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Weld: Rock To Handle Any Conditions
Classic contender Fascinating Rock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Polaris, by Polar Falcon) is unlikely to be troubled by ground conditions in Saturday week's Investec Derby at Epsom, reports irishtimes.com. The Dermot Weld-prepared colt has had a highly progressive 3YO campaign to date, culminating in a last start victory in the Gr3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown. All four of Fascinating Rock's career starts have been on soft going but Weld believes the son of Fastnet Rock will cope with almost any ground in the big race. "At this time of year, with the climate we have in these islands, ground conditions can change so rapidly but I think Fascinating Rock is comfortable on any kind of ground bar extremes. He doesn't want it very firm and he doesn't want it very heavy. Apart from that I think he should be fine," the champion trainer said. Weld says he couldn't be happier with Fascinating Rock leading into Epsom and suspects the biggest obstacle to the colt's chances of blue-riband success will come from the regally-bred favourite Australia. "It was a very good renewal of the Derrinstown, the best renewal in a number of years. There was depth and strength to it and I think it was the best of the Derby trials, outside of the Classics. I've been pleased with the horse since and everything is progressing nicely." He added, " I know it will be a mile and a half at Epsom but the favourite is bred to get it and he does look a stand-out." Should he prove successful on 7 June, Fascinating Rock will become the first Northern Hemisphere Gr1 winner for his sire Fastnet Rock.