French Guineas form makes After more than a thought
NEWS ROUND-UP:IT WILL be third time lucky for the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Naas this evening where After can provide the final leg of an Aidan and Joseph O’Brien hat-trick.
The Ballydoyle team are gearing up for a trans-Atlantic Group One couple of days with Treasure Beach set to run in Saturday evening’s $600,000 (€490,000) Man O’War Stakes in New York and Imperial Monarch due to appear in the Grand Prix de Paris on the same day.
Imperial Monarch was one of just seven left in the €600,000 Longchamp highlight after yesterday’s forfeit stage, along with the Epsom Derby runner-up Main Sequence. Paddy Power rate Imperial Monarch their 6 to 4 favourite.
O’Brien will also be in Group One action in Newmarket with Maybe lining up in Friday’s Falmouth Stakes and Power appearing in Saturday’s July Cup, the centrepiece of the famous July meeting which kicks off tomorrow with Gale Force Ten declared to run in the Group Two feature.
This evening’s Naas action can’t compete with that but it is boosted by the inclusion of the Brownstown Stakes, cancelled twice at Fairyhouse, including yesterday morning when waterlogging forced the rest of the meeting to be abandoned.
O’Brien has taken out Empowering after Horse Racing Ireland’s decision to move the Brownstown to Naas but After remains and a filly capable of running fourth in the French Guineas, and who is bred to operate on soft ground, looks well up to beating four opponents.
The champion trainer runs three in the juvenile fillies maiden and his son is on Where, who can use the experience of her Curragh debut to win. O’Brien Jnr is also on Parliament Square in the colts maiden and the Windsor Castle fifth can beat newcomer Impound, who has the same connections as the 2007 winner, Famous Name.
Unanimous will be another O’Brien fancy in the mile maiden for three-year-olds but there could be a value alternative in Loreto, a filly who ran behind Warwick Avenue at the Curragh last time.
Captain Cullen made a promising return to action at Leopardstown behind One Fine Day and can get the better of Custom Cut who is on a hat-trick in the seven-furlong handicap.
Last week’s rescheduled Wexford fixture is on today where first time blinkers could be the key to Judge Roy Bean returning to winning form. The former top novice hurdler is a light of former days but ran a little better at Kilbeggan last time and can land the handicap chase.
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh will be fancied to double up in the steeplechases on Raptor and Gagewell Flyer.