O'Brien Committed with Sioux Nation
Sioux Nation is one of three Aidan O'Brien representatives in the Committed Stakes at Navan today. Triumphant in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, the son of Scat Daddy went on to supplement those gains in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August.
Ryan Moore will partner Sioux Nation on his seasonal reappearance and O'Brien is looking forward to getting his campaign under way, despite having reservations about underfoot conditions.
"He's in good form and is just ready to start back. The ground won't be ideal but this will start him off," said O'Brien, who also saddles Fleet Review (Wayne Lordan) and Different League (Seamie Heffernan) in this five-and-a-half-furlong Listed contest.
Different League won the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting for French trainer Matthieu Palussiere and was last seen filling the runner-up spot behind the O'Brien-trained Clemmie in the Cheveley Park at Newmarket. She makes her first start for new connections after changing hands for 1.5m guineas during the off-season.
Speak In Colours makes his debut for Joseph O'Brien after winning twice as a juvenile for Marco Botti, while Adrian Keatley has interestingly booked Gerald Mosse to partner The Broghie Man. Jessica Harrington's Brick By Brick and Too Familiar, trained by Johnny Murtagh, complete the line-up.
Listed honours are also up for grabs in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes. Aidan O'Brien fires a three-pronged assault, with Ryan Moore seemingly preferring Bye Bye Baby to stablemates Easter Lily (Lordan) and Sizzling (Heffernan). Other hopefuls in a 10-strong field include Willie McCreery's Mary Tudor and Sometimesadiamond from Jim Bolger's yard.
Star stayer Order Of St George faces just two opponents on his seasonal reappearance in the Vintage Crop Stakes. The 2016 Gold Cup hero came within a short head of successfully defending his crown at Royal Ascot last summer, going down to Big Orange in one of the races of the season. The six-year-old is likely to be prohibitive odds to make a successful comeback in this one-mile-six-furlong Group Three, but he did suffer an odds-on reverse in the same race 12 months ago.
"He's in good form," O'Brien reported. "He's just ready to start back and we're happy with him. We're hoping he runs a nice race."
Order Of St George is taken on by the Jim Bolger-trained Clongowes and Jedd O'Keeffe's British challenger Lord Yeats.
The latter won a lucrative York handicap and a Listed prize at Newmarket in the first half of 2017, but was no match for Order Of St George when fifth in the Irish St Leger when last seen. "There are only three runners, so he's guaranteed to get Group Three-placed and we couldn't pass up the opportunity," said O'Keeffe. "It's a bit of a no-lose situation.
"We're not going there expecting to win, but he's in great shape, he'll love the ground and I'm hoping he'll run a decent race."
Sunday Indo Sport