Past Winners » Trading Leather


I am backing Trading Leather this morning for the Irish Derby after his win in the Listed Silver Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday.

There was a lot to like about the performance that he put up in winning on Sunday. He tracked across from the widest draw to race in second place, he travelled nicely behind the clear leader, he moved up to challenge two and a half furlongs out and, although it briefly looked as though Lines Of Battle was going to lay down a big challenge, Jim Bolger’s colt found plenty. He was always keeping the runner-up at bay, and he galloped out right the way to the line to extend his advantage to three and a half lengths.

Lines Of Battle had a 5lb penalty for his Group 2 UAE Derby win, but Trading Leather had a 3lb penalty himself for his win in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket last season, so he was only receiving 2lb from the runner-up. He was well on top at the finish, and the strength with which he ran all the way to the line suggests that he will be even better when stepped up to a mile and a half.

The Teofilo colt has always been highly regarded by Jim Bolger – he made his racecourse debut in a listed race last September, finishing second to the twice-raced Battle Of Marengo – and he showed the battling qualities so typical of his trainer’s horses when he got back up to win the aforementioned Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on Dewhurst day.

The ground was probably too soft for him in the Racing Post Trophy on his final run as a two-year-old, but all three of his runs now this season have been high class. He was quite fresh in the Dante on his reappearance and he was a bit rusty and outpaced two and a half furlongs out before he stayed on really strongly on the near side through the final furlong, only for Libertarian to finish even quicker on the far side. That form was upheld emphatically when Libertarian went on to finish second in the Derby. Also, his trainer said afterwards that he expected him to come on appreciably for the run.

The fact that Trading Leather was able to equal his Dante RPR back over a mile in the Irish Guineas probably reflects quite how effective he is on fast ground. Hopefully the weather will stay good and the ground will remain quick at the end of the month. Quick ground would give him a major chance of reversing Dante form with Libertarian and would also be an unknown for Ruler Of The World, who may not be best served by rattling quick ground.

The Irish Derby is shaping up to be a cracking race, with Libertarian and Sugar Boy on track, and Galileo Rock a possible. However, there is a possibility that there will only be a handful of runners. There could be fewer than eight, and Trading Leather is an each-way bet at this stage