Friday 23 March 2018

O'Brien hopes Deauville can put it up to Midterm in Dante

Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile
Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Aidan O'Brien will be bidding for a fifth success in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York today, with Deauville and Black Sea representing the Ballydoyle maestro.

Deauville, the mount of Ryan Moore, has not been seen since finishing fifth in the Racing Post Trophy, having previously been beaten by Foundation in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket.

O'Brien said: "Deauville had a disappointing race in the Racing Post Trophy and it may have been that the year had been too long for him and the ground was too soft.

"He is a very solid horse and he will stay well. He will improve for the run and we are happy with him."

A lack of race fitness should not be an issue for Black Sea following last month's victory in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown.

"Like the other horse, we are stepping him up from a mile to a mile-and-a-quarter," said the trainer.

"Ryan gave him a very good ride the day he won. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do."

Michael Stoute is "not getting carried away" ahead of Midterm's much anticipated participation on the Knavesmire.

A son of Galileo out of the brilliant racemare Midday, the three-year-old is certainly bred in the purple.

Stoute's charge is a hot favourite to extend his unbeaten record and confirm his place as Britain's leading contender for Epsom, but the master of Freemason Lodge is staying grounded about his charge.

He said: "He came out of his (Sandown) race in good form but he shows us very little at home.

"At least we know he does it on the racecourse - he went to Sandown and answered the questions there."

Pat Fahy is hoping the drop in trip from a mile-and-a-half will help Ballybacka Queen in the Middleton Stakes.

The five-year-old mare has been placed in Group Three and Listed company and has had the benefit of a run this spring when second to Altesse in the Noblesse Stakes at Leopardstown five weeks ago.

Irish Independent

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