Final Instructions


       


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AIR FORCE BLUE 







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Chester Vase has had to be reopened after limited entries. Looks Like US Army Ranger has scared them all away 


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Dewdrop and Sword Fighter to run at Sligo on Sunday Donnacha takes both rides.


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Last year's QIPCO 1000 Guineas heroine LEGATISSIMO has been retired,


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Ride Newmarket’s famous Rowley Mile course with Ryan Moore




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Ryan Moore On AIR FORCE BLUE Seamie Heffernan on AIR VICE MARSHALL in the 2000 Guineas today at Newmarket 13 run


Sunday 1000 Guineas Newmarket Jockey Bookings MINDING Ryan Moore BALLYDOYLE Seamie Heffernan ALICE SPRINGS Colm O'Donoghue - Ryan Moore will also take the Ride on EVEN SONG in the listed Pretty Polly Stakes on Sunday for Team Ballydoyle. 




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Todays Racing Post Front Page -TeamAFB




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Aidan's 9 Nation Army





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Air Force Blue (Ryan Moore)

Air Force Blue: romped to Dewhurst success at Newmarket last season

 PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)

Can anything beat Air Force Blue in Guineas?

AIR FORCE BLUE'S superb rise to stardom last season was rounded off in scintillating style in the Dewhurst Stakes in October and last year's champion two-year-old is a red-hot favourite to claim Qipco 2,000 Guineas glory on Saturday.

Frankel, who went off at 1-2 for his 2,000 Guineas win, was an exceptional talent with very few weaknesses but are there any chinks in Air Force Blue's armour and if so who might exploit them?The son of War Front looks set to go off the first odds-on favourite since Frankel and the hype surrounding Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old is similar to that of the 2011 winner, who went on to become one of the greatest of all time.

Has the ground gone against him?

Air Force Blue won the National Stakes on yielding ground at the Curragh last season but the rest of his winning form is on good ground and O'Brien admitted that he would prefer it to dry out.

The Ballydoyle trainer said: "Air Force Blue handled easy ground when winning the National Stakes at the Curragh in September but going a mile at Newmarket will be new territory for him and we'd like to see the ground dry out.

"Everything has gone well with him over the winter and spring. He worked very well last Friday when he showed a lot of pace in his work."

Aidan O'Brien: has won the race four out of the last five runnings

Aidan O'Brien: wants the ground to dry out for Air Force Blue

 PICTURE: Getty Images

This week's plunge horse in the betting, Galileo Gold, has good form on good to soft as a juvenile and his trainer Hugo Palmer is delighted the rain has come.

"I've said all along all we were looking to avoid was the ground getting fast," said Palmer. "I think the temperature and the eight millimetres of rain have ensured it won't be and I suspect it will be good ground. There won't be excuses for anyone on good ground and I would anticipate the best horse to win."

Will he stay?

Air Force Blue goes into the race untried at a mile, having never raced beyond seven furlongs. However, none of the past three winners of the race had ran over a mile before taking Guineas glory.

Air Force Blue is also proven at the track - winning the Dewhurst Stakes last season - and handling the Rowley Mile is historically is more of a factor than stepping up from seven furlongs to a mile.

The way he travelled and put the race to bed so swiftly in the Dewhurst last season suggests there is no reason why he wouldn't see out the mile, but if there are any stamina concerns last season's Racing Post Trophy winner Marcel could be the one to exploit them.

Marcel (Andrea Atzeni) wins the Racing Post Trophy

Marcel: last year's Racing Post Trophy winner has proven stamina

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Will the extra equipment help?

Air Force Blue will wear a tongue tie and a noseband for the first time on a racecourse in a bid to help relax the mount of Ryan Moore.

Although he wasn't overly keen during his races last season - it certainly didn't affect his results - the extra equipment can only help Air Force Blue's chances of seeing out the trip.

