Friday 19 January 2018

Joseph O’Brien lifeline as ban deferral may save Classic bid

Joseph O'Brien riding Father Of Science (in the blue colours) on the way to winning the Maiden Stakes at Chester yesterday
Joseph O'Brien riding Father Of Science (in the blue colours) on the way to winning the Maiden Stakes at Chester yesterday

Thomas Kelly

Joseph O'Brien could be thrown a lifeline, despite a ban at Chester yesterday which threatened to force the young jockey to miss the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas.

O'Brien was hit with a four-day suspension by the Chester stewards, who found him guilty of using his whip above the permitted level when finishing a narrow second aboard Betterbetterbetter -- trained by his father Aidan -- in the Cheshire Oaks.

O'Brien -- who gave Camelot such a polished ride to land last Saturday's 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket -- was initially informed that he would be sidelined between May 23-26 inclusive, which includes the first day of the Classic meeting at The Curragh.

The speculation, however, is that the young rider can apply to the British Horseracing Authority to defer the ban as Group One racing will be taking place, and that would be a likely route as his father will have a couple of runners in this country's first Classic of the season.

Meanwhile, the highly-regarded Akeed Mofeed is not a definite runner in Sunday's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial after trainer John Oxx said yesterday that the race might come too soon for his Classic hope.

As low as 12/1 for next month's Epsom Derby, the son of Dubawi was last seen in action last September when finishing second to David Livingston in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes.

Oxx said: "The race (Derby Trial) might be coming a bit too soon for him; we'll give him another bit of work and we'll see. We'll leave the decision about Sunday until Friday morning and take things from there."

Akeed Mofeed has already missed one Classic after lameness ruled him out of the English 2,000 Guineas.

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport