Unicorn can prove out on own his for O'Brien
Published 26/09/2015 | 02:30
Aidan O'Brien is typically mob-handed in his quest to claim a record 15th Beresford Stakes triumph at the Curragh tomorrow.
The Ballydoyle maestro is responsible for a third of the nine runners in the €120,000 Group Two, which his legendary predecessor and namesake Vincent also conquered 14 times.
Port Douglas is the outsider of the Rosegreen incumbent's trio, with Ryan Moore pencilled in for Beacon Rock.
Successful at the second time of asking here over this mile trip on August 30, Beacon Rock took a while to get motoring that day. With Moore up, he is obviously respected, but it is the Joseph O'Brien-ridden Unicorn that is fancied to deliver the trainer his landmark win in a race that the exceptional Sea The Stars won in 2008.
On its track bow at Galway, Unicorn hinted at its potential when third to Dermot Weld's True Solitaire, which had the benefit of a run on that occasion. True Solitaire re-opposes now and is no forlorn hope, having finished in front of Thursday's Newmarket victor Sanus Per Aquam when second at Leopardstown recently.
However, the evidence of Unicorn's interim Leopardstown win would suggest that he has also improved a bundle since Galway. The Galileo colt exchanged the early lead with Jim Bolger's Theodorico, before sluicing clear in the straight.
It was a taking display, and odds of 33/1 about him for next year's Derby will at least halve should he build on that performance again here.
In the CL & MF Weld Park Stakes, Moore is aboard the recent Listed runner-up How High The Moon, with Michael Hussey on her conqueror that day, Kind Of Magic.
Joseph O'Brien is on Coolmore, which has been placed in her two outings. Mick Halford's Anamba beat Coolmore at Leopardstown, and a chance is taken on the Godolphin filly confirming the impression that she made then.
Despite being at a disadvantage due to the fact that most of her rivals had already run, Anamba raced on the pace from the get-go before quickening approaching the furlong pole.
From there, she found enough to repel Coolmore by a head, and she is a big, rangy sort that should improve. If she does, then she should ensure that William Buick makes his only ride on the card pay.
Halford's Cailin Mor also appeals in the mile handicap. Successful here off a mark of 71 over seven last month, Cailin Mor ran well in defeat off 76 at Navan on Monday, when she didn't enjoy the clearest run before finishing second to Ibergman.
That was her first stab at a mile and she stayed the trip well, so she strikes as nap material here, with Sean Corby's 5lb claim helping to negate her hike to 83.
Weld's exciting staying mare Silwana ought to plunder the concluding two-mile Listed race, while Prince Connoisseur gets the nod to secure a second successive edition of the Joe McGrath Handicap.
Johnny Feane's smart four-year-old took this valuable five-furlong event off 83 in 2014. A mixed bag since then has seen his rating fall to 79, so he is handicapped to have a big say.
Jump racing returns on a low-key card at Navan today. The conditions hurdle over two miles and six furlongs sees the reappearance of Noel Meade's Snow Falcon. A smart novice last season, Ger Fox's mount should be far too good if he runs to the level that he did throughout most of last term.
In the bumper, Henry De Bromhead's Sizing Alberta warrants the nap vote. Third on his bow at Galway, Katie Walsh's mount simply appeals as being the best horse in the race.