O'Brien said: "He's wearing a tongue-tie and a cross noseband to help him relax. We've tried them on him at home this week and he appeared to be more relaxed."


Classic 'acid test' looms for Guineas favourite

Air Force Blue
Air Force Blue
(Healy Racing Photos)

Air Force Blue faces the "acid test" of his Classic credentials in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained son of War Front enjoyed a spectacular juvenile campaign, winning four of his five starts including a hat-trick of Group One triumphs to ensure he was crowned the season's champion two-year-old.

His dominant performance in October's Dewhurst Stakes confirmed he would head into the winter as hot favourite for the first Classic of 2016 on the Rowley Mile and his price has continued to contract in recent weeks, to the stage where he is now odds-on across the board.

O'Brien, who saddled a joint-record seventh Guineas winner when Gleneagles struck gold 12 months ago, has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the latest Ballydoyle superstar, but admits only time will tell whether the stiff mile at Headquarters will be within his compass.

"He's always been very quick and has a lot of natural speed, that's why we are hoping he gets a mile," said O'Brien, whose charge has eased slightly in some places after rain turned the Rowley Mile good to soft on Friday morning.

"Obviously this will be the acid test as it's his first run over a mile, we'll probably learn a lot about him.

"Those seven-furlong two-year-old races are like enhanced sprints and it is a searching mile at Newmarket. You'd have to be hopeful that he will get it, but you can never be sure until they do it on the day.

"He's a good, fast horse. He's a horse who loves his work, enjoys his work and wants to please all the time. He's a very easy horse to train and I suppose the problem we have with him is over-training him.

"So far everything has gone well. Everyone saw last year he's a good traveller who quickens well.

"He's very relaxed and not influenced by anything at home, he's a nice independent thinker and is not a heavy-bodied horse. He covers the ground easily and economically. He really is a joy to train."

While Air Force Blue is very much the number one hope for the O'Brien-Coolmore team, they are also represented by Air Vice Marshal , who has not been seen since finishing second in Newmarket's Superlative Stakes last July.

Kevin Buckley, the UK representative for Coolmore, said: "Aidan has always said Air Vice Marshal should make into a nice Guineas horse. He just had a minor setback after his last run and the ground went against him.

"He has been training well with the Guineas in mind. Whether this might just come a little too soon, that remains to be seen."

Heading the home team is the runaway Craven scorer Stormy Antarctic, who rounded off 2015 by finishing a close second to O'Brien's Johannes Vermeer in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Trainer Ed Walker respects Air Force Blue and has also identified Racing Post Trophy hero Marcel as a danger.

He said: "I think it is a wide-open race. Air Force Blue is daunting opposition, as he is a three-time Group One winner, but it is much more open than the betting suggests.

"I fear Peter Chapple-Hyam's horse Marcel. He is an exceptional trainer and he is unbelievable at getting a horse ready for the big day.

"He was sort of the forgotten horse in the Racing Post Trophy and he is sort of the forgotten horse again. His form is rock-solid and I think he is over-priced."

Stormy Antarctic has done almost all his running with plenty of give in the ground, but Walker feels he can be equally as effective on a much sounder surface.

"I don't think soft ground is vital at all as he is a very good moving horse. It is by default rather than design that he has run on soft ground so much," the trainer added.

"He copes with it very well, but I don't think it is a necessity. It will help if the rain turns up before the race as it will test the stamina of two exceptional horses in Air Force Blue and Buratino."

Walker will move from Newmarket to train in Lambourn later this year, and added: " It would be a great way to leave Newmarket.

"I had two major goals that I set out when I started, the first was to have more than 50 horses in my string by the third year and the other was to win a Group One by the end of my fifth year, which we failed by a head, so hopefully we can put that right.

"Newmarket has been a great place to start my career and I will be sad to go for many reasons, but it is an exciting new chapter and I am looking forward to it.

"You only dream about having horses like this and it is great for the yard.



