Friday 15 December 2017

O'Brien books Moore for Rip Van Winkle's Sussex defence

Thomas Kelly

BRITISH champion jockey Ryan Moore has been called up for the ride on Aidan O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle when the colt bids for back-to-back successes in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood tomorrow.

The Galileo colt was a brilliant winner of the Group One prize 12 months ago but needs to bounce back to form after disappointing on his first start of the campaign in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.

With stable jockey Johnny Murtagh still on the sidelines due to suspension, O'Brien has snapped up the services of the reigning British champion jockey. The Ballydoyle handler also saddles Beethoven and Encompassing.

Rip Van Winkle will certainly face a stiff test, with Richard Hannon's Canford Cliffs bidding for his third successive win at the highest level following glorious displays in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes.

Chris Wall's stable star Premio Loco steps up to Group One company for the first time after his recent win at Ascot, while Mac Love makes his first appearance since winning at Goodwood last September. Beacon Lodge and Dream Eater complete the eight-runner line-up.

French filly Rosanara has been supplemented for the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

The daughter of Sinndar missed her intended engagement in the Irish Oaks after playing up when boarding her flight and connections have decided to stump up the required £17,000 to add her to the field.

Alain de Royer-Dupre's grey -- which will travel by road in order to avoid a similar scenario this time -- features among 12 entries following the confirmation stage, with last year's winner Midday a big contender for Henry Cecil.

Saeed bin Suroor could saddle Antara and Hibaayeb, while O'Brien's Famous and the Jim Bolger-trained Akdarena are the sole representatives from this side of the Irish Sea.

Stacelita is another interesting French entry, David Elsworth can call on Barshiba and Myplacelater while Strawberrydaiquiri, Contredanse and Rumoush complete the field.

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