Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 21 July 2019

O'Brien keen for Circus Maximus to rain on Enable's Eclipse parade

Circus Maximus ridden by jockey Ryan Moore (left) on his way to winning the St James's Palace Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Circus Maximus ridden by jockey Ryan Moore (left) on his way to winning the St James's Palace Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Thomas Kelly

Aidan O'Brien looks set to send a strong team, headed by Ascot hero Circus Maximus, to Sandown on Saturday in a bid to lower the colours of wonder mare Enable in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes.

Along with the St James's Palace Stakes winner, which was much improved in blinkers, O'Brien could be represented by Magical - second to Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales's Stakes - Magic Wand, Flag Of Honour and Hunting Horn.

Enable will be making her seasonal debut in the Sandown showpiece as John Gosden has been keen not to rush the dual Arc heroine into action this term, with all her major targets in the second half of the season.

A third win in the Arc is the primary objective and Frankie Dettori, who has been on board as her work as stepped up on the Newmarket gallops recently, is happy with her progress.

"She's well, I'm very pleased with her," he said. "I've been riding her for the last month and she's really come on, she's ready for the run."

While he hasn't entered Crystal Ocean, Michael Stoute has two potential runners in the progressive Regal Reality and Mustashry, which could step back up in trip having won the Lockinge this season. Hughie Morrison has left in Telecaster after his Derby disappointment, but prior to that he looked very good in winning the Dante at York.

However, Crystal Ocean has been included in a mouth-watering line-up for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September, along with impressive French Derby winner Sottsass, Sea Of Class, Phoenix Of Spain, Madhmoon and the last two Epsom Derby winners - Masar and O'Brien's Anthony Van Dyck.

Classy Watch Me and Hermosa - the two fillies which fought out the Coronation Stakes - are among 36 classy entries for the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes. Along with Hermosa, O'Brien has entered Magical and Pink Dogwood, while John Oxx's Skitter Scatter and the Joseph O'Brien-trained Iridessa are also in the mix.

Gosden, meanwhile, has confirmed that Epsom heroine Anapurna will skip the Irish Oaks in favour of a tilt at the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on August 22.

Irish Independent

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