Sport Horse Racing

Friday 23 March 2018

Landofhope spearheads O'Brien's assault on Kilbeggan

O’Brien also has some notable performers elsewhere on the card. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
O’Brien also has some notable performers elsewhere on the card. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Joseph O'Brien makes a twin-pronged assault on the Carmel Fay Memorial Novice Chase at Kilbeggan, with Landofhopeandglory and Aspen Colorado.

Landofhopeandglory proved pretty useful as a juvenile hurdler last term, winning at Group Three level and finishing a creditable fifth in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, but O'Brien has wasted no time in switching to the larger obstacles.

The four-year-old made his chasing bow at Roscommon earlier in the month but had to settle for fourth behind Townshend, with the reopposing Potters Point third for Gordon Elliott.

Aspen Colorado was a highly-rated bumper performer for O'Brien but won just one of five starts over hurdles and was fifth in that same Roscommon race.

A decent field of nine go to post, with Willie Mullins' Dicosimo another leading contender.

O'Brien also has some notable performers elsewhere on the card, with Zig Zag tackling the Midlands National Ladies Day July 21st Handicap Hurdle after chasing home the smart Dandy Mag at Ballinrobe.

This €25,000 event has drawn plenty of contenders, with Ellmarie Holden's Lachares another for the shortlist along with Tipperary scorer Petuna and Jaime Sommers.

Monarch has finished second twice since going jumping and he represents O'Brien in the opening Book Online At Maiden Hurdle.

Multiple point-to-point winner Didarro leads the way in the staying novice hurdle, but the vote goes to the Noel Meade-trained Mr Showtime. There are two divisions of the Greville Arms Hotel Mullingar Handicap Hurdle over three miles, with Cairnshill getting the vote in the second of the two.

Meanwhile, Order Of St George could clash again with his Royal Ascot conqueror Big Orange in the Qatar Goodwood Cup. Michael Bell immediately confirmed his star stayer would bid for a third successive victory in the Goodwood Cup on August 1 and Aidan O'Brien will consider sending his charge for a rematch.

"Order Of St George seems fine and we'll see how he is in the next week to 10 days," said the Ballydoyle handler. "It was a tough finish in the Gold Cup, but they are all tough finishes at Ascot."

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