Irish Derby: John Gosden eyes Classic double with Jack Hobbs

By Cornelius LysaghtBBC horse racing correspondent
Trainer John Gosden
John Gosden is £850,000 ahead of his nearest rival in this season's trainers' championship
Irish Derby
Venue: The Curragh Date: Saturday 27 June Time: 18:30 BST

Of course, it's the jockeys who grab the headlines.

Ryan Moore's record-breaking nine victories at Royal Ascot and Frankie Dettori's resurgence during a golden June are the feats that are lighting up the Flat racing season.

But behind the quiet brilliance of Moore and the conversely gregarious talents of his Italian-born colleague lies an extensive network of owners, breeders, trainers and stable staff, plus many more.

None is working more efficiently than the powerful operation headed by trainer John Gosden, who celebrated the renewal of the successful Dettori association with Golden Horn's win in the Epsom Derby, followed swiftly by that of Star Of Seville in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks).

And at Ascot, Gosden did his bit for Moore too, providing him with success on Gm Hopkins in the Royal Hunt Cup, one of two bull's-eyes hit by the string whose hugely-promising Mahsoob, ridden by Paul Hanagan, took the Wolferton Handicap.

Gm Hopkins in Royal Hunt Cup
Gm Hopkins and Ryan Moore won the 2015 Royal Hunt Cup during Royal Ascot

Just like cricketing legend Jack Hobbs, whose name was given to Gosden's Derby runner-up - so providing him with a memorable one-two - the 2012 champion trainer is hitting a stack of boundaries at present.

At barely halfway in this year's prize money-judged championship, he has a commanding lead of nearly £850,000 over nearest rival - and reigning title-holder - Richard Hannon.

Now the horse Jack Hobbs, beaten by three-and-half lengths by Golden Horn, is being aimed at gaining a slice of Derby glory for himself in the 150th staging of the Irish Classic at The Curragh on Saturday (18:30 BST).

Jack Hobbs, partly-owned by Dettori's old boss, Sheikh Mohammed and his Godolphin team, is ridden by one of the Sheikh's new jockeys, William Buick, as he faces seven rivals in the Dubai Duty Free-sponsored prize.

As well as attempting to break Aidan O'Brien's near-monopoly on his home country's premier flat race - eight wins in the last nine - success for the Gosden colt would be the first for Britain in the race since, remarkably, 1994 when Dettori and the Godolphin-owned Balanchine took the honours.

Gosden said: "Jack's taken it (the Derby) very well, he's fine and I'm very happy with him.

Golden Horn and Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori won his second Epsom Derby when he piloted Golden Horn to victory on 6 June

"A galloping track like The Curragh should suit him well - he's a tall rangy horse, and in good order."

Of unbeaten Golden Horn, who's entered in both the Eclipse Stakes, Sandown (4 July) and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot (25 July), the trainer added: "Golden Horn bounced out of it [Epsom], but usually the winners do bounce out of it because they're doing maybe less than the people behind.

"He's in the Eclipse, he's in the King George, and who knows he could run in one, he could run in both. Mr [Anthony] Oppenheimer (owner-breeder) and I and Hugo [Lascelles], his manager, haven't made any decisions yet."

Mahsoob is also a King George possible.

Fresh from a highly-successful Royal Ascot where he saddled five winners, O'Brien is to have four Irish Derby runners, all owned by the Coolmore partners, as he looks for a 12th victory in all.

O'Brien's surprise Oaks-winning filly Qualify has been added as a late entry, while Epsom fourth Giovanni Canaletto and the sixth, Kilimanjaro, will also represent the stable along with French Derby runner-up Highland Reel.

The William Haggas-trained Storm The Stars, eight lengths away in third behind Golden Horn, is also due to travel.