Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 26 April 2018

Eye Of The Storm can spearhead Ballydoyle raid on headquarters

Joseph O’Brien: fancied mounts
Joseph O’Brien: fancied mounts
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

NEXT year's Classic generation take centre stage at the Curragh tomorrow, but the juveniles could ultimately be upstaged by an intriguing clash between Missunited, Unaccompanied and Eye Of The Storm in the Listed two-mile finale.

While eight will go to post for the Irish Field-sponsored Loughbrown Stakes, whichever of that classy trio emerges on top should win. Missunited has been a diamond for Mick Winters, adding a Listed win to her Galway Hurdle heroics on returning to Ballybrit earlier this month.

Second that day was the one-eyed Ballydoyle colt Eye Of The Storm. On his first run since getting chinned by Sugar Boy in a Classic trial at Sandown in April, Joseph O'Brien's mount got caught slightly flat-footed when Missunited swept to the lead coming out of the dip.

However, the Galileo colt found plenty when he got his second wind. He was never going to get there, but he duly improved to turn a similar event at Listowel into an absolute rout.

On paper tomorrow, Eye Of The Storm is 4lb better off with Missunited for a three-quarter length defeat, though the champion jockey has cautioned that he may put up 2lb overweight.

Even at that, he appeals as nap material to turn the tables now that he is fully tuned, with the half-mile step up in trip unlikely to be an issue on decent ground.

Unaccompanied is not the easiest to assess. Dermot Weld's filly rarely runs a bad race, but she has only been seen twice in 2013, and ideally would prefer more give underfoot.

Still, she scored in fine style at Galway two months ago, so you certainly couldn't discount her.

Joseph and his father Aidan could also secure a couple of the two-year-old contests, with Geoffrey Chaucer fancied to plunder the stable its 13th Beresford Stakes triumph.


Ger Lyons' Exogenesis is a contender in the mile Group Two after his latest third to War Command, with Johnny Murtagh's Navan maiden winner Altruistic open to any amount of improvement.

Nonetheless, as a Montjeu half-brother to the four-time Group One victor and dual French Classic hero Shamardal, Geoffrey Chaucer is bred to be top-class.

On his Leopardstown debut, he cut out all his own running en route to a game neck success over the subsequent easy Galway winner Tarfasha, so he will take plenty of stopping if he can step up on that.

In the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Blenheim Stakes, Ballydoyle's Guerre, which had Monday's ready Tipperary winner Diamond Stilettos behind on his Curragh bow, gets the nod over Paul Deegan's facile Listowel scorer Shining Emerald.

It will be fascinating to see how Tarfasha fares in the CL Weld Park Stakes ahead of the Beresford. She and Diamond Stilettos are obviously smart, but preferred is John Oxx's Leopardstown winner My Titania.

Oxx could also take the mile handicap with Navan maiden winner Rocktique. Niall McCullagh's mount didn't run badly on her handicap bow here behind Regulation last time, and she has the scope to do better off a 1lb lower mark on just her fourth career start.

Irish Independent

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