Silvestre de Sousa to partner Dee Ex Bee in Irish Derby

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Silvestre de Sousa will partner Dee Ex Bee in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

De Sousa guided the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum owned colt into second place behind Masar at the Epsom Derby and trainer Mark Johnston has again turned to the champion jockey after Dee Ex Bee was supplemented for the Classic on Tuesday.

Godolphin jockey William Buick had been in line to partner the Farhh colt, but will now be aboard Old Persian after the Charlie Appleby-trained three-year-old won in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.

Johnston said: “William was going to ride Dee Ex Bee but with Charlie declaring another horse (Old Persian) we have switched back to Silvestre, the same jockey as in the Derby, so it couldn’t be better.

“Everything has been great since Epsom, perfect.

“Any rain would have suited us but, at the same time, we don’t think he needs it, so we’re happy to go.”

Appleby is bidding to cap off the best month of his career after Masar’s victory in Epsom followed up with two winners at Ascot last week.

He said: “We are very happy with the way Old Persian came out of the race last week and the signs are all very positive.”

“An eight-day turnaround at that level is always a concern, but you can’t fault the way he’s come out of Ascot.

“He’s eaten up and exercised well. He bounces back from his runs very quickly, and we are confident we can come to the Curragh at the weekend with a horse that is going to be very competitive.

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Godolphin's Hawkbill set for second tilt at Northern Dancer Stakes

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Godolphin‘s Hawkbill looks set for a second tilt at the Northern Dancer Stakes in Canada following his fine effort in defeat at Royal Ascot.

Charlie Appleby’s charge was a brilliant winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan earlier in the year, but disappointed on his return to Britain in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

However, he bounced back to form to finish third behind Poet’s Word and Cracksman in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Appleby is happy to send his charge on his travels once more in search of further top-level honours.

Hawkbill was beaten just a head in the Northern Dancer at Woodbine last September.

Appleby said: “He ran a solid race (at Ascot).

“The pace was honest. In an ideal world we would have liked to get on the lead, but with Eminent there we knew it was the be all and end all to him.

“I was pleased with his performance and that is the sort of level we are with him.

“Campaigning him around the world, I’m sure he will pinch another race for us.

“We will do a bit of travelling with him. We will probably look towards the Northern Dancer in Canada.”

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Godolphin’s Royal Ascot winner Old Persian under consideration for Irish Derby

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Godolphin’s Royal Ascot winner Old Persian could make a quick reappearance in Saturday’s G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

Trainer Charlie Appleby explained that the ‘win and you are in the Irish Derby’ clause applicable to the G2 King Edward VII winner was being explored by Godolphin.

“Old Persian has come out of his race very well and I am very pleased with him,” Appleby said.

“I have had initial discussions about the Irish Derby with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and he has agreed to review the situation before the supplementary entry deadline on Tuesday,” he added.

Old Persian, ridden by William Buick, won Friday’s King Edward with great authority, defeating Rostropovich and Giuseppe Garibaldi.

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