Irish trainers aiming to finish British flat season on a high at Doncaster
O’Brien’s 1,000 Guineas runner-up Could It Be Love could feature in Listed Wentworth Stakes
Aidan O’Brien: may send both the Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Could It Be Love and Most Gifted to the Listed Wentworth Stakes. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Ireland’s flat campaign on the turf finished on Sunday but Irish trainers could still target this Saturday’s finale to the British season in strength.
Ger Lyons has Inscribe among the 40 entries left in the final big pot of the British turf season, the November Handicap, at Doncaster.
Inscribe hasn’t been in action since finishing a good third to Hamley at the Curragh over ‘Irish Champions Weekend’.
Aidan O’Brien enjoyed classic glory at Doncaster in September when Kew Gardens landed the St Leger and may pursue some valuable end of season black type success this weekend.
Snowflakes, a full sister to the four-time Group One winner, Winter, ran at Naas on Sunday but missed the break and finished last in the Finale Stakes behind Mustajeer.
She has been left in the Listed British Gillies Stakes on Saturday alongside Dermot Weld’s pair Bona Fide and Hazel Bay.
O’Brien also has the option of sending both the Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Could It Be Love and Most Gifted to the Listed Wentworth Stakes.
The popular stalwart Gordon Lord Byron is another Irish possible for that six -furlong event alongside Downforce and The Broghie Man.
In other news, Ross O’Sullivan will point his staying star Baie Des Iles at Christmas after she finished out of the frame in a Grade One at Auteuil on Sunday.
The trainer believes the lack of a recent run caught out the mare in the Prix la Haye Jousselin which was won by Biploaire.
“She jumped great and travelled well but unfortunately the ground has been too quick in Ireland so we couldn’t get a run into her. She started to feel the pinch turning in and got tired,” O’Sullivan reported.
“We’ll look for a race around Christmas for her, at Leopardstown or Limerick. Then there’s the National Trial at Punchestown in February.
“She’ll be entered in the English and Irish Nationals and we’ll head back to France in the spring,” he added.
Limerick trainer Eric McNamara is looking at Cheltenham’s Bet Victor Gold Cup later this month for his smart handicap performer Black Scorpion.
Third in the Munster National on his last start, Black Scorpion’s versatility in terms of trip gives McNamara options.
“The plan is he’s in the Bet Victor and if he gets in he’ll go there. It depends on what weight he gets. Or maybe the Paddy Power at Christmas. We’re not in any rush. The shorter trip wouldn’t bother him but he does stay three miles,” he said.