Saturday 20 January 2018

Beresford bliss for O’Brien’s brave Battle

Ashley Iveson

TRAINER Aidan O'Brien secured his 12th victory in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh courtesy of an accomplished display from rising star Battle Of Marengo.

Ballydoyle's juvenile has an encouraging profile, having built on a debut third with victories at Gowran and Leopardstown, so it was no surprise to see him sent off a prohibitive 4-9 favourite to beat three rivals on his Pattern-race debut.

Joseph O'Brien tracked the pacesetting Orgilgo Bay into the home straight before asking his mount to quicken a couple of furlongs down.

While the response was not electric in the testing conditions, Battle Of Marengo looked better the further he went and was good value for a three-and-a-half-length victory.

Aidan O'Brien said: "You'd have to be delighted with that, especially considering Joseph said he hated the ground.

"He'd be a possible for the race in Doncaster (Racing Post Trophy), although he's done plenty this year and he doesn't need to run again."

Success in the feature event was the second leg of a double for the O'Brien father-son combination after Magical Dream claimed the Group Three CL Weld Park Stakes.

The 100-30 chance galloped all the way to the line to see off Rawaaq by two lengths.

O'Brien snr said: "She's a grand filly who is improving and ran well the last day in the Moyglare.

"She is a filly that will stay further. She is in the Prix Marcel Boussac, so we will see about that. She's a hardy lady."

Team O'Brien put the seal on another fine day when Declaration Of War (11-10 favourite) won the concluding Moyglare Stud Lifetime Achievement In Racing Trophy.

The Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Blenheim Stakes was turned into a procession by the hugely impressive Viztoria.

The 5-2 favourite was having her first start for Eddie Lynam, having bolted up in a Naas maiden in July when trained by Ado McGuinness.

Viztoria bowled along merrily at the head of affairs under Johnny Murtagh before leaving her opponents trailing in her wake, pulling right away to slam Snow Queen by seven and a half lengths.

Bookmakers were suitably impressed, with some firms halving her odds for next year's 1000 Guineas.

Lynam said: "I was told she was a bit special when I got her, which puts you on a hiding to nothing as you can only mess things up.

"She's very professional and Johnny was very impressed.

"She will have one more run this year in a Group Two at Maisons-Laffitte."

The McGuinness-trained Bubbly Bellini (11-1) then ran out a comfortable winner of the Irish Stallion Farms Joe McGrath EBF Handicap.

Dermot Weld's 5-2 favourite Salhooda saw off market rival Hanky Panky in a thrilling finish to the Kevin Cullen Lifetime Achievement In Racing EBF Fillies' Maiden.

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