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Somehow Even Song & Seventh Heaven entered in the Cheshire Oaks - Cole Porter entered in a Maiden Both races at Chester Next week 



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Gustav Kilmt Renamed FINN MCCOOL 





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Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight & News - Updated in News Section



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War Front's best yet is all set for what could be a monstrous season

Air Force Blue (Seamie Heffernan) during a racecourse gallop at the Curragh last month. Photo: Racingfotos.com
Air Force Blue (Seamie Heffernan) during a racecourse gallop at the Curragh last month. Photo: Racingfotos.com











APRIL 28, 2016

Air Force Blue was not favourite when he made his racecourse debut at the Curragh on Irish 1,000 Guineas day last May.  Sent off a 4-1 shot, the plan was to drop him in, allow him to settle, to find his rhythm.

But Aidan O’Brien’s colt hit the gate so well that Ryan Moore allowed him stride along. He bagged the stands rail before they had gone a half a furlong from his draw in stall 11, just one off the rail and, after that, it never looked likely that he would lose.  

He was challenged three furlongs out, there were actually four horses in a line, all disputing the lead, on the run to the two-furlong pole, but one by one the other three came under pressure as Moore sat relatively still.  Then, when the rider gave his horse a squeeze, Air Force Blue came away nicely, put daylight between himself and his pursuers and, although he tired late on, he still held on nicely to win by a neck.

Maiden winners can go under the radar on big days. The headlines the following day were all about the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Pleascach’s gallant win, her half-length defeat of last November’s Breeders’ Cup Turf heroine Found.  

Born to be good

There was also plenty of coverage of the other Group races on the card, the three-way finish between Al Kazeem, subsequent Champion Stakes winner Fascinating Rock and last month’s Dubai Sheema Classic winner Postponed. And there was some time and space given to Curvy’s victory, the subsequent Ribblesdale and EP Taylor Stakes winner’s defeat of Derby prospect Giovanni Canaletto in the Gallinule Stakes.

It was some day’s racing all right.

There was a little bit on the War Front colt who had won the opener, mind you, even with everything else that was going on. About his professionalism, about his pace, about his prospects of going to Royal Ascot, possibly for the Coventry Stakes, a race that Aidan O’Brien had won seven times previously.

Air Force Blue was born to be good, out of the stakes-placed sprinter Chatham – herself out of Circle Of Gold, a sister to 1994 champion juvenile filly Flanders – and by War Front.  

War Front needs no explanation on this side of the Atlantic any more.  A top-class performer on dirt over six and seven furlongs, the son of Danzig started his stud career on a fee of $12,500, but that has increased dramatically since 2012, with Grade 1 winners like Data Link and The Factor building their sire’s reputation.

Success with sons of War Front

Aidan O’Brien has done exceptionally well with sons of War Front in Europe. Ireland’s champion trainer won the Coventry Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes in 2013 with War Command, and he won the Queen Anne Stakes and the Juddmonte International the same year with Declaration Of War. Then last year, after winning a maiden at The Curragh and a listed race at Dundalk, the champion trainer took Hit It A Bomb back Stateside to Keeneland in October where, under another inspired ride from Ryan Moore, he landed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Air Force Blue is War Front’s best yet. It is not a coincidence that, the week after the Ballydoyle colt won the Dewhurst Stakes last October, Claiborne Farm announced that War Front’s fee for 2016 would be increased from $150,000 to $200,000.

Air Force Blue did run in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, but he didn’t win it. He was a little keener than ideal through the early stages of the race, but he travelled well through the middle section. A little tight for room at the two-furlong pole, he was brave in moving through a narrow gap and, when he hit the front a furlong out, he looked a likely winner. However, Buratino found plenty on the near side and went on to beat him by two lengths, with the pair of them two lengths clear of their field.

It was a high-class performance by the winner, but it was also a smart performance by the runner-up. Experience counted. Buratino had run five times before Royal Ascot, Air Force Blue was green with just one pillar-to-post victory under his belt. Also, the War Front colt obviously learned plenty from the experience.  

