O’Brien’s Beresford Stakes domination could continue at Naas

Saxon Warrior and Nelson already 20-1 for next year’s Epsom Derby

Aidan O'Brien's stranglehold on the top of next year's Derby betting could get even tighter after Sunday's Juddmonte Beresford Stakes.

The €120,000 Group Two highlight has been switched to Naas due to the Curragh’s redevelopment but it appears little is likely to change in terms of Ballydoyle domination.

O’Brien is chasing a 17th win in 22 years having scored in 2016 with the subsequent Irish Derby and St Leger hero Capri.

He has seven of the ten horses left in after Tuesday’s forfeit stage including Saxon Warrior and Nelson who are both 20-1 shots for next year’s Epsom Derby.


However both are behind their stable companions The Pentagon, Amedeo Modigliani and Gustav Klimt in betting for the 2018 'Blue Riband'.

The trio of Dermot Weld’s Galway maiden winner Hazapour, Riyazan and the Brendan Duke-trained Warm The Voice are the only possible Ballydoyle opposition on Sunday.

Nelson beat his stable companions Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt in a Group Three over ‘Irish Champions Weekend’ last month while Saxon Warrior was a hugely impressive winner of his sole start at the Curragh last month.

Sunday's Naas card will also host a trio of Group Three contests including the CL & MF Weld Park Stakes where Dermot Weld could attempt to win the race commemorating his parents with Chiara Luna.

The filly missed the Moyglare earlier this month but is on course to run on Sunday. However Weld warned she could be switched to Newmarket’s Rockfel Stakes if ground conditions get too testing.

Chiara Luna’s potential weekend opposition may include September who ran third in that Moyglare.

Wednesday's Listed feature at Fairyhouse is the Ballyhane Blenheim Stakes and if the going doesn't get soft the 102 rated Fleet Review could be hard to beat.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

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