Broome ready to brush rivals aside for O'Brien
It's hard to know where to look this weekend such is the wealth of quality on offer but another of Aidan O'Brien's Epsom Derby candidates is as good as any place to start.
Sir Dragonet parachuted to the head of the Derby betting with a scintillating Chester Vase triumph on Wednesday and the Ballydoyle maestro wheels out another leading player for the Epsom showpiece at Leopardstown tomorrow in the shape of Broome.
O'Brien bids for his 12th success in the €100,000 Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (3.25) with son Donnacha in the plate on Broome as the Australia colt bids to back up last month's comprehensive Ballysax victory en route to the Derby.
This six-runner affair should be at his mercy with Joseph O'Brien's Buckhurst - which landed his maiden here last month and will thrive stepped up to ten furlongs - likely to give him most to think about.
There is plenty to get the teeth stuck into at the Foxrock track and the Group Three Amethyst Stakes (2.15) sees last year's winner Zihba head back for more and he can go close under Chris Hayes.
Dermot Weld's Hazapour won the Derrinstown at this meeting 12 months ago and while the son of Shamardal has failed to progress as expected, he is taken to land an average renewal for Oisín Orr.
A field of ten fillies go to post in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial (2.50) and Weld's Titanium Sky may prove the wisest option in a contest where nothing jumps off the page as being potentially top-class.
The master of Rosewell House bids for a seventh success in the Group Three and Titanium Sky is taken to continue her rapid improvement having finished a close sixth in a similar event at the Curragh on Monday.
It's a particularly busy few days for Aidan O'Brien as he sends two in search of the €350,000 winner's cheque in today's Man O' War Stakes (11.24) at Belmont Park.
Wayne Lordan is on the crest of a wave having landed English 1,000 Guineas success on Hermosa last Sunday and he rides likely favourite Magic Wand in the American Group One, while Michael Hussey is aboard stablemate Hunting Horn.
Leading jumps trainer Gordon Elliott - who plundered last year's American Grand National with Jury Duty - is also sending a runner Stateside with Chief Justice tackling the Marcellus Frost Champion Hurdle (8.10) at Percy Warner Park in the hands of Jack Kennedy.
There is Irish interest in many quarters this weekend with champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins saddling Thomas Hobson in Germany tomorrow for the Group Two Oleander-Rennen (3.45) over a stamina-sapping 2m in Hoppegarten.
He will renew acquaintances with high-flying Kerry jockey Oisín Murphy in a contest where Meath trainer/owner Luke Comer is making an ambitious bid with a pair of runners in the shape of Raa Atoll and Zabriskie.
Ryan Moore travels to Longchamp tomorrow to ride O'Brien's Coral Beach in the Group One Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (3.30), while Adrian Keatley sends The Broghie Man in chase of Group Three spoils in the Prix de Saint-Georges (1.35).
The Group One Poule d'Essai des Poulains (2.55) has three Irish challengers with Aidan O'Brien's pair Never No More and Van Beethoven engaged while son Joseph will hope to outdo his father with No Needs Never.
Closer to home, Ger Lyons' Who's Steph - a Listed winner at Gowran Park six days ago - sets the standard in today's Group Three Blue Wind Stakes (3.20) at Naas where Aidan O'Brien's Peach Tree is a live danger.
The weight-for-age allowances are in favour of three-year-olds Peach Tree and Weld's Tarnawa but Who's Steph is a classy sort and she can repel the youngsters under Colin Keane.
A humdrum Cork jumps card today offers Brawler - just touched off on debut here last month - a good chance to land the opening maiden hurdle (1.50) for trainer/jockey Denis Hogan.
Tomorrow's Killarney action is headed by the Listed BetVictor Mares Hurdle (2.40) where Mullins's Elimay will take some stopping in the hands of champion jockey Paul Townend.
Meanwhile, the unexposed but clearly talented Getaway Katie Mai looks to have a few pounds in hand in the €50,000 Kelly Brothers Handicap Hurdle (3.15) for Waterford trainer Declan Queally.