Mac Swiney, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner last month, is a third favourite for Saturday’s Cazoo Derby at Epsom; Jim Bolger says Mac Swiney “wasn’t right” when fourth behind Derby favourite Bolshoi Ballet at Leopardstown on his reappearance
Trainer Jim Bolger says Mac Swiney is “fresh and perky” after having a quiet and uninterrupted preparation for Saturday’s Cazoo Derby.
The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner is third favourite – behind Aidan O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet and High Definition – and a general 7-1 shot for the Epsom Classic.
Mac Swiney finished a slightly disappointing fourth on his reappearance in the Leopardstown’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, but raised his game to land Classic glory at the Curragh last month.
- ‘A great English story’ – John Leeper all set for DerbyAiden O’Brien yet to decide on Derby team
“He’s come out of his Guineas run at the Curragh very well,” Bolger told Sky Sports Racing. “He’s fresh and perky and didn’t have to do any work in between the Guineas and the Derby.
“He’s had an easy time for a couple of weeks. Hopefully he’ll be on top of his game by the time we get to the Derby.”
Bolger has no concerns that his smooth-travelling colt will see out the Derby trip of a mile-and-a-half, despite having yet to win a race over further than eight furlongs.
He is also happy to forget Mac Swiney’s first effort this season – when well held by Saturday’s favourite Bolshoi Ballet – after a post-race nasal issue came to light.
Alex Hammond's Derby & Oaks longshots
Find out who Sky Sports Racing's Alex Hammond thinks might be overlooked for Saturday's Classics at Epsom.
“It looks as if he’ll stay, he was staying on well at Doncaster in the Vertem Futurity in heavy ground as a two-year-old and he got the mile very well at the Curragh in heavy ground as well so I’d be fairly optimistic that he will get the trip,” Bolger said.
“We’ve drawn a line through the Derrinstown race because he wasn’t right on the day.
Follow Sky Sports Racing on Twitter
See the latest horse racing news, interviews and features from Sky Sports Racing
“We were a bit surprised he bounced back so quickly after it. He had a bad nasal discharge for the best part of a week after the race.
“As soon as it was cleared up he seemed to be in very good form so he did one piece of work before he went to the Curragh.
“He didn’t go there specifically to win the race, he went there to make sure he’d be on song for Epsom. As it transpired, he was probably a bit more forward than we felt he was and the rest is history.”