Monday 26 September 2016

Big guns on Dewhurst collision course

Thomas Kelly

Published 06/10/2015 | 02:30

'The Aidan O’Brien (pictured) trained Air Force Blue has also already been successful twice at the top level, winning the Phoenix Stakes and the National Stakes, both at the Curragh'
'The Aidan O’Brien (pictured) trained Air Force Blue has also already been successful twice at the top level, winning the Phoenix Stakes and the National Stakes, both at the Curragh'

Emotionless and Air Force Blue remain on course to clash in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

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Godolphin's Emotionless, trained by Charlie Appleby, takes a 100pc record to the two-year-old showpiece, having backed up an impressive debut win with a scintillating performance to land the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Air Force Blue has also already been successful twice at the top level, winning the Phoenix Stakes and the National Stakes, both at the Curragh. O'Brien has three other possibles in Lieutenant General, Shogun and Waterloo Bridge.

Jim Bolger will saddle Somerville Tattersall Stakes scorer Sanus Per Aquam and Clear Cut, runner-up on his sole start.

Mark Johnston has left in Buratino, which lowered Air Force Blue's colours in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Adventurous, which was a close third in the Somerville Tattersall.

Completing the dozen are Massaat and Tashweeq, both owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, and Dean Ivory's Twin Sails.

Meanwhile, Free Eagle's future is up in the air after connections were left disappointed following the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Winner of the Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot on his seasonal re-appearance, Dermot Weld's four-year-old was then involved in a controversial finish to the Irish Champion Stakes after being badly impeded by eventual winner Golden Horn.

The team were looking forward to the rematch over a mile and a half at Longchamp, but on this occasion Golden Horn was an emphatic winner, with Free Eagle having to make do with sixth place.

Fiona Craig, breeding advisor to the owners Moyglare Stud, said: " I think we were all a bit disappointed he didn't finish a little bit closer.

"He ran very well and I'm certainly not going to be critical of him. The slow pace probably didn't help and Treve hung into him a little bit, although I don't think it made a huge difference.

"He hasn't been the luckiest of horses, getting hurt as a three-year-old and then we all saw what happened at Leopardstown.

"We can't turn the clock back on that, unfortunately, but it does feel even more exasperating now.

"I'm not sure what we'll do now. We'll just see how he is in the next week or so and sit down and have a chat about it.

"We're all a bit disappointed at the moment, but that's racing and you get over it in a few days."

Irish Independent

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