Beauty set to strike once more for Weld
DERMOT WELD, fresh from the great achievement of being leading trainer at the Galway Festival for the 26th time, is about to embark on the second half of his season with renewed confidence and enthusiasm, and clearly one of his brightest prospects to land a major prize is the durable mare Profound Beauty.
Tonight at Leopardstown, arguably her favourite track, the mare will attempt victory in the Ballyroan Stakes for the second consecutive year, which may, in turn, present connections with tempting options abroad, namely the Yorkshire Oaks, at the Ebor Meeting later this month, and the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington in November.
Profound Beauty, owned by the Moyglare Stud Farm, finished an honourable fifth to Viewed in the 2008 Melbourne Cup, but she bypassed the race last year because of fears of fast ground. The mare has been entered for the Cup again this year, but all depends on a decision by Weld and the owners on whether they should take a punt on the going and send her Down Under in any case.
Stan Cosgrave, racing manager to Moyglare, clearly regards the going as an issue. He is even hoping for rain before tonight's Ballyroan: "She's in good form, but we just hope there's a bit of give in the ground. We've had a shower at Moyglare this morning, but Leopardstown is a funny place and you'd never know what will happen there."
Aidan O'Brien opposes Profound Beauty with Await The Dawn and Snow Blizzard, but the most interesting member of the opposition is the Aga Khan's Akzar, who has won one of his two starts for John Oxx. He is believed to be under offer to a high-profile Australian buyer looking for a future Melbourne Cup type.
International racing really comes to the fore at this time of the year and owners and trainers treasure a horse who can plunder the big prizes abroad. So, it was devastating for owner Peter Harris and trainer Walter Swinburn to learn that Stotsfold had died after suffering a bout of colic.
Swinburn said: "He suffered a bout after winning the Gala Stakes at Sandown and he seemed to get over it. Sadly, the problem recurred (on Tuesday night), he was taken to Newmarket Equine Hospital, but they were unable to save him." As well as his nine victories, Stotsfold also finished third in an Arlington Million. (© Daily Telegraph, London)