Trading Leather Too Tough for Rivals in Irish Derby

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Trainer Jim Bolger Trainer Jim Bolger

Trading Leather took command with over a furlong to run and charged to a 1 3/4-length victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I) at the Curragh June 29.

The 3-year-old colt became the first classic winner for his sire, champion Teofilo, and provided trainer Jim Bolger with his second victory in the race. Bolger previously won with Virginia Kraft Payson’s St. Jovite in 1992.

Most of the pre-race attention had been focused on undefeated Investec Derby (Eng-I) winner Ruler of The World, who was hoping to give trainer Aidan O’Brien his eighth-straight victory in the race. Also gaining plenty of attention was the Epsom runner-up, Libertarian, who had been purchased privately by Godolphin shortly after the British classic.

At the start it was longshot Ralston Road that went to the front under jockey Tadhg O’Shea. He was followed closely by Cap O’Rushes as the pair opened up by a few lengths on the main body of the field.

Kevin Manning had Trading Leather rating comfortably in third, with Sugar Boy and Little White Cloud on on his heels in fourth and fifth. Joseph O’Brien had Ruler of The World well off the pace at the rear of the field through the early stages of the race.

Ralston Road continued to wing along on the front end throughout the first mile. As the field rounded the turn and entered the long home straight, Ralston Road was under a drive and was soon joined by Cap O’Rushes. Trading Leather, who had yet to be asked for his best, was still in third, as Joseph O’Brien was beginning to ask more from Ruler of The World and not getting much of a response.

With two furlongs left to run the race was suddenly up for grabs, as Ralston Road and Cap O’Rushes began to run out of gas. Manning pushed the button on Trading Leather and the response was immediate, and the colt shot to the front and took command with just over a furlong to run.

Trading Leather continued through the final eighth of a mile without really being challenged, and crossed the wire an impressive winner. Galileo Rock got up for second, with Festive Cheer, the other O’Brien runner, finishing third. Ruler of The World was never a factor and finished fifth, about 10 lengths behind the winner, while Libertarian struggled home in eighth.

Final time for the 12-furlong contest was 2:27.17 over the good to firm going.

The victory improved Trading Leather’s record to four wins from eight starts. It was the first Group 1 win for the colt, who had finished third in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Ire-I) in May.

Trading Leather was bred in Ireland by his trainer and races for his wife, Jackie. The colt is out of the unraced Sinndar mare, Night Visit, and hails from the female family of turf champion Hatoof.

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