Less than perfect scope rules Alder out of Derby engagement

By Sports Desk June 01, 2023

Alder will be redirected to either Royal Ascot or the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby after a unsatisfactory scope saw him ruled out of the Betfred Derby at the 11th hour.

The Dee Stakes runner-up was poised to represent trainer Donnacha O’Brien in the Epsom Classic on Saturday afternoon, but his name was missing from the declarations made on Thursday for the showpiece event.

With his handler unwilling to risk the son of Australia in such a deep contest when not at 100 per cent, connections will now point the colt towards either the King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting later this month or again target Classic glory at the Curragh on July 2.

“Everything was going to plan, but his scope wasn’t 100 per cent perfect this morning after his last day riding out. It’s a real shame, but just one of those things,” said O’Brien.

“It’s not a race you can go into not being 100 per cent. We couldn’t run him once his scope was slightly off.

“I imagine his two options now will be the King Edward or the Irish Derby, he’s likely to go to one of them.”

Meanwhile, Alder’s stablemate Proud And Regal could be poised for a return to 10 furlongs following his seventh-place finish in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the weekend.

“He’s come out of the run well,” continued O’Brien. “We haven’t made a plan with him yet, but he’s in good form after the race. I think it is likely we will go back to 10 furlongs for his next run.”

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