O'Brien unleashes $1.1m 'Sergei' for Dundalk debut
The first two-year-olds of the year to emerge from Ballydoyle run at Dundalk this evening.
Aidan O'Brien has chosen the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (6.0) as the starting point for Sergei Prokofiev, a son of Scat Daddy which cost an eyewatering $1.1m as a yearling, as well as No Nay Never colt The Irish Rover, which fetched a mere 150,000 guineas.
Dermot Weld unveils the stoutly-bred Andaleep, while Kevin Prendergast takes the wraps off Scarlet Skis and Wolfofmountstreet represents the Johnny Murtagh team. In a race which punters will approach with caution, the Patrick Prendergast-trained Skitter Scatter has an edge in experience over all of them, having finished a respectable third over course and distance.
The Irish Stallion Farms Median Auction Maiden is the biggest pot up for grabs at the Louth venue and it might be wise to side with Dermot Weld's Sandaryann in another tricky betting contest. Declan McDonogh's mount should be match-fit having finished second at Cork last month.
Meanwhile, Gustav Klimt, US Navy Flag and The Pentagon are some of the key names entered by O'Brien for Saturday's Classic trials at Leopardstown.
Gustav Klimt and US Navy Flag are both prominent in the market for the English 2,000 Guineas, with the first-named off the track since winning the Superlative Stakes last July, while the latter was crowned champion juvenile after claiming the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes.
The pair both feature in the Listed Ballylinch 2,000 Guineas Trial, along with stablemates Murillo and Kenya in a possible field of nine. Jessica Harrington could be double-handed through Landshark and Brother Bear, while Weld's Imaging, Bobby Boy and Quizical are also in the mix.
The Ballylinch 1,000 Guineas Trial has twice as many entries but is still dominated by O'Brien. The champion trainer has entered six fillies, including Magical, while Harrington has a strong contender in Alpha Centauri.
The PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes has drawn a total of 12 entries, but O'Brien holds the whip hand with seven possibles headed by Derby second-favourite The Pentagon.
The trainer was on the mark at Dundalk yesterday when Could It Be Love (4/1) destroyed the opposition under Donnacha O'Brien in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
The daughter of War Front lengthened away as her stable companion Hence (evens favourite) floundered and she accounted for promising newcomer Terzetto by six-and-a-half lengths.
Honor Oak (16/1) secured win number three at Dundalk, winning the LMFM Family Fun Day May 6th Handicap for trainer Tom Hogan and jockey Billy Lee.