O'Brien chasing big prizes in Newmarket and France
THERE'S big Irish interest in faraway fields this week, with the overseas raid on both England and France being spearheaded, as ever, by Aidan O'Brien.
The Ballydoyle supremo has multiple entries at the July meeting in Newmarket later in the week and he is also set to run Imperial Monarch -- which suffered such terrible luck in running in the French Derby at Chantilly -- in Sunday's Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, possibly along with Daddy Long Legs.
A big threat to Imperial Monarch will be the horse which finished runner-up to O'Brien's Camelot at Epsom, Main Sequence.
Trained by Tipperary native David Lanigan, the Niarchos family-owned colt is reported to have thrived since his excellent run in the Derby and his owners intend to keep him in training next year. "He's strengthening all the time and next year is going to be his year," Lanigan said. "We'll train him with that in mind."
There are currently 14 entries for the French summer showpiece, with Main Sequence joined by the John Gosden-trained Shantaram, second to him in the Lingfield Derby Trial, while master French trainer Andre Fabre has a party of four.
They are Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Saint Baudolino, Last Train, Masterstroke and Albion. Other French entries are Kesampour, Daredevil, Hard Dream and Sir Jade.
O'Brien, however, is not the only Irish trainer with his eye on conditions at Newmarket this week as Tyrone's Andrew Oliver has high hopes for Sendmylovetorose in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes on Friday, though a final decision on a start has yet to be taken.
"She's a very tough filly and she's in great form at the moment," Oliver said yesterday. "But whether she goes across to Newmarket depends on the ground. She's a filly with a nice action, but she obviously also goes on easier ground."
That is fair to assume following the juvenile's gutsy win in a Group Three fillies contest at the Curragh on July 1. Sendmylovetorose, bought for a mere £5,000 in the Doncaster Sales ring, had clearly put behind her the awful experience of being trapped under the stalls before a scheduled Royal Ascot engagement last month.
Oliver (44) is a qualified vet, who once worked for Mark Johnston at Middleham. He was not assistant trainer as such, but as resident vet he was in a unique position to examine all aspects of training in a successful operation.
Saturday's Darley July Cup, the six-furlong Group One race, was boosted by two supplementary entries yesterday. Richard Hannon's four year-old Strong Suit steps down in trip after finishing 10th behind Frankel at Royal Ascot, while O'Brien could run Power if the ground dries out.
David Marnane's Wokingham winner from Royal Ascot, Dandy Boy, became the fifth Irish-trained entry in the 21 runners declared yesterday. (© Daily Telegraph, London)