US star Lady Aurelia will be hard to beat in Cheveley Park Stakes

Aidan O’Brien’s hopefuls Roly Poly and Brave Anna face tough competition

Aidan O’Brien: there is still a relative ‘B team’ feel to O’Brien’s raiding party which will hardly bode well for the home team’s classic chances in 2017 should they not rise to the challenge now.

Aidan O’Brien: there is still a relative ‘B team’ feel to O’Brien’s raiding party which will hardly bode well for the home team’s classic chances in 2017 should they not rise to the challenge now.

 

Newmarket’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes is a rare blank on Aidan O’Brien’s cross-channel Group One CV and his two hopefuls on Saturday, Roly Poly and Brave Anna, face a major task trying to fill it against American star Lady Aurelia.

The two Ballydoyle fillies are joined on a ‘Future Champions Day’ raid by both Peace Envoy and Intelligence Cross in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes, while the former Derby favourite Douglas Macarthur will try to redeem his reputation in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes.

It is a formidable team but considering the exploits of Churchill, Caravaggio and some of the top juvenile filly form in Ireland, there is still a relative ‘B team’ feel to O’Brien’s raiding party which will hardly bode well for the home team’s classic chances in 2017 should they not rise to the challenge now.

It’s not just O’Brien they have to contend with either. Michael O’Callaghan is pitching Holy Cat into the Cheveley Park in pursuit of his maiden top-flight success and the only Irish-trained winner of the race in the last quarter century remains Lightening Pearl, who memorably broke Ger Lyons’s Group One duck.

Lyons himself is pointing his Railway Stakes winner Medicine Jack at the Middle Park, while Joseph O’Brien, fresh from upsetting his father with Intricately in the Moyglare, tries his luck with Arcada in the Royal Lodge. Even so, from an international point of view, there is no disputing Lady Aurelia’s status as the headline act.

Faster conditions

Queen Mary

Brave Anna was a Royal Ascot winner too in the Albany but it could be the Group Two winner Roly Poly that emerges as O’Brien’s major hope even if Ryan Moore’s mount first has to reverse Lowther Stakes form with Queen Kindly before attempting to get to grips with Lady Aurelia.

Moore has chosen the Morny third Peace Envoy for the Middle Park, perhaps a surprising call considering how impressive Intelligence Cross was in the Round Tower Stakes.

The latter has been beaten by both the favourite Blue Point and the highest rated, Mehmas, this season but on this ground might have a chance to secure his trainer a fifth Middle Park.

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