Duntle has Sun Chariot option to secure elusive Grade One prize

Aidan O’Brien checks out Grade Two Mill Reef Stakes

Duntle could get the opportunity to finally secure an elusive Group One prize if she lines up in Newmarket’s Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in 11 days time.

The David Wachman- trained star was famously disqualified from first in last year’s Matron Stakes at Leopardstown for causing interference to Chachamidee and this season found only Elusive Kate too good in another top-flight prize, the Prix Rothschold at Deauville, during the summer.

Duntle was sent to Arlington Park in Chicago for her last start but beat only two home in the Grade One Beverly D Stakes won by Dank, who she'd beaten into third when landing Royal Ascot's Duke Of Cambridge Stakes in June.

Wachman is persevering with the filly, though, and the Sun Chariot is one of a series of options for the consistent daughter of Danehill Dancer.

"The Sun Chariot is there, and there is also a race at Longchamp over the Arc weekend, and a race in America too. But she likes fastish ground and that really dictates everything. We'll see how she works later in the week and then try to come up with a plan," the Co Tipperary trainer said yesterday.


Wachman had a frustrating Group One weekend, with both Galileo Rock and Sudirman running well in the Doncaster Leger and the National Stakes respectively, but having to settle for places in the frame rather than the winners enclosure. Neither colt may be finished for the season though.

“It’s all ground dependant with them too. Sudirman ran a good race at the Curragh, no excuses, and he’s in the French race (Prix Jean Luc Lagadere) and the Middle Park and the Dewhurst at Newmarket (October 12th),” he said. “Galileo Rock has come out of Doncaster fine. We’ll see if we can find a suitable spot for him, talk to the owner, and see if we can come up with a plan.”

Wilshire Boulevard was taken out of Sunday’s National Stakes due to the ground conditions at the Curragh but the Gimcrack runner-up is one of three Aidan O’Brien entries for Saturday’s Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. The champion trainer has also left in Oklahoma City.

Jim Bolger's Parish Hall, winner of the 2011 Dewhurst Stakes, last ran in Leopardstown's Champion Stakes and is among the entries for Saturday's Group Three Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup, also at Newbury.

Ibsen has yet to win over jumps but today’s €45,000 Listowel feature could be the perfect place for him to break his duck in style.

With the heavyweight battalions from Willie Mullins and Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown Stud dominating the top of the weights in the Lartigue Hurdle, its little surprise Ibsen is at the other end of the scale and jockey David Splaine takes off a valuable 3lbs into the bargain.

In four starts over flights last season, Ibsen mostly spent his time chasing home some of the leading lights among the Mullins juvenile team, but wound up running behind old rival Flaxen Flare at Cheltenham when ninth place in the Fred Winter didn't reflect how well he recovered from losing his position at an important stage.

Trainer John Murphy brought him back at Galway during the summer and Ibsen ran a good race on the flat which should set him up nicely for a valuable prize in which Mullins’s Call Me Bubbles tops the handicap.

That one has to concede the guts of 2st to Ibsen however and if ground conditions get softer, it will make weight even more important.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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