Sport Horse Racing

Friday 19 January 2018

Ballydoyle confident as Hounds chases $1m Belmont pot

CONFIDENCE is growing in the Aidan O'Brien camp that Master Of Hounds can plunder tomorrow's $1m Belmont Stakes.

Ahead of the last leg of America's Triple Crown, the son of Kingmambo did an impressive gallop yesterday and his price has now been cut to 9/2.

Ridden by work rider Pat Lillis, the Ballydoyle colt strode out majestically and left a lasting impression with seasoned gallop-watchers at the New York track.

And having bagged a plum draw in stall 1, assistant trainer to O'Brien, TJ Comerford, reported that the colt -- fifth in the Kentucky Derby -- is going to be suited to the step up in trip to a mile and a half.

"Most of our horses are trained for a mile and a half," Comerford said. "He looks better now than he ever has. We're here for a reason, and because we think he has a good chance."

After running so well in the Kentucky Derby, his jockey Garrett Gomez told O'Brien: "I want to ride this horse back in the Belmont."

And Gomez will be back on him tomorrow when he will carry the same dark blue colours that were carried to victory by Pour Moi in last Saturday's Epsom Derby.

Meanwhile, O'Brien's So You Think takes top billing among 11 remaining entries for the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. The Australian superstar has picked up where he left off since arriving in Ireland, winning twice at The Curragh without being seriously challenged.

O'Brien has also entered Await The Dawn, Cape Blanco and Jan Vermeer, while Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni may saddle Rewilding, Debussy and Sea Lord.

With doubts hanging over Rite Of Passage's defence of his Ascot Gold Cup crown, Paddy Power are now offering 3/1, with a run, about Dermot Weld's charge.

Ed Dunlop has confirmed that Native Khan will contest the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh on June 26. Third in the English 2,000 Guineas, the grey was a highly creditable fifth behind Pour Moi on Saturday.

Johnny Murtagh stepped in to ride at short notice after the Kieren Fallon episode and he will be on board once more.

Irish Independent

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