He hasn’t been beaten since.

Significant frame

He took Buratino on again in the G1 Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh in August. It was understandable that they would send the Godolphin colt off as favourite, but it was also understandable that Air Force Blue’s rate of progress from Royal Ascot would be greater, given his relative lack of experience, and he won nicely. He beat his stable companion Washington DC by two lengths with another half-length back to Buratino in third.  

It always looked like Air Force Blue would improve with time as he matured, as he grew into his significant frame and, a May foal, that proved to be the case last season. He put up a better performance in winning the G1 National Stakes at The Curragh in September than he had in winning the Phoenix Stakes, despite the fact that the softish ground would not have been ideal for him. He beat a good colt of Jim Bolger’s that day in Herald The Dawn, the G2 Futurity Stakes winner, with another good colt in Birchwood, the G2 Superlative Stakes winner, back in third.

On his final run at two, Air Force Blue won the Dewhurst Stakes. That race was billed as a match between the Ballydoyle colt and the Godolphin colt Emotionless, so it was disappointing that Emotionless did not run his race – he returned with a chip in his knee – but Air Force Blue could do no more than beat his opposition on the day, which he did, with ease.

Reports from Ballydoyle suggest that the War Front colt has wintered well, and he went nicely in a racecourse gallop at The Curragh under Seamie Heffernan on the first day of the turf flat season last month.  Aidan O’Brien appears to be delighted with him, and consistent support in the market means that you can no longer back him at odds against for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday. He could be in for a monstrous season.


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Arthur Hancock with Air Force Blue's dam Chatham

Arthur Hancock with Air Force Blue's dam Chatham at Stone Farm

 PICTURE: Michele MacDonald

Simple truths held dear by Air Force breeder

Michele MacDonald visits Stone Farm in Kentucky, where Air Force Blue was bred, and finds out from Arthur Hancock the roots of the 2,000 Guineas favourite

WHEN it comes to breeding and raising thoroughbreds, Arthur B Hancock III holds fast to his faith in a few simple truths.

"If you take care of the land it will take care of you, and if you take care of your horses they will take care of you," Hancock says, as he stands under the blue sky stretching over the quiet paradise of his 2,200-acre Stone Farm near Paris, Kentucky.

From his gently undulating fields, Hancock has raised dozens of significant stakes winners, including a trio of Kentucky Derby heroes in Sunday Silence, Gato Del Sol and Fusaichi Pegasus, as well as the colt who is the heavy favourite for Saturday's Qipco 2,000 Guineas, Coolmore's 2015 European champion juvenile Air Force Blue.

"We feel very fortunate and blessed, and we're holding our breaths for the Guineas," Hancock says in his soft Kentucky drawl about the emergence of Air Force Blue as a potential superstar, with three Group 1 wins already under his belt. Trainer Aidan O'Brien has hailed the colt as the best two-year-old he has ever trained.

"These are the kinds of things you hope will happen in this business - they don't happen very often, but when they do they really keep me going," adds Hancock, 73, who was honoured this month by his Kentucky peers with the Hardboot Breeders' Award for his distinctive achievements.

The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and the Kentucky Owners and Breeders also recognised Air Force Blue as the outstanding Kentucky-bred racing abroad during 2015.

Hancock selected Air Force Blue's dam, the now 12-year-old Maria's Mon mare Chatham, from the dispersal of bloodstock from the late William T Young's Overbrook Farm at the 2009 Keeneland November Sale. He bred her to Claiborne Farm stallion War Front in both 2011 and 2012, following his tenet that a promising mating should be done twice, and Air Force Blue was the result of the latter visit.

"He was a nice colt and had plenty of sense," Hancock recalls of the powerfully made bay, "but I never really saw anything out of the ordinary with him until he was a yearling getting ready for the [Keeneland September] sale. He had a really good walk and he just had an air about him that he might be a good horse.

