Mark Johnston vies for Irish Derby glory with Dee Ex Bee

Derby runner-up heads to Curragh

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Dee Ex Bee is firmly on course for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh next Saturday after sidestepping Royal Ascot.

Mark Johnston’s colt ran a tremendous race to fill the runner-up spot behind Masar in the Investec Derby at Epsom earlier this month.

An outing in the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot was considered, but the same connections were hoping to be represented by the Dante Stakes second Mildenberger in that event and the decision was made to save Dee Ex Bee for the Curragh Classic.

A late setback, however, meant Mildenberger missed his intended assignment in Berkshire.

Johnston said: “That’s the plan (Irish Derby) for Dee Ex Bee. We are looking forward to that.

“After Epsom there was a possibility of going to Ascot, but we hoped that Mildenberger would be going there.

“We had left Dee Ex Bee in, but then the lure of the Irish Derby and the Group One was too much so that is where he goes.”

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