O'Brien warning for Vintage show
Jockey Joseph O'Brien has warned Fame And Glory is likely to improve for the run ahead of his seasonal reappearance in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan today.
The multiple Group One winner was successfully converted into a top stayer last season, winning the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the British Champions Long Distance Cup at the same track. However, he was beaten at long odds-on in his seasonal return two years ago and only scraped home in this race last season.
His rider, son of trainer Aidan O'Brien, admits he will not be at the very top of his game.
"Jamie Spencer would obviously normally ride him, but I believe he's suspended on Sunday, so it's nice I've been able to come in for the ride," said O'Brien. "He's a good horse and he seems in good form at home, but he in particular is a horse who improves a lot for his first run of the year.
"He's quite laid-back at home and he's a year older and a year wiser, but it's a good place to start him off and I'm looking forward to it."
Fame And Glory faces no easy task conceding upwards of 7lb to each of his six opponents in the one-mile-six-furlong Listed contest.
Steps To Freedom reverts to the Flat after disappointing in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham and, most recently, at Fairyhouse.
Trainer Jessica Harrington said: "He seems in good form at home and we're looking forward to running him, I just hope the ground stays good."
Another horse switching back to the Flat from hurdling is the Robbie Hennessy-trained Table Mountain.
The five-year-old is a former stablemate of Fame And Glory and a winner at Navan on the level and over timber.
Johnny Murtagh, who rode Fame And Glory to seven victories, takes the ride.
Hennessy said: "He's in good form but, looking at the ratings, we're all playing for second behind Fame And Glory."
Sunday Indo Sport