Tuesday 10 December 2019

Kingman faces barrage from O'Brien

James Doyle riding Kingman
James Doyle riding Kingman

Richard Forristal

JOHN GOSDEN'S Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas hot favourite Kingman will face 13 rivals in tomorrow's €300,000 Group One, but Sunday's fillies' equivalent will be without Rizeena after Clive Brittain ruled her out yesterday morning.

Last year's Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine was vying for the market lead at as low as 4/1, but she won't feature among this morning's final declarations after Brittain reported that she was found to have blood in her nose after working yesterday.

Kingman remains a best-priced 8/11 to go one better at the Curragh than he did in the season's first Classic. He will face a barrage from Ballydoyle, as last year's Dewhurst hero War Command – sporting first-time cheek-pieces – heads a team of five for Aidan O'Brien.

Dermot Weld will saddle the current second-favourite Mustajeeb (6/1), after opting not to declare Alkasser. Shifting Power (8/1), fourth at Newmarket, will take its chance for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes after being supplemented at a cost of €30,000.

Ger Lyons has reiterated that he'd "love to run" Obliterator if the ground is good enough. The going remained yielding yesterday, despite showers falling at headquarters in the morning.

A market move has emerged in the Derby market for O'Brien's Geoffrey Chaucer. He was cut to 7/1 from 12/1 by Ladbrokes, sparking speculation that he could be ridden by Ryan Moore, who had been linked with the stable's Chester Vase victor Orchestra.

The same bookmaker, often reckoned to be the firm with the most pertinent link to the Coolmore operation, eased O'Brien's odds-on favourite Australia to 4/5 from 4/6.

Meanwhile, Fethard-based handler Thomond O'Mara has been disqualified from holding a licence for two years, but the ban is to be suspended provided that he commits no further breaches.

O'Mara was found to have intentionally given inaccurate evidence and sought to mislead the Turf Club in an investigation into an incident at Down Royal in 2011.

A referrals committee found that O'Mara "appeared" to concede that his original evidence at a 2012 inquiry into the transport and access of his horses to the stable yard at Down Royal was wrong and incorrect.

O'Mara had originally stated that Conor O'Donnell had unlawfully taken his stable pass card and denied that O'Donnell ever worked for him, before suggesting in mitigation that he had been "overwhelmed" at the 2012 hearing.

He said that he had issued a written apology to O'Donnell for misleading the committee with incorrect evidence about him and for wrongly alleging that he "unlawfully and without authority stole or otherwise took from (O'Mara's) wallet his stable yard pass". He also accepted that O'Donnell had worked for him in the past.

As well as the suspended disqualification, O'Mara received a €1,000 fine and was ordered to make a contribution of €4,000 to the Turf Club's costs.

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