Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 8 December 2016

Gleneagles gets Lonchamp alternative

Thomas Kelly

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

'Classic heroes Golden Horn (pictured) and Gleneagles remain among the possible runners on a fantastic card at Longchamp on Sunday'
'Classic heroes Golden Horn (pictured) and Gleneagles remain among the possible runners on a fantastic card at Longchamp on Sunday'

Classic heroes Golden Horn and Gleneagles remain among the possible runners on a fantastic card at Longchamp on Sunday.

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John Gosden's Derby winner Golden Horn and Aidan O'Brien's dual 2000 Guineas victor Gleneagles look likely to cross swords in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday evening, but with the weather forecast uncertain, both have alternative options in Paris the following day.

Gleneagles could potentially stick to a mile in the Prix du Moulin, a Group One event for which 18 have stood their ground. O'Brien also has the likes of Sir Isaac Newton and Cougar Mountain engaged, while other possibles include Peter Chapple-Hyam's Arod, Roger Charlton's Time Test and the Charlie Hlills-trained Dutch Connection.

Golden Horn is one of 11 three-year-olds still in the mix for the Prix Niel, in which O'Brien has Highland Reel, John F Kennedy and Ol' Man River. Andre Fabre's French Derby hero New Bay is the star turn for the home team.

Dual Arc heroine Treve is the standout name among 17 fillies in the Prix Vermeille. Tapestry is one of three remaining entries for O'Brien, while David Elsworth's shock Juddmonte International winner Arabian Queen has been confirmed as expected.

Tapestry is also in against the boys in the Prix Foy. Luca Cumani has left in King George winner Postponed, as well as Roseburg.

Meanwhile, Dermot Weld has warned Fascinating Rock will only run in Saturday's KPMG Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown if the heavens open before the Group Three contest.

The four-year-old showed he can be a force to be reckoned with when he has conditions to suit by finishing second to Al Kazeem in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May.

Though he disappointed when only fifth in the Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor recently, Weld has not lost faith in his talented middle-distance performer and has identified the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 17 as an alternative.

"He's ground dependent and if the forecast shows there's an awful lot of rain he will run. Without rain he's unlikely to run," Weld stated.

Charles O'Brien has also cited going concerns for Iveagh Gardens which is unlikely to take her chance in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes unless there is a dramatic change to conditions at the Foxrock venue.

Irish Independent

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