O’Brien will be double-handed in tomorrow’s French 2,000 Guineas
Battle Of Marengo puts his Epsom Derby credentials on the line at Leopardstown
Aidan O’Brien: attempts to secure classic glory in Paris tomorrow
Out of luck in Britain and America last weekend, Aidan O’Brien attempts to secure Classic glory in Paris tomorrow when he sends both Gale Force Ten and Flying The Flag for the French 2,000 Guineas at Longchamp.
The two Irish hopes are among an 18-strong field for the €550,000 highlight and both secured decent middle draws for a Classic in which Richard Hannon’s Greenham winner Olympic Glory heads a strong British challenge.
Ryan Moore teams up with Gale Force Ten, a Dundalk winner last month, while Colm O’Donoghue is on board Flying The Flag, whose best run last year was when runner up to First Cornerstone in the Futurity.
O’Donoghue was on board the 2007 Poule d’Essai des Poulains hero Astronomer Royal, one of three O’Brien trained winners of the French Guineas.
The colts Classic is due off at 2.08pm, Irish time, while the French 1,000 Guineas is set to start at 2.40pm. There will also be Irish interest at Longchamp with Festive Cheer in the Prix Hocquart (1.30pm) and David Nagle’s Maarek in the Group Three Prix de Saint-Georges (3.40pm).
O’Brien and Ryan Moore will also team up for Nevis in today’s Lingfield Derby Trial where the son of Irish Oaks heroine Moonstone takes on the likely favourite Greatwood in the demoted to Listed event.
Just five line up for tomorrow’s Derrinstown Derby Trial but Leopardstown’s Group Two feature has the potential to an Epsom trial in a very real sense with Battle Of Marengo favoured to join an illustrious roll-of-honour.
It’s over a decade since High Chaparral completed a three-in-a-row of Derrinstown winners graduating to Epsom Derby glory but the winners list is hardly a ‘flops parade’ since.
Fame And Glory, Dylan Thomas and Yeats all consistently proved themselves at the very highest level, contributing in the process to Aidan O’Brien’s total of nine wins in the 10f highlight.
This time the champion trainer relies on Battle Of Marengo, currently among the forefront of contenders in line to challenge the Guineas hero Dawn Approach at Epsom in three weeks time.
Despite Magician winning the Dee yesterday, and Rule The World landing the Vase on Thursday, Battle Of Marengo is increasingly shaping as Ballydoyle’s number one hope, an impression that will get a proper examination tomorrow.