Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Moore winners await as O'Brien bids for back-to-back with 'DC'

Ryan Moore. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Ryan Moore. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Having ridden a double at Navan yesterday, Ryan Moore makes a swift return to the Meath track and looks likely to be in the winners' enclosure again on today's eight-race card.

Moore will hope Washington DC can make it back-to-back wins in the featured Listed Woodlands Stakes (6.0) for his boss Aidan O'Brien and the five-year-old looks well equipped to do so.

Unlike many of the underperforming Ballydoyle string at present, which are badly in need of a run to blow off the winter cobwebs, Washington DC comes here having finished fourth in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan last month.

Twelve months ago O'Brien's sprinter came here on the back of a seventh-place finish on Dubai World Cup night, so the signs are strong that his crown can be defended. This has been a good race for favourites with the last five hotpots obliging in this €45,000 contest.

This is no penalty kick, however, with Willie McCreery's Downforce coming here in the form of his life having taken a Listed contest at Cork - the re-opposing Son Of Rest was second - and chasing Psychedelic Funk home in a Naas Group Three on his last run.

That pair are likely to fight out the finish but preference is for Washington DC in a competitive eight-runner event.

There was a lot to like about the performance of O'Brien's Sergei Prokofiev on his debut 12 days ago at Dundalk given that he only went down by a short head despite showing greenness.

Further improvement is always expected from an O'Brien two-year-old after their racecourse debut and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race (4.25) looks winnable, although progress will be needed as Naas winner Pride Of Pimlico sets a decent standard.

Maarek is the elder statesmen in the Slane Handicap (5.30), but the 11-year-old has live claims against younger opposition including Adrian Keatley's G Force and Andrew Slattery's Sors, which both come into the race on the back of recent successes.

Jim Bolger has been unusually quiet at this early stage of the season and will be hoping Leopardstown third Cashless can go well in the Racing Again May 19th Handicap (7.0).

O'Brien saddles newcomers Frankincense and Southern France in the Kilberry Maiden (7.30) with Moore - who will ride Mendolssohn in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday week instead of the Guineas - aboard the latter.

Irish Independent

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