"I told the Coolmore people about him and they listened to me, and I'm so glad he's with them. They know what to do with a good horse."

Hancock, a passionate leader of prominent American owners who stand against the use of drugs including Lasix in racing, is a fourth generation scion of the remarkable family that established Claiborne and has bred champions for more than 100 years.

Torn in his youth between his love for bluegrass music and horses, he was dispatched in 1970 by his father, AB ‘Bull' Hancock jnr, to run a 100-acre tract known as Stone Farm. He eventually multiplied his farm interests into 4,600 acres before selling some portions, including 1,248 acres in 1994, to Robert and Janice McNair for Stonerside Farm, which was sold again in 2008 to Sheikh Mohammed's Darley.

'Bill Young is looking after me'

HANCOCK is an advocate of natural horsemanship and maintains as his farm motto the straightforward, ‘We're trying to raise you a good horse'. He notes with a touch of wryness that some buyers scratched Air Force Blue from their lists when the colt was offered as a yearling because he did not pass one team's heart scan and a veterinarian disapproved of his slightly offset knees.

MV Magnier apparently had few qualms, paying $490,000 for the colt on behalf of Coolmore partners.

Hancock gives credit for the early development of Air Force Blue to his 17-member team at Stone Farm, which tends to Hancock's 25 broodmares and another 55 boarded for clients, as well as a herd of Angus cattle and hay and wheat production. He also salutes Young, who was a friend, and the strength of the Overbrook bloodlines he acquired in Chatham.

"I like to say Bill Young is looking after me," Hancock says with a smile.

A three-time winner who was twice stakes-placed while earning $156,431, Chatham is a granddaughter of the Storm Bird mare Starlet Storm, who produced Overbrook's US champion juvenile filly Flanders. In turn, Flanders delivered Overbrook's champion Surfside, so Chatham's pedigree was impressive.

Hancock said he saw quality when he inspected the solid bay mare at Keeneland. Not only did he buy her, paying $190,000, he also acquired her then weanling daughter by Broken Vow for $90,000 in the hope of guiding the broodmare's chances of success.

The Broken Vow filly, named Pinkie Pact, was injured after only two starts and returned to Stone Farm. Hancock's 2010 mating of Chatham to Empire Maker produced a big, attractive filly, but she did not x-ray well as a yearling; named Emperesse, she eventually joined Chatham and Pinkie Pact in Hancock's broodmare band.

Air Force Blue's emphatic triumphs in last year's Dewhurst Stakes, National Stakes and Phoenix Stakes have substantially boosted the value of Chatham and her daughters, calling to Hancock's mind another truth in the art of breeding.

"There's an old saying that sometimes your bad luck is your good luck," he says. Emperesse is now in foal to the popular young War Front stallion The Factor and Pinkie Pact is set to deliver a foal by Claiborne's Data Link, another Grade 1-winning son of War Front.

Chatham, who slipped a foal by Broken Vow last year, was recently scanned in foal to War Front on a March cover.

A gentle mare, she shares a spacious field with the likes of champion Forever Together, owned by George Strawbridge, for whom Hancock raised 2008 European champion juvenile filly Rainbow View, and Grade 1 winner Dame Dorothy, owned by Bobby Flay.

Hancock believes horses are best raised in sprawling fields, where youngsters can develop muscle and bone and mares have ample choice in grazing.

In selecting mates for his mares, Hancock says his interpretation of the chef-de-race principle is to combine "a lot of good ingredients to make the souffle" of a potentially good racehorse.

"At the time we didn't know who War Front would nick with," he says of the mating that produced Air Force Blue. "You've got to be fortunate and lucky in this business. I remember Benjamin Franklin said in Poor Richard's Almanac that you can do everything right, but without a blessing from above you won't succeed."

