O’Brien gears up for Goodwood with Roly Poly Group One success

US Army Ranger takes on Big Orange in Tuesday’s Goodwood Cup

Aidan O'Brien got a perfect Group One boost ahead of this week's Goodwood action after Roly Poly landed Deauville's Prix Rothschild on Sunday.

Ryan Moore’s mount fought off all comers to land the mile event and bring the Irish trainer’s top-flight haul for 2017 to 12.

With Churchill (Sussex Stakes) and Winter (Nassau Stakes) set to line up at Goodwood, this week is shaping up as an important one for O’Brien’s overall Group One ambitions.

The Irishman is quoted at 7-4 to ultimately  break Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group/Grade One victories in a calendar year.

O’Brien’s next Group One starter is set to be last year’s Derby runner up US Army Ranger who tackles the hot favourite Big Orange in Tuesday’s Qatar Goodwood Cup.

Us Army Ranger is one of 16 lining up for the newly-promoted race. Willie Mullins runs Wicklow Brave who will be ridden for the first time by British champion jockey Jim Crowley.

Group Two

Ballydoyle's targets on Tuesday will also include the Naas winner Seahenge in the Group Two Vintage Stakes and both Cougar Mountain and Spirit Of Valor in the Lennox Stakes.

However Roly Poly has already confirmed her status as one of Europe’s top three-year-old fillies by backing up a Falmouth Stakes victory earlier this month with another admirable success in the Rothschild.

She disputed the lead with Usherette for much of the race and found plenty of pressure to hold Via Ravenna and Siyoushake. The favourite Qemah was fourth.

Moore reported afterwards he felt the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown over Irish Champions Weekend and Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes could be future targets for the daughter of War Front.

Earlier in the season Roly Poly was runner up to her stable companion Winter in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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

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