Sunday 22 September 2019

O'Brien hoping to go 'Cosmic' for Schmidt

Donnacha O’Brien is going to battle hard to retain his jockeys’ crown. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Donnacha O’Brien is going to battle hard to retain his jockeys’ crown. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Irish Champions Weekend is the next major focus of attention but the coming months will also see a brilliant tussle between Colin Keane and Donnacha O'Brien for the jockeys' championship.

The 2017 champion, Keane, currently leads reigning champion O'Brien by two winners but Shane Foley could still be an outsider in this race as he continues to fire in winners in his first season with Jessica Harrington.

Whether or not Foley will have the ammunition required remains to be seen but he can get among the winners today with Silence Please (5.50).

The Gowran maiden winner is very well related and will surely be better over further than seven-furlongs in time, but for now if handling the softer ground conditions, she should be able to make it two wins from two starts.

Harrington's daughter of Gleneagles sports news silks and the new American-based owners can get an instant return on their investment in the auction race over an extended seven furlongs.

Dermot Weld will fancy his chances with Gatwick Kitten (5.20) which shaped encouragingly on his Galway debut to suggest he can open his account at the second time of asking.

As mentioned, Donnacha O'Brien is going to battle hard to retain his jockeys' crown and Cosmic Horizon (7.50) looks his best chance this evening. The three-year-old is owned by Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt - currently in Portugal at a squad training camp - and while the colt may not have reached the heights he promised as a juvenile, O'Brien's mount can prevail off 89 against a few older rivals.

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