Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 23 November 2017

Moore injury forces O'Brien to reshuffle

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

AIDAN O'BRIEN will be forced to reshuffle the riding arrangements for two of his most exciting prospects at The Curragh on Sunday following the shoulder injury sustained by Ryan Moore at Goodwood last Saturday.

Moore, whose services O'Brien has frequently availed of on the big days this season, is expected to be sidelined until October.

That means that Await The Dawn and Power, both of which hold vital engagements on Sunday, will have a different rider on board to the man who steered each to a Group Two victory at Royal Ascot last time.

Power, joint-favourite at 12/1 for next year's 2,000 Guineas, is Paddy Power's 7/4 market leader for Sunday's Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, a race the Ballydoyle handler has won 11 times in 13 years. Unbeaten in three following his Coventry triumph, Power was partnered by Colm O'Donoghue on his Curragh debut in May, before Seamie Heffernan took over in the Marble Hill Stakes back at Headquarters next time.

Sunday's Group One contest features five other O'Brien-trained representatives. Of the eight remaining entrants, three are English-based.

Lilbourne Lad, already a dual winner here for Richard Hannon this term, is one of those, while Frederick Engels could also add muscle to the raiding party.

An impressive scorer at the royal meeting for Johnny Murtagh, David Brown's colt further enhanced his reputation with a smooth success in Newmarket's July Stakes.


Await The Dawn could face his stiffest test yet in the Royal Whip Stakes.

A runaway winner under Moore at Chester prior to landing the Hardwicke at Ascot, the lightly-raced four-year-old is as low as 5/1 favourite to atone for his sire Giant's Causeway's narrow defeat in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs next November.

Other than Moore and Murtagh, O'Donoghue, who is due to join Fran Berry and Richard Hughes on the Irish team in the Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday, is the only other jockey to have ridden Await The Dawn in a race.

Among Await The Dawn's potential rivals in Sunday's Group Two are his Irish 2,000 Guineas-winning stable-mate Roderic O'Connor and Jim Bolger's Oaks runner-up Banimpire, as well as the long-absent Casual Conquest.

The winner of this in 2009, Dermot Weld's six-year-old, which is also entered at Leopardstown tomorrow, has not run since finishing down the field behind Sea The Stars on his only subsequent start in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Meanwhile, Tom Queally has emerged as another potential beneficiary of Moore's bad luck by being booked to ride for Michael Stoute at Sandown tomorrow.

The Co Waterford native is in the midst of a real purple patch, his haul of four Goodwood winners topped by a brilliant Group One double courtesy of Frankel and Midday.

On Monday, Queally's agent Tony Elves revealed that he had been in contact with Stoute to inform the Newmarket trainer of his jockey's eagerness to fill in for Moore when opportunities present themselves over the next couple of months.

Kieren Fallon's agent had earlier announced that he had done the same, but it is Queally who has been booked for Stoute's two-year-old Martin Chuzzlewit tomorrow.

Fallon rides for Ed Dunlop in the same race, while Stoute's only other runner on the card, Caraboss, will be ridden by Jimmy Fortune.

Queally is retained by Henry Cecil in that 10-furlong handicap, but Fallon, who has a rare ride for Godolphin here on Tahaamah, has presumably been overlooked by Stoute for the queen's runner.

Irish Independent

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