Caravaggio set to skip Haydock in favour of Flying Five Stakes

Jamie Osborne targets Laytown in force with runners in all six races at beach meeting

Caravaggio is set to return to action at the Curragh on Sunday and skip another Group One clash with old rival Harry Angel at Haydock the day before.

The Scat Daddy colt is one of five Aidan O’Brien-trained entries left among 20 still in contention for Haydock’s 32Red Sprint Cup on Saturday.

However the Ballydoyle trainer appears likely to stick to the plan of bringing Caravaggio back in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes instead.

After a resounding defeat of Harry Angel in Royal Ascot's Commonwealth Cup, Caravaggio lost out to his Godolphin rival in Newmarket's July Cup. He failed to fire again in Deauville's Prix Maurice De Gheest behind another of the main contenders for Saturday's Haydock feature, Brando.


“We think we had the wrong shoes on him at Deauville and he didn’t get any traction. We think that’s the reason,” O’Brien said.

“We were delighted with his first two runs. The next two didn’t go right. Deauville didn’t go work out for him. Neither did Newmarket. But we’ve been happy with him the last two weeks,” he added.

The quartet of Cougar Mountain, Washington DC, Spirit Of Valor and Intelligence Cross also remain in contention to take on Harry Angel in a race which represents a rare Group One blank for O’Brien.

Harry Angel is a clear favourite and his jockey Adam Kirby reported: "He's in good nick, moving well and everything's good. He'll be fine in the ground. He'll go through anything. In my eyes he's everything you need in one.

“He’s settled down now. He’s still not had many races. We’re looking forward to it and I’ll let him do the talking – I think he’s very good.”

Laytown’s renowned beach meeting takes place on Tuesday evening and after winning one race at the fixture a year ago, English trainer Jamie Osborne and owners, Melbourne 10 Racing, return to the strand with a vengeance.

They have runners in all six races including two in the seven-furlong maiden. The ex-John Feane trained Strategic Heights will run for Osborne in the second of the six furlong handicaps.

Galway jockey Dougie Costello travels to Co Meath for four of the rides and the topweight for the opening handicap, Captain Bob, could be his best chance.

Kate Harrington rides Palawan and Monteverdi for Osborne in the amateur contests although Ger Lyons's Silk Cravat could be the safest bet of the evening if taking to the unique conditions.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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