Brothers set to outshine father Aidan O’Brien with ‘Regal’ and Goldana ready to conquer

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Michael Verney

The eyes of most Flat fans will be focusing on Newmarket this weekend as the first Classic winners of the 2023 are crowned but the action on home soil is not to be sniffed at either.

There are plenty of Classic clues for later this season on offer at Leopardstown where tomorrow’s Derby Trial Stakes (3.25) sees Aidan O’Brien bidding to make it five wins in succession in the Group Three contest.

O’Brien saddles a trio of runners with Londoner, the mount of Séamie Heffernan, his leading light on official ratings, but the Saxon Warrior colt will need a much better showing than his fourth in a Longchamp Group Three last month if he is to be in the reckoning.

O’Brien’s eldest son Joseph also holds a decent chance through Ballysax second Up And Under but his younger brother Donnacha may hold the key to this €70,000 prize in the shape of Proud And Regal.

The son of Galileo has easily the best juvenile form of the eight runners having landed the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud on his last start of a successful two-year-old campaign.

Race conditions are certainly in favour of Gavin Ryan’s mount with no penalties to carry on the back of that and he can break the stranglehold on this race which is held by the Ballydoyle maestro.

Aidan O’Brien has not been on the mark in the Group Three Amethyst Stakes (2.50) in the past decade and no Ballydoyle representative leaves the door open for others to prosper once again at the Foxrock track.

The one of particular interest is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Goldana, which went about her business in impressive fashion to land a similar event at the Curragh last month in testing conditions.

That was the German recruit’s first start for the Kilkenny trainer and the Galileo Gold filly showed plenty of guts to tough it out up the straight before running out an emphatic winner by the line.

With natural improvement expected after her seasonal bow and the step up to a mile really playing to her strengths, Dylan Browne McMonagle’s mount will take all the beating.

The Group Three Blue Wind Stakes (3.55) – won by Tarnawa in 2019 – is the feature at Naas today where champion jockey Colin Keane is an interesting booking on the Aidan O’Brien-trained Diamondsareforever.

The Justify filly was purchased from Willie Browne after an eye-catching debut victory at Dundalk before Christmas and there may be plenty more to come from her for the all-conquering O’Brien.