Taking firm grip: O'Brien to land four-timer


RACING PREVIEW:LIMERICK’S €80,000 Ladbrokes Munster National is the big-money pot tomorrow but the longer term significance of Sunday’s action could come at the Curragh where Joseph O’Brien appears to have the ammunition to take a decisive grip on the jockeys’ championship, writes Brian O’Connor.

The 19-year-old rider and rival Pat Smullen are in Newmarket today but while Smullen flies on to Canada, O’Brien stays at home and can extend a lead that stood at 79-77 Dundalk last night. The dual-champion apprentice is a significant booking for the prolific mare Shadow Eile in the Hacketts Irish Cesarewitch but it is in the three Listed races that O’Brien can make hay. Chamonix has been a revelation in staying races and should repeat the 2003 success of his dam L’Ancresse in the mile-and-a-half Irish Finale Stakes.

David Nagle has booked O’Brien for his dual-Group Three winner Maarek in the Waterford Testimonial Stakes and successfully conceding weight all round can provide consolation for missing out on the Prix de l’Abbaye.

Giant’s Causeway’s half-sister Hanky Panky looks a good thing in the Listed juvenile and O’Brien can score on Magician in the opener.

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