Ambiente Friendly Aims for Glory in Irish Derby

Epsom Runner-Up Heads to Curragh as City Of Troy Targets Coral-Eclipse

Epsom runner-up Ambiente Friendly is set to target the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 30, owner Tim Gredley has revealed. The colt, trained by James Fanshawe, finished second to City Of Troy in the Betfred Derby and will compete in another Classic race later this month, facing opposition from Epsom third-place finisher Los Angeles. It was announced on Sunday that City Of Troy will aim for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 6. He is hotly favoured on horse racing betting website, Paddy Power.

Following this announcement, Paddy Power has named Ambiente Friendly as the 5-4 favourite, pushing the original market leader Los Angeles to 6-4. Ambiente Friendly will need to be supplemented to the Curragh Classic for a fee of €100,000, which is covered by an incentive linked to his victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial in May.

"We're going to take Ambiente Friendly to the Irish Derby," said Gredley. "We're not going to Ireland because City Of Troy is going elsewhere; we genuinely want to keep him to a mile and a half, and it's a Classic. All the conditions are in his favor, and we think the Curragh will help him a bit like Epsom, whereas Sandown is a bit flatter and a hard race over a mile and a quarter at this point in his career is maybe not what he wants."

The son of Gleneagles was considered for the Coral-Eclipse, but his connections are keen to keep him at a mile and a half. "It's important that we try to stay at a mile and a half at the moment and we also get to stay against our own age group," Gredley added.

"We just think it ticks a lot more boxes positively for us to go to Ireland than it does to go to the Eclipse at this point in his career. We are just doing what is best by the horse. The Fanshawes spent all winter trying to settle the horse for a mile and a half, so it doesn't make any sense changing the plan when he clearly did stay at Epsom – he just got beaten."

Regarding the Sandown option, Gredley noted:

"I know we get a lot of weight in the Eclipse, but we feel it's beneficial to stay against your own age group. Dad won the Irish Oaks a long time ago with User Friendly, so it would be nice for him to do the double. Rab Havlin will keep the ride, and both he and James Fanshawe and Freddy Tylicki have been included in the discussions."

Three more Newmarket-based horses follow Ambiente Friendly and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Los Angeles in the ante-post betting for the Irish Derby. Charlie Appleby's Arabian Crown, who missed the Derby, and Epsom eighth-place finisher Ancient Wisdom are priced at 7-1 and 12-1, respectively, while Roger Varian's Leicester novice winner Matsuri is also available at 7-1.

Paddy Power spokesman Paul Binfield commented:

"The Curragh was probably wringing its hands on Sunday with the news City Of Troy is Sandown-bound. But what a difference a day makes, and you now have the prospect of a battle between the Epsom second and third."

Ambiente Friendly Form 2024

June 3, 2024Betfred DerbyEpsom2nd1 mile, 4 furlongsFinished behind City Of Troy
May 11, 2024Lingfield Derby TrialLingfield1st1 mile, 3.5 furlongsWon, secured Derby entry
April 20, 2024Sandown Classic TrialSandown3rd1 mile, 2 furlongsEarly season trial
March 15, 2024Maiden StakesNewmarket1st1 mileFirst career win
Ambiente Friendly in action!