Dermot Weld aiming for Group 1 success at Longchamp

Curragh trainer will be represented in next week’s Breeders’ Cup Mile by Mustajeeb

Pale Mimosa is set to return to Longchamp and bid for an elusive Group One success in Sunday’s €350,000 Prix Royal-Oak.

Dermot Weld’s mare ran out of stamina in the Prix du Cadran earlier this month when it came third to High Jinx over two and a half miles. It could meet the same horse this weekend in a race many regard as the French St Leger.

The Royal-Oak, which is run over a distance just shy of two miles, was won by the Weld-trained Vinnie Roe in 2001.

“At this stage I would say she is most likely to run in Paris although who will ride is not clear yet. Pat (Smullen) could be needed to ride at Leoaprdstown on Sunday,” Weld said.


The last Irish-trained winner of the Prix Royal-Oak was Aidan O’Brien’s legendary stayer Yeats in 2008.

Breeders’ Cup

Weld will be represented in next week’s Breeders’ Cup Mile by Mustajeeb while his fellow Curragh trainer Willie McCreery is hoping his Matron Stakes winner Fiesolana will get into the race too, although she has the Filly & Mare Turf as an alternative.

“The Mile is first choice, but we might not get in it, so we’re keeping in both at the minute,” McCreery said. “She’s bombing along. The weather is quite warm for the time of year, so it’s good for fillies.

“She seems happy with herself so we’re going to give it a go. She’s likely to fly out on Saturday.”

Evanna McCutcheon has a French option – the Group 3 Prix de Seine-et-Oise at Maisons-Laffitte – for her star sprinter Maarek next month after his good effort behind Gordon Lord Byron at Ascot.

“The idea of Hong Kong is being thrown about too, but it’s only an idea. We need to decide whether we do something like that or maybe just give him a short break and have him ready for the early sprints next year,” she said.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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