O'Brien's Sir Isaac Newton can gravitate to victory at Gowran
Published 27/05/2015 | 02:30
Aidan O'Brien has opted to leave four horses in Sunday's French Derby at Chantilly and one of them, Sir Isaac Newton, is tasked with breaking its maiden at Gowran Park tonight.
Cape Clear Island, Highland Reel and War Envoy are the other Ballydoyle colts among an overall entry of 18 that could strive to deliver O'Brien a first Prix du Jockey Club come the weekend.
Sir Isaac Newton's presence at the Kilkenny track would surely suggest he is an unlikely starter in the extended 10-furlong Group One, but there will be some head-scratching if the son of Galileo is still a maiden after this evening's opening seven-furlong heat.
A full-brother to the 2013 Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture that cost a cool 3.6m guineas as a yearling, Seamie Heffernan's mount is dropping in distance here having been run out of it by Cymro when long odds-on over a mile-and-a-quarter at Chester.
Sir Isaac Newton came there to win his race on that occasion, but failed to sustain his challenge on rain-softened ground in the straight. Still, he was 11 lengths clear of the rest, and his sole outing last year indicates that he should be pacey enough here.
Over this trip on that occasion at Leopardstown, he and Zawraq came clear to fight out a thrilling finish, with the leading Derby fancy emerging narrowly on top.
If Sir Isaac Newton - O'Brien's only runner tonight - reproduces that sort of effort now, then he will surely collect.
Zawraq's Dermot Weld-trained stablemate Valac is the danger after also filling the runner-up berth twice, notably when chasing home Ballydoyle's Epsom hope Hans Holbein at Leopardstown.
Ger Lyons sends two runners south and is also expected to record a 100pc strike-rate. In the fillies' conditions race, Lyons, who went so close to securing a breakthrough Classic win with Endless Drama on Saturday, saddles the once-raced Curragh winner Urbestchance.
She is preferred over Shahzeena and Roca Rojo, while his Toccata Blue appeals in the mile handicap. Successful here off a mark of 83 last June, Colin Keane's mount is in off 82 now, having been second to Salariaq off 80 at Limerick. The top-weight is clearly returning to peak form.