O'Brien hopeful Don Carlos can deliver for Murtagh
HOPES of an Irish winner at either Cheltenham or Newmarket this afternoon look remote, with representation thin on the ground at both venues, WRITES THOMAS KELLY.
Aidan O'Brien spearheads the assault on English Flat racing's headquarters in the Tattersalls Timeform Trophy, in which he goes to war with Don Carlos.
The Ballydoyle colt was fourth in last season's Group One Criterium de Saint Cloud and his handler is hopeful of a prominent showing. "He's in good form and as he was qualified for this race we decided to start here. We hope that he runs a nice race," said O'Brien.
Johnny Murtagh faces a tough task if he's to bring home the attractive £135,425 first prize with Don Carlos as Derby hopeful Coordinated Cut carries high hopes for the Michael Bell stable.
Jim Bolger's Atasari has reasonable prospects in the featured Nell Gwyn Stakes, but will have to show improvement to avenge last October's defeat to Mick Channon's Music Show. In what looks a very competitive 1000 Guineas trial, both may have to give best to Henry Cecil's Principal Role.
The other Irish runner on the Newmarket card is John Hassett's Cape D'or in a 10-furlong maiden which looks a good opportunity for Lunar Victory to strike.
At Cheltenham, meanwhile, Chebona Bula is the sole Irish runner on the card and Eoin Doyle's charge will do well to get the better of Barry Geraghty's mount, the lightly-raced Monetary Fund, in the opening juvenile hurdle.
It could be a good day for Geraghty and Nicky Henderson as their Duc De Regniere looks weighted to beat veteran Voy Por Ustedes in the featured Silver Trophy Chase.