Glory to Ballysax for Derby hopeful Piz Badile | Race News

Piz Badile is on course for Epsom after showing admirable resolve to clinch the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes for Donnacha O’Brien at Leopardstown.

After Vina Sena and Bluegrass retired, it looked like Buckaroo, trained by Joseph O’Brien, was going to be a clear winner once they kicked into top gear on the outside.

But as he got to Piz Badile and passed him, Gavin Ryan’s mount fought back inside and was back in front by a short header at the line.

Duke De Sesa, the 100-30 favorite who beat Piz Badile in the Eyrefield Stakes here in October, was three and three-quarter lengths in third.

“He’s always been a fine horse and he’s matured well over the winter,” O’Brien said.

“It was a great performance and it’s nice to see him able to accelerate like that because I know he’s staying well.

“He’s going to be better when he goes a mile and a half, but I think the fact that he can accelerate means he has a bit of class.”

He added: “The plan is here, Derrinstown (Derby Trial) then Epsom. Obviously everything has to come back here the next day, but that’s been the plan for a while and that’s what we’ll stick with.

“He will do well on any ground, I would have no problem with soft ground and no problem with good ground. He is very versatile.”

Betfair make Piz Badile a 14-1 chance for the Cazoo Derby, with Buckaroo available at 25-1.

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