soon.

He told At The Races: “I’m satisfied with the horse, he had a tough race at Epsom and he’s just taken time to come out of the race, as you can understand.

“He’s a horse that gives his all, he’s a very courageous horse, and it just left its mark on him for the first week, but we’re more happy with him now.

“My concern now is that he’s over all that but he had to go on antibiotics for a few days to prevent infection and you never know what they take out of you at the time.

“I think he’s putting his weight back on and perking up. He’s moving very nicely and provided we’re satisfied with him on Thursday at declaration time, he’ll run on Saturday.

The ground should be all right. “My only worry is that he had a tough race and it took a lot out of him. It is definitely coming a week sooner than I’d like.”

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