Adelaide heads O’Brien’s bid for global domination

Trainer hopes Group One hopefuls can add to €5m prize pot already won this term

nAdelaide, above, will be in action in the Cox Plate in Melbourne. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

nAdelaide, above, will be in action in the Cox Plate in Melbourne. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

 

Aidan O’Brien’s global Group One reach stretches from Melbourne in the morning to Doncaster this afternoon as Ireland’s champion trainer attempts to add to a current tally of 11 top-flight victories for 2014.

Closer to home, Royal Navy Ship will fly the Ballydoyle flag in today’s Group Three highlight at Leopardstown which kicks off a glut of Bank Holiday cards that includes tomorrow’s wind-up of Ireland’s 2014 flat campaign on turf.

O’Brien finishes up the domestic term with a purse with more than €5 million in prize money and a century of winners, including three home classics, but his focus is resolutely international for the next week, culminating in the Breeders Cup.

First though Adelaide will attempt to give his trainer a first Australian success in the prestigious €2 million Cox Plate, due off at Moonee Valley at 7.40 this morning. In contrast it will be very familiar territory for O’Brien at Doncaster where both Jacobean and Aloft try to give him an eighth victory in the Racing Post Trophy.

Colm O’Donoghue’s mount Jacobean chased home Royal Navy Ship on his recent Curragh debut and is generally rated the main threat to the Royal Lodge winner Elm Park by bookmakers.

Royal Navy Ship and Giovanni Canaletto had been touted as Ballydoyle’s likely Racing Post contenders earlier this week but travel instead for the first leg of Leopardstown’s weekend programme.

The $500,000 purchase Royal Navy Ship leads an O’Brien trio into the five-runner Killavullan Stakes which has a pedigree of throwing up future classic winners albeit it’s a decade since Footstepsinthesand won it on-route to 2,000 Guineas success.

Giovanni Canaletto brought a big reputation to his recent Navan debut but looked very green for much of the race until running on noticeably well at the finish.

He should prove hard to beat in the mile maiden while Seamus Heffernan can also make hay in the fillies maiden aboard Outstanding who has ground to make up with stable-mate Facade from her debut but shaped well in that Gowran contest.

Easier going could make a significant difference to another Ballydoyle runner, Illusive in a mile handicap, and the same comment looks to apply to Vote Often in the Listed Trigo Stakes.

Dermot Weld has won this event four times in the last half-dozen years and chooses this race rather than last week’s Filly & Mare Stakes at Ascot for Vote Often’s return to action.

She hasn’t been seen since finishing third to Marvellous in the mud of last May’s Irish 1,000 Guineas and before that had beaten Odeliz in the Park Express Stakes on the opening day of the season.

Tony Martin’s Pyromaniac is also in tomorrow’s November Handicap but can take advantage of going a mile and a half today in the concluding handicap.

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