aidan_o_brienAidan O’Brien
(Go Racing/Dan Shirley)

Aidan O’Brien last night predicted that the eagerly awaited clash between Epsom Derby winner New Approach (Galileo) and Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill) in the Juddmonte International tomorrow is in serious doubt following the news that York’s ground is heavy after 25mm of rain over the weekend.

The Guardian reports this morning that a decision is likely today once the Ballydoyle trainer has discussed the situation with owners John Magnier and Michael Tabor. “The ground is heavy and very deep. He’s in now, but he has to be a doubt,” said Aidan O’Brien. “It’s far from ideal and will be totally against him, but knowing the horse he is, the lads might let him run. We’ll talk about it tomorrow and make a decision.”

New Approach’s trainer Jim Bolger suffered a serious setback yesterday when his 1,000 Guineas candidate Cuis Ghaire (Galileo) ran an uncharacteristic stinker at Leopardstown but not surprisingly punters were putting their faith in the Derby winner after news filtered through about the radical change in ground conditions.

Jockey Johnny Murtagh, though, was certainly refusing to countenance defeat for his mount when questioned at Leopardstown. “Duke Of Marmalade is a good horse and I firmly believe that a good horse will go on any ground,” argued Johnny Murtagh. “He is tough and genuine and will give 110%. He’s a horse that will die for you. He can overcome difficulties and though it’s a hot contest I don’t fear anything in the race,” he added.