Turnberry off to Kentucky
Turnberry Isle earned his ticket to join the small but select Aidan O'Brien Breeders Cup team by easily winning the Group Three Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh yesterday.
The 4 to 11 favourite put four lengths between himself and his stable companion Sligo Bay, after which O'Brien declared him a likely runner in the mile Breeders Cup Juvenile in Kentucky.
"He settles, he travels and he quickens," was O'Brien's verdict. "The plan was to run him here with America in mind. He's a little lazy, so he did well to win by four lengths and he's bred to be a dirt horse."
Mull Of Kintyre ran fourth for the Ballydoyle camp in last year's Juvenile, but Giant's Causeway remains O'Brien biggest hope for a debut Breeders Cup success in the Classic. "He would be a short price for the Mile, but we might not have such a suitable horse for the Classic again. He liked it at Southwell on Friday, which was great because he was ready for a run and a trip away," said O'Brien. "They go so fast in America he shouldn't have any problem getting a lead!"
Bernstein could complete O'Brien's Churchill Downs team in the Mile, but it's the Derby distance that was attracting O'Brien after his second string Milan made a winning debut in the seven furlong maiden.
"He could be a Derby horse," was the trainer's verdict, who saw his apparent first string, Leopard Spot, finish a well-beaten second. O'Brien later completed a treble when the odds-on Rostropovich easily landed the Sallins Race.
The teak-tough Cobourg Lodge gained a first black type success when he overhauled Anna Elise in the last strides of the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
The well-supported Rose Quartz swallowed her tongue during the two mile handicap and quickly faded behind the winner, Pas Possible, while Zelden just held on to win the final of the Derrinstown Apprentice Series. Emmet Stack won the series with five winners and pipped Tom Queally due to better placed efforts.
At Gowran Park on Saturday, Arctic Copper looks one to follow over fences this season judged on an impressive victory in the Langtons House Stars of Tomorrow Beginners Chase.
The Noel Meade-trained gelding faced stiff opposition from fellow chasing newcomer Sackville, who was understandably installed an odds-on favourite after showing smart form in staying novice hurdles last term.
Arctic Copper jumped superbly in the hands of Ruby Walsh, and got the better of the market leader in the straight to score by eight lengths.