Friday 23 February 2018

O'Brien mob-handed in bid to continue Navan domination

Damien McElroy

Yet to decide on his Racing Post Trophy challengers at Doncaster on Saturday, Aidan O'Brien is mob-handed at Navan this afternoon when saddling six colts in an attempt to extend his remarkable winning sequence in the Trim Maiden for juveniles.

This one-mile contest has gone to Ballydoyle-based runners for the past six years, most notably when Fame And Glory made a successful debut in 2008, and the champion trainer is responsible for a third of the 18-runner field on this occasion.

While the stable's half-dozen newcomers include three sired by the remarkable Galileo, Johnny Murtagh -- who steered the odds-on Flying Cross to victory 12 months ago -- is aboard Montjeu's son Recital as he bids to sustain the defence of his title.

Indeed, the locally born rider could take the honours of this session with a treble on behalf of the Coolmore partners, but he will be hoping to be on the best horse in the Trim Maiden, as Fame And Glory was a 6/1 chance when scoring under Stephen Hunter.

Seamus Heffernan's name is alongside three of that sextet of O'Brien winners and he's on Regent Street now, with Colm O'Donoghue -- fresh from a lucrative Canadian International triumph on Joshua Tree -- partnering another Galileo colt, Moons Of Jupiter.


Murtagh stays loyal to David Wachman's Holy Roman Emperor filly Jambalaya as they seek to recoup recent Curragh losses behind stablemate Port Elizabeth in a tricky Golf Captain Nursery and Table Mountain, likewise, is on a recovery mission for him in the finale.

Successful in a maiden at the Meath venue over a mile and a quarter, Table Mountain was market leader when stepping up by two furlongs for the October Premier Handicap at Naas on Sunday and can be considered an unlucky loser there.

The Milan colt's relative lack of experience, compounded by little luck in running, contributed to his failure to overhaul Gimli's Rock and Final Flashback then and it will be surprising if Murtagh's mount doesn't record his second win here in the Golf President Handicap.

Another lightly raced handicap contender at this fixture with scope for improvement is Moyglare Stud's Be My Storm, a daughter of Singspiel which Dermot Weld reintroduces in the featured Stallion Farms EBF Fillies affair after a break of 104 days.

Weld's charge opened her account at Leopardstown on a fairly lively surface in July and today's good going should suit her when encountering both hat-trick seeker Boynagh Joy and Flowers Of Spring, which got a 17lb hike in the ratings for a surprise course and distance success a fortnight ago.

Irish Independent

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