“I thought when he won the Derrinstown he was as good a Derrinstown winner as St Jovite. There are no holes in this fellow.”
This was the assessment of trainer Jim Bolger after Moonlight Magic’s victory in the recognised Derby trial at Leopardstown in early May, beating fellow Epsom entrants Shogun, Idaho and Beacon Rock in the process.
St Jovite used the Derrinstown as a springboard towards finishing second to Dr Devious in the 1992 Derby, where he then went on to follow up with a dominant victory in the Irish equivalent by a record margin of 12 lengths.
However, it is worth noting that the Derrinstown has failed to produce a Derby winner since 2002.
Just how strong Moonlight Magic’s chances are could prove to be hugely dependent on the ground. If conditions are good or quicker, he certainly has each-way claims, if the rain falls, he is likely to find things difficult. He is currently priced at 12/1 to win the Derby.
Moonlight Magic’s solitary defeat so far in four starts came back in April when finishing a well-beaten fifth on heavy ground at Leopardstown.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.