Friday 15 December 2017

O'Brien hoping for one last Acapulco run after late blow

Jamie Spencer riding Happy Like A Fool (L) with Ryan Moore riding Princess Peggy (R) in a track gallop at Ascot yesterday. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Jamie Spencer riding Happy Like A Fool (L) with Ryan Moore riding Princess Peggy (R) in a track gallop at Ascot yesterday. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Johnny Ward

Acapulco, as short as 4/1 for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, will not run after a small setback yesterday.

The hugely talented speedster, which won the Queen Mary as a two-year-old at the Royal meeting when trained by Wesley Ward, did not appear at yesterday's forfeit stage for the King's Stand.

Given that she is in foal and with time running out, there is now the chance that she will never race again, but Aidan O'Brien is hoping that she may yet take her chance in Berkshire - rather in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday week.

"She had a small hiccup today and we knew she wouldn't make Tuesday but there's a chance she might make Saturday," he told the Irish Independent.

In foal to Galileo, Acapulco was a workmanlike winner of a Curragh Listed event in May on her sole start for O'Brien.

Another American-bred speedster by Scat Daddy will take her chance in Tuesday's race.

Star filly Lady Aurelia was put through her paces at Ascot last morning. The Ward-trained three-year-old worked alongside two stablemates for Ryan Moore and finished a long way clear of Bound For Nowhere, likely bound for the Commonwealth Cup.

Moore said: "She was very relaxed and knows what she's doing round here."

Ascot patrons have been warned to expect longer delays getting there as a result of extra security measures, including a more visible presence of armed police officers.

Frankie Dettori should be fit to ride Shutter Speed in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday. The popular Italian was thrown from the John Gosden-trained Tivoli in the paddock at Yarmouth on Tuesday but is recovering.

The favourite is likely to meet Oaks runner-up Rhododendron, which may bid to give O'Brien a first winner in the race.

O'Meara to raid Leopardstown with firmament

It is not so long ago that David O'Meara, if a racecourse rumour had any weight, was supposed to be returning home to Ireland.

Nothing ever came of this and the Co Cork native continues to thrive in his adopted homeland. O'Meara is one of Britain's top trainers and can take Leopardstown's Group Three Oliver Brady Memorial Ballycorus Stakes with Firmament.

This one stays a mile, which may be significant as two of his rivals - Psychedelic Funk and Don't Touch - try this distance or the first time.

Zinat is really interesting in the Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow Handicap. The Holy Roman Emperor colt was an easy maiden winner when last seen, and a rating of 72 may not reflect her capabilities for Michael Halford.

Aidan O'Brien attaches a tongue tie to quite a lot of newcomers by War Front, Battle Of Jericho the latest in the opener. He is out of a really good mare and will relish the lively ground.

The fillies' maiden supplies one of the bets of the night in Europium, which was well-fancied when second on debut. By his standards, 2017 has been quite lean for Dermot Weld, who would welcome a winner now.

Crafted Jewel takes the eye in the rated race. The trip can suit her if the in-form Gary Carroll can overcome her high draw. In contrast there are no stalls in the finale, a staying maiden for amateur riders in which Fugi Mountain can overcome an absence of 638 days.

The nap selection is Weightfordave in the Outcider Handicap. It is a frustrating night given the field sizes for each-way players, with 15 going to post here.

A win bet is advised on the Noel Meade-trained steed. His rating (52) is anomalous for one rated as high as 111 hurdling, though he has yet to win a race. Things did not go his way at Fairyhouse from a horrible draw but that reversion to the Flat should stand to him under Shane Foley.

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