Ballydoyle team in top-flight weekend action in three countries

Shattered Love allowance could prove decisive in Gowran feature

Japan and Magical give Aidan O’Brien a strong hand in his pursuit of a third Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday but the champion trainer has a dozen other Group One weekend hopes into the bargain.

Hermosa returns to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, where she won the 1,000 Guineas in the Spring, for Saturday’s Sun Chariot Stakes.

She is joined by her stable companion I Can Fly while O’Brien’s son Joseph saddles Iridessa who will be ridden by his brother Donnacha.

That's because Iridessa's regular partner Wayne Lordan is in action in the US at Saturday night's Keeneland card.


Lordan teams up with Van Beethoven in the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile which is due off at 11.15 Irish-time.

Van Beethoven renews rivalry with Valid Point who beat him into second in August’s Secretariat Stakes in Arlington and is rated a 10-1 by local odds makers.

Earlier Just Wonderful will break from a 13 of 14 draw in the $400,000 First Lady Stakes over a mile which is off at 10.04.

In a notable display of trans-Atlantic strength O’Brien runs Delphinia and South Sea Pearl in Longchamp’s Prix de Royallieu before concentrating on Sunday’s Arc programme.

A Ballydoyle trio line up in the Prix de l’Opera while the Flying Five first two, Fairyland and So Perfect, take on the flying Battaash in the Abbaye.

The form of Pinatubo’s spectacular National Stakes victory will be tested at top-flight level by Armory in the Lagadere but it is Jessica Harrington’s Albigna who flies the Irish flag in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

Harrington also has a couple of Longchamp runners on Saturday but is represented by Jett in Gowran’s Grade Two jumping feature, a race that could be decided by Shattered Love’s 7lbs sex allowance.

Tipperary's mixed card on Sunday sees last year's winner Yulong Gold Fairy have a first start for Jim Bolger in the Concorde Stakes. Her old trainer Dermot Weld may hold the key though with Imaging.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column