Wednesday 22 November 2017

O'Brien date with Frankel

Excelebration remains easy to back ahead of tomorrow's showdown with the mighty Frankel in the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

A ready winner at The Curragh on its Irish bow, Excelebration was one of two Aidan O'Brien-trained horses to feature among seven final declarations for the Group One yesterday, the other being the pacemaker Windsor Palace.

Conqueror of stablemate St Nicholas Abbey in controversial circumstances at The Curragh on the May Bank Holiday, Windsor Palace (66/1) will be ridden by Seamie Heffernan. Joseph O'Brien takes the reins on Excelebration, which yesterday drifted to 11/4 from 5/2 to turn around last season's three defeats to Frankel.

There was no luck for the Irish runners in yesterday's valuable cross-country race at Lion d'Angers in France. Denis Murphy's Another Jewel, successful in the four-and-a-half-miler in 2010, fared best in fifth under Davy Russell, as Willie Mullins' La Touche hero Uncle Junior failed to land a telling blow for the trainer's nephew Emmet.

Michael Hourigan's A New Story unseated Adrian Heskin when in contention, while Tony Martin's Saddlers Storm after racing prominently under Paul Carberry.

Irish Independent

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