Mendelssohn set for Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park
Another clash with Catholic Boy may be on card for race in which Diversify tops betting
Trainer Aidan O’Brien. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho
Mendelssohn will continue his route to November’s Breeders Cup Classic by taking in Saturday week’s Grade One Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in New York.
Aidan O’Brien has confirmed the $750,000 1¼-mile highlight is the latest target for his dirt star, who found only Catholic Boy too good in last month’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
That represented a step up from his previous start in a Grade Three at Belmont and continued Mendelssohn’s upward progress following a disastrous Kentucky Derby effort in May.
“The Jockey Club Cup is where we hope to go next with him, and everything is going according to plan so far,” O’Brien said on Tuesday.
Another clash with Catholic Boy could be on the card in the Jockey Club, for which Diversify, the 2017 winner – and last month’s Whitney hero – tops antepost betting.
The historic race is also the next intended start for Godolphin’s World Cup winner Thunder Snow.
It’s 12 years since O’Brien sent Dylan Thomas to run in the Jockey Club but the subsequent Arc and King George hero failed to fire on dirt and finished last of four behind Bernardini.
The trio includes the Goodwood winner Land Force as well as Sergei Prokofiev, who disappointed in the Phoenix Stakes last month. O’Brien has also given Sioux Nation a Group Three entry at Newbury on Saturday.
The focus will definitely be on juveniles at Naas on Wednesday, where an all-two-year-old card is run.
There are seven Ballydoyle declarations, and the trio of Afar, All The King’s Men and Old Glory, who makes his debut in the finale, could all be tough to beat.
Dumouriez finished only third on his last start at Killarney but wasn’t beaten far by Zuenoon, while the runner-up Cardini hasn’t let the form down since.
Ger Lyons’s runner looked to be finishing off best of all that day and looks worth a look in the mile maiden.
Naas: 3.20 Afar; 3.55 Clashaniska; 4.25 Biltmore; 5.00 All The King’s Men; 5.30 Spiritual Impulse; 6.00 Dumouriez (Nap); 6.30 Gold Jasmine; 7.00 Old Glory
Nap and Double – Dumouriez & All The King’s Men