Musical prowess

AIR FORCE BLUE'S pedigree ingredients include three lines of Northern Dancer and two each of Mr Prospector and Buckpasser, and he could give his female family even more fame this season while his four-year-old sister Bugle also aims at stakes glory.

A $400,000 yearling and two-time winner, Bugle was initially raced by Hancock's client Joseph Sutton, a co-owner of the Houston Texans football franchise. However, she was sold privately to Coolmore associate Richard Henry earlier this year and was recently bred to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, said trainer Eddie Kenneally.

"Hopefully, she'll win a stakes race before she retires after one or two more starts," Kenneally said.

Hancock works amid mementoes of the horses who have shaped his life.

Sunday Silence remains the most meaningful horse he has raised and raced, and the black horse's image looms large in the Stone Farm office. Hancock wistfully relates how the difficult decision to sell the 1989 American Horse of the Year changed breeding forever in Japan while saving Stone Farm with an $11 million cash infusion just prior to the bloodstock crash that decimated many breeders.

The story of Stone Farm continues to unfold. Hancock's wife Staci is active with him in farm business and joined him in co-founding the anti-drug group Water Hay Oats Alliance.

One of their five daughters, Alex, works in the farm office and another, Lynn, is employed by Boomer Bloodstock in Australia. The Hancocks' son, Arthur IV, helped run the farm for several years before pursuing his interest in music with his band The Wooks.

Father and son have performed together musically many times as Arthur and Arthur and will give a concert today to raise money for thoroughbred retirement organisations.

The elder Hancock - who co-wrote the song recorded by Willie Nelson called Run That By Me One More Time and who recorded his own CD with the title song Sunday Silence - plays guitar while the younger Hancock strums a banjo.

Meanwhile, Hancock looks forward to Chatham producing a brother or sister to Air Force Blue next spring. But he keeps his aspirations close to the simple truths that have served him well.

"Without luck or a blessing, as Benjamin Franklin said, I think all your endeavours will be in vain," Hancock says. "So, you want to be humble, and you do your best and hope for the best - and you should be damned appreciative if good things happen."

  

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HIGHEST TIMEFORM RATED PROGENY OF GALILEO 




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No Ballydoyle Runner in the Prix Ganay,


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JLT Lockinge Stakes May 14th - Cougar Mountain Dick Whittington Sir Isaac Newton & The Happy Prince all entered (No Vancouver)


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International Update - Former Ballydoyle resident Crocodile Rock Makes impressive debut in Australia http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/chris-palmer-internationa…




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Air Force Blue

Air Force Blue: son of War Front is odds-on for the 2,000 Guineas

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos

Future bright for War Front's Euro juveniles

IT LOOKS as though it is going to be another big year for War Front. His son Air Force Blue is odds-on for the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday and is among a squadron of possible runners in this year's European Classics by the sire, along with Air Vice Marshal, Hit It A Bomb and Royal Artillery.

The first glimmer of evidence suggests War Front's two-year-olds will be as potent as the Classic crop, as his daughter Roly Poly ran out the game winner of a competitive Naas maiden on Monday night.

Roly Poly is one of 11 juveniles by the sire registered with Weatherbys as in training with Aidan O'Brien. The Coolmore homebred neatly illustrates the faith the operation has placed in War Front, as she is out of their four-time Group 1 heroine Misty For Me.

She also demonstrates how War Front, a son of Danzig, is seen by Coolmore as a vital outcross for their high-achieving mares by Sadler's Wells or his sons.

Misty For Me is by Galileo, and another War Front two-year-old out of a daughter of Galileo registered as in O'Brien's care is an unnamed  colt out of Kissed, a Listed-winning half-sister to Pour Moi.

A filly out of Newmarket and Curragh 1,000 Guineas runner-up Together has no trainer details registered yet with Weatherbys but will also, presumably, be trained by O'Brien.

O'Brien also trains Brave Anna, a filly out of the Sadler's Wells mare Liscanna, who has already clicked with War Front