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Ambiente Friendly in fine form ahead of Irish Derby date

Ambiente Friendly in fine form ahead of Irish Derby date
Ambiente Friendly in fine form ahead of Irish Derby date

James Fanshawe has declared himself “very happy” with Ambiente Friendly ahead of Sunday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

An impressive winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial, he found only City Of Troy too good in the Derby at Epsom.

He faces a rematch with Aidan O’Brien’s Los Angeles, but the Ballydoyle runner has over three lengths to find.

“Ambiente Friendly appears to have come out of Epsom in really good form,” said Fanshawe.

Ambiente Friendly (left, white cap) and Los Angeles (second right) meet again
Ambiente Friendly (left, white cap) and Los Angeles (second right) meet again (David Davies/PA)

“He worked last Wednesday and seems nice and bright in himself ahead of the weekend and I’m very happy with the colt.

“He really came into his own in the Derby Trial at Lingfield back in May, which he won really well, and then showed further progress in the Derby at Epsom and appears in good shape since.”

He went on: “I just had a look at the weather forecast for the week and there doesn’t appear to be a lot of rain around.

“The ground was just on the slow side of good at Epsom and I don’t envisage any issues with the ground at the Curragh as he is a lovely moving horse and we are all very much looking forward to it.”

Fanshawe’s last Group One winner came courtesy of Audarya at the Breeders’ Cup in 2020.

Los Angeles is one of six left in by O’Brien, who is in the unusual position of not having the ante-post favourite.

Agenda, Chief Little Rock, Euphoric, Grosvenor Square and The Euphrates could all run for Ballydoyle.

Roger Varian’s Matsuri is due to step up in class having won a Leicester novice last time out, while David Menuisier may send Sunway.

The Ger Lyons-trained Keeper’s Heart is the only other possible.

Ladbrokes has Ambiente Friendly as the 11-10 favourite ahead of 6-4 shot Los Angeles.

Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “The Irish Derby is shaping up to be a showdown between the British and the Irish, as Ambiente Friendly goes head-to-head with Los Angeles. There is very little separating them right now, but we give James Fanshawe’s Derby runner-up the edge to remain in front again.”

On the same card is the Group Two Gain Railway Stakes, in which O’Brien’s debut winner Henri Mattise, a Wootton Bassett colt out of Immortal Verse, is one of 10 entries.

British interest comes in the form of Richard Hannon’s Principality and Kevin Ryan’s The Strikin Viking.

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