Sunday 4 December 2016

Ballydoyle battalion set to dominate the Beresford

Johnny Ward

Published 24/09/2016 | 02:30

The Moore-O'Brien team can also strike in the Renaissance Stakes, a Group Three sprint. The Happy Prince has developed into a reliable four-year-old and he is versatile ground-wise Picture: AFP/Getty
The Moore-O'Brien team can also strike in the Renaissance Stakes, a Group Three sprint. The Happy Prince has developed into a reliable four-year-old and he is versatile ground-wise Picture: AFP/Getty

Did you know that Northern Dancer was very close to being gelded?

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Perhaps Aidan O'Brien will smile at the thought ahead of tomorrow's Juddmonte Beresford Stakes, which he has won a staggering 15 times. O'Brien attacks the Curragh's feature Group Two with four colts, every one of them a son of Galileo.

Galileo's stallion influence has been almost as astounding as that of his grandfather. Northern Dancer failed to fetch his reserve price of $25,000 as a yearling and when Galileo struggled to make an immediate impact at stud, his fee dropped from €50,000 to €37,500. It's a strange world.

When it was put to him midweek that Capri might have the makings of a very smart colt, O'Brien did not disagree but was quick to point out his regard for stablemate Exemplar, which bolted up at Galway.

Seamus Heffernan steers Exemplar and he should not be discounted but Capri, with Ryan Moore in the irons, gets the nod.

The Moore-O'Brien team can also strike in the Renaissance Stakes, a Group Three sprint. The Happy Prince has developed into a reliable four-year-old and he is versatile ground-wise. If he runs to his mark of 112, the chances are he will collect here.

Eziyra can bounce back in the Group Three CL & MF Weld Park Stakes. She did little wrong in finishing second to Sea Of Grace last time and the cut underfoot may be to her benefit now back at seven furlongs.

The nap vote goes to Master Speaker. A hold-up sprinter, he was chronically unlucky in running on Champions Weekend, and perhaps Ronan Whelan will get the breaks in the Mongey Communications Joe McGrath Handicap.

Forgotten Rules returns in the Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital Loughbrown Stakes but he faces a really promising young stayer in Twilight Payment.

Irish Independent

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