The Grey Gatsby seeks first win in New York in three years
Balko De Flos and Shaneshill clash again at Gowran in Saturday’s Champion Chase
Dermot Weld has trans-Atlantic Group One ambitions this weekend with The Great Gatsby set to try to win for the first time in over three years in New York on Saturday night.
The 2014 French Derby hero hasn’t won in 14 starts since famously beating Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes later that year for Kevin Ryan.
The Grey Gatsby’s transfer to Weld for this season hasn’t paid off in four starts to date but the six-year-old will have first-time lasix when he lines up in the $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont on Saturday.
Pat Smullen rides in Newmarket on Saturday before going to Chantilly a day later to ride Shamreen in the Prix de l’Opera, so top US rider Johnny Velazquez partners The Grey Gatsby in a race due off at 10.45 Irish time.
The Irish raider is drawn 10 of 11 for the mile and a half contest and is an 8-1 in local morning line betting. His opposition includes the Arlington Million winner Beach Patrol and the Prix d’Ispahan winner Mekhtaal who has a first start since transferring to US-based trainer Graham Motion.
Weld has also sent his Man O’War Stakes-winning mare Zhukova to Belmont but she will wait for next weekend’s Flower Bowl Invitational.
The Curragh trainer has three runners at Tipperary’s mixed card on Sunday which follows up Gowran’s all-National fixture programme a day earlier.
Balko Des Flos will try to confirm his Galway Plate success over Shaneshill in Saturday’s Grade Two PWC Champion Chase but Willie Mullins’s runner has a 7lb swing from the last time the pair met.
The Kerry National winner Potters Point could struggle to reverse Galway form with Rathvinden in Sunday’s Like-A-Butterfly Novice Chase.
Jer’s Girl returned to action with a flat success earlier this week and can make a successful transfer to flights for the Istabraq Hurdle sponsored by her owner, JP McManus.