Irish Derby ‘most obvious objective’ for Piz Badile

Connections of Piz Badile could still head to the Irish Derby after failing to handle the track in the English equivalent at Epsom on Saturday.

The Donnacha O’Brien-trained son of Ulysses was well supported on the strength of his Group Three Ballysax Stakes win at Leopardstown in early April, but he was never better than in mid-division under Frankie Dettori at Epsom.

His rider reported that Piz Badile “never acted on the track” and finished 12th of the 17 runners, some 16 and a half lengths behind impressive winner Desert Crown.

Alan Cooper, racing manager to Piz Badile’s owners the Niarchos family, said all options are open for the classy colt’s next engagement, including the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 25.

“The horse is in good shape and he will have an easy week this week, and we are mulling over the options,” said Cooper.

“Once we have regrouped with Donnacha, we can say what the plan is.

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“The Irish Derby is the most obvious objective after Epsom. We are dealing with a top-class horse and we decided to have a bit more time and think about the long-term options.”

Cooper felt that Piz Badile may have been closer to the winner had he received a cleaner passage through the race.

He added: “He is a lovely horse and is beautifully balanced. Wiser men than me have said you don’t know (if they handle the track) unless you actually try it.

“I noticed watching the replay, there was a rough part of the race and there was a bit of argy-bargy, and that probably didn’t help him.

“We can’t redraw a race, you have to go forward. So that’s what we do – we go forward – and the Irish Derby is a possible, and as soon as Donnacha has evaluated everything, we hope to have a plan by next week.”

With his sire winning both the Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International as a four-year-old in 2017, hopes are high that Piz Badile will continue to mature.

Cooper revealed: “He is the sort of horse we would like to keep in training as a four-year-old, as that is what we did with his sire, who improved with age – he won two Group Ones as a four-year-old – so we will take our time and feel our way.”

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