Thursday 22 February 2018

Doncaster date on cards for impressive Marengo

Thomas Kelly

Battle Of Marengo could bid to give Aidan O'Brien a seventh triumph in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster after his victory in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

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.

Orgilgo Bay ran a fine race to fill the runner-up spot, with Probably and Muaanid third and fourth respectively.

Aidan O'Brien, who was securing his 12th Beresford victory, 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 said: "She's a grand filly which is improving and ran well in the Moyglare. She will stay further."

The hugely impressive Viztoria turned the Blenheim Stakes into a procession. 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.

In the Derek O'Sullivan Memorial Apprentices' Race, To The Sky benefited from a patient Colin Keane ride to score by most of three lengths for Joanna Morgan.

Aidan O'Brien's younger daughter, Ana, had her first racecourse ride on Flower Bouquet -- which is owned by her mother Anne Marie -- in the 10-furlong contest. She had to settle for sixth behind the 10/1 winner.

Bubbly Bellini (11/1) was a comfortable winner of the Joe McGrath Handicap.

Irish Independent

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