Harzand fends off Idaho for Epsom-Irish Derby double

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TwinSpires Staff

June 25th, 2016

Edited Press Release

Harzand, trained on the Curragh by Dermot Weld, followed up his victory in the Epsom Derby (G1) when landing a thrilling renewal of the Irish Derby at the Curragh (G1) on Saturday.

Owned by His Highness Aga Khan and ridden by champion jockey Pat Smullen, Harzand became the 18th colt to complete the English and Irish double and was an extremely popular winner in front of an attendance of 18,244.

Winning jockey Pat Smullen described the performance as "courageous" as the son of Sea the Stars came out on top of a fascinating battle with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Idaho by a half-length. Dermot Weld was winning Ireland's most prestigious race for a third time.

"That was a great performance from horse and rider," Weld said. "I felt today today's race was better than Epsom as I have the highest regard for Aidan O'Brien and I knew he would improve one of his colts so Harzand would also have to improve from Epsom and both horses quickened up twice and it was a wonderful race.

"That was a proper horse race and it is very, very special to win. It is a race that I enjoyed watching a child and I have been lucky enough to win it three times. It has been a wonderful month and a wonderful year. I thought it was fantastic to see two great horses and two fantastic jockeys, Pat Smullen and Ryan Moore, riding at the very top of their profession. Harzand will get a good break now and be targeted at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1)."