05/05/2005 11:00PM

O'Brien has Grand Central prepping in Derby Trial


Aidan O'Brien will attempt to follow up on the Dee Stakes victory of Gypsy King on Friday at Chester when he saddles Grand Central and Down Mexico Way in Sunday's Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

Gypsy King came from last to first to snatch the 1 1/4-mile, 75-yard Group 3 Dee Stakes on the wire by a short head from Im Spartacus despite racing greenly early on.

The winner of an 18-runner, one-mile maiden at Leopardstown in his only previous start, on Oct. 31, Gypsy King is an improving Sadler's Wells colt likely to make his next start in the Epsom Derby on June 4. The 5-4 favorite at Chester, a tight left-handed track just south of Liverpool, he covered the extended 10 furlongs under Kieren Fallon in 2:16.47 on good to soft ground.

O'Brien used victories in the 1 1/4-mile Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial by Galileo in 2001 and High Chaparral in 2002 as springboards to triumphs in the Epsom Derby.

On Sunday he will employ the maiden Down Mexico Way as a rabbit for Grand Central, a son of Sadler's Wells out of Coronation Stakes winner Rebecca Sharp. He took his seven-furlong maiden debut on Oct. 25, but who was 3 1/2 lengths second to Alayan in his reappearance, the one-mile Group 3 Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial on April 10.

Grand Central should reverse that result this time, but he faces sterner challenges from Bobs Pride, a course-and-distance winner of the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes, and Fracas, fresh from victory in the 1 1/4-mile Group 3 Sandown Classic Trial on April 22.