Lanigan to renew rivalry with O'Brien
MAIN Sequence could renew rivalry with his Epsom conqueror, Camelot, despite failing to match another Ballydoyle colt at Longchamp on Saturday night.
Tipperary native David Lanigan is considering aiming his talented three-year-old at the Doncaster St Leger after his Derby runner-up looked an unlucky loser behind Imperial Monarch in a thrilling finish to the Grand Prix de Paris.
Ironically, the Aidan O'Brien-trained winner of the French showpiece had suffered badly in a rough renewal of last month's Prix du Jockey Club. This time his rider, Joseph O'Brien, wisely took interference out of his equation by making the running.
But behind him, Main Sequence was repeatedly stopped in his run in the home straight as Ted Durcan sought a way through gaps that seemed to close as soon as he even thought of aiming at them.
The Aldebaran colt crossed the line galloping strongly with plenty of reserves untapped but Lanigan apportioned no blame to the jockey in the aftermath.
"That kind of thing can happen," he said yesterday, "and has happened to a lot more people than you can name. It's just one of those things. They probably didn't go a great pace early, which can generate its own problems.
"It was frustrating but that's life. We live to fight another day and at least we know we have a nice horse on our hands. And the important thing is that he's improved since the Derby.
"He was unlucky in his run last night, he was just getting rolling when he was stopped, but mentally he's grown up a lot since Epsom.
"And the positive we learned was that he will stay the mile and six furlongs of the St Leger. That trip would not be a problem for him and it gives us a lot more options."
Camelot, Imperial Monarch's star Ballydoyle stablemate, is 1/3 favourite for the Doncaster Classic, while Main Sequence, which runs in the Niarchos family colours, is around an 8/1 shot.
It was Imperial Monarch which was the last to thwart Main Sequence's route to the Paris winning post, showing his inexperience as he wavered off a true line under pressure.
The Galileo colt, the 9/5 favourite, had only a head to spare over Last Train, with another Andre Fabre inmate, Saint Baudolino, half a length third, and had to survive a 35-minute stewards' enquiry to keep the Group One prize. His next outing is likely to be the Prix Niel, France's chief trial for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
"It wasn't necessarily the plan to lead, that was up to Joseph, but he was drawn well if he wanted to," said O'Brien Snr. "It's been very difficult as all our gallops have been flooded since Epsom and the horses get very tired training on the all-weather (surface)."
Across the Atlantic, O'Brien had no luck a couple of hours later in the Man O'War Stakes at Belmont Park as last year's Irish Derby and Secretariat Stakes winner Treasure Beach disappointed.
Ridden by Jamie Spencer, the four-year-old son of Galileo could only manage fifth behind winner Point Of Entry. Sent off the odds-on favourite, he was settled off the pace early on and could never land a blow when the race developed into a sprint. (© Independent News Service)