Ol' Man River to keep on rolling along the plains
Ol' Man River gets the opportunity to further vindicate his €2.85m price tag when he bids to join an illustrious roll of honour in tomorrow's Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.
Being by Montjeu and out of Finsceal Beo, the Ballydoyle colt was going to attraction attention regardless of the money that he changed hands for at Goffs a year ago. He certainly didn't disappoint on his track debut at headquarters, picking up nicely to prevail in a middle-of-the-road maiden.
The August 31 outing marked a promising start for a horse with obvious Classic aspirations, and it might have been more flashy had he not idled after hitting the front.
Ol' Man River will be less green when he tackles tomorrow's Juddmonte-sponsored mile Group Three, which Sea The Stars took in 2009 en route to joining the immortals, with Azamour, Alamshar and St Nicholas Abbey other high-class winners of the race in recent times.
Should Ol' Man River progress in the manner that you would expect, he ought to be up to giving Aidan and Joseph O'Brien their third successive Beresford triumph together.
Leading the opposition in the €100,000 eight-runner contest is Dermot Weld's Tombelaine - a horse that beat O'Brien's smart Highland Reel on its Leopardstown bow.
In two subsequent Group Three outings at the Foxrock venue, Tombelaine has run into Gleneagles and John F Kennedy, respectively.
He has the scope to exploit any weakness in Ol' Man River's armour, but there is a good chance that he is about to run into another serious animal here.
Clonard Street is also an intriguing prospect on its first start for Tony Martin and JP McManus.
A winner on his Galway bow for John McConnell, Clonard Street has only recently changed hands, and this is a pretty daunting task on his bow for a stable not normally associated with precocious juveniles.
The champion trainer and jockey combine for Qualify in the other two-year-old Group Three, the CL & MF Weld Park Stakes, but Jim Bolger's filly, Stellar Glow, is preferred.
Although Jessica Harrington's Dundalk victor Lola Beaux is not easily dismissed, Stellar Glow emerged with a deal of credit when flashing home for second behind Tamadhor on her Champions Weekend bow at Leopardstown.
Kevin Manning's mount didn't enjoy the clearest of runs, but she picked up like a decent horse when she got out to eventually close down the winner to a diminishing half-a-length.
If the daughter of Sea The Stars improves for the experience, this might be within her reach.
Tamadhor is also on duty in the Listed Blenheim Stakes. Kevin Prendergast's filly faces the O'Briens' disappointing The Great War in this six-furlong contest, and she appeals as a far more reliable option.
She quickened like a proper horse to break her duck last time, and it is interesting that connections have opted to drop her back slightly in trip to six furlongs. She is trusted to have enough toe to follow up under Chris Hayes.
The card's most fascinating contender will surely be the Pat Smullen-ridden Forgotten Rules should Dermot Weld permit his participation in the Irish Field Loughbrown Stakes.
Deeply impressive in a Punchestown bumper and a Galway flat race, the Moyglare Stud-owned four-year-old may need a drop of rain to be allowed take on the likes of Eye Of The Storm and Kalann in this Listed two-miler.
If Weld does deem conditions sufficiently safe for the big four-year-old, he would be nap material. Such has been the facile manner of Forgotten Rules' two triumphs to date, he warrants treating like a Group class horse until he is proved otherwise.
Ger Lyons' unexposed three-year-old Body Beautiful gets the nod in the Joe McGrath Handicap, while Lilly The Lioness is fancied in the amateur riders' derby over a mile-and-a-half.
Garret Power's mare has been in pretty good form recently, but she is a tricky ride that might benefit for the assistance of Richie Kiely in this.
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