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Smullen lands plum ride on Cracksman after Dettori injury

Pat Smullen has landed the top ride on Frankel colt Cracksman in the Irish Derby

Dual Irish Derby winner Pat Smullen is relishing the opportunity to bid for a third aboard Cracksman.

Smullen replaces the injured Frankie Dettori in Sunday’s Classic at the Curragh.

The Frankel colt was favourite to give trainer John Gosden and owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer victory in the Epsom Derby earlier in the month but had to make do with a close-up third behind Coolmore’s Wings Of Eagles.

“It’s a brilliant ride to pick up and I’m really looking forward to Saturday,” Smullen told Press Association Sport.

“He ran a great race at Epsom. At the end of the day Wings Of Eagles is the Epsom Derby winner and you can’t take that away from him, but this is a different track on a different day and I’ll be going into the race very positive.

“The Irish Derby is a huge race. I’ve been lucky enough to win it twice and I’d love to win for a third time on Saturday.”

Smullen’s wins have come aboard Grey Swallow in 2004 and Harzand 12 months ago.

Cracksman and Wings Of Eagles are among 12 colts still in contention following the confirmation stage.

Wings Of Eagles is one of eight possible runners for O’Brien along with Capri, Douglas Macarthur, Finn McCool, Spanish Steps, Taj Mahal, The Anvil and Venice Beach.

The Jim Bolger-trained Dubai Sand and Grandee from Jessica Harrington’s stable make up the home team.

The field is completed by the Andre Fabre-trained French Derby runner-up Waldgeist.

Ladbrokes make Wings Of Eagles the marginal favourite at 2-1, with Cracksman second-best at 9-4.

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