Racing - Watching Brief
AIDAN O'BRIEN needs a single Group One victory to ensure that he doesn't conclude the campaign with a single figure return for a first time since 2004.
His last chance of one in Europe is with Mekong River in this afternoon's Grand Criterium de Saint-Cloud. The Ballydoyle supremo has won this four times already, Fame And Glory the only one of the quartet that could be considered a proper Group One horse.
As such, O'Brien's decision to run the progressive Mekong River is significant given the quality of juveniles he has at his disposal this year.
Since needing the stewards' intervention to secure its maiden at Gowran Park in August, the Galileo colt has steadily improved to land a pair of nurseries, latterly scooting up in first-time headgear off 93 in soft ground at Listowel.
Mekong River then sluiced up in a Leopardstown Listed race over nine furlongs last week, so 10 furlongs on testing ground here should suit. He and Seamie Heffernan might just take a bit of beating.