The 143rd annual Kentucky Derby (G1) is set for this weekend on May 6. All of the top contenders are putting in their final training sessions in preparation for this year’s Run for the Roses. One such contender is Irish War Cry. He final pre-Derby work took place at Fair Hill Training Centre on April 30, where he ran six furlongs in a time of 1:13 1/5 under the watchful eye of trainer Graham Motion.
The Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) winner ran under jockey Rajiv Maragh and in the company of Providence Road.
“I wanted him to have a decent work but not overdo it, and I think that’s exactly what he did,” said Motion. “Rajiv was anxious to see how he’d settle behind another horse, I thought it would be good for him to feel that himself, and he was happy with the way he did it. To be really corny, we ‘ticked all the boxes,’ pretty much.”
Maragh’s first time riding Irish War Cry was at the Wood Memorial and he was pleased with their final pre-Derby workout.
“I’ve never been on him directly behind another horse, so I just wanted to see if that was an option, how he would react,” said Maragh. “He was perfect, he did everything I was hoping he would. He didn’t react in any negative way at all.
“His workout was fantastic, he was in such a great flow and he did it well within himself. This horse is just such a fabulous horse to ride because he does anything you ask of him.”
Irish War Cry finished with the fifth-most Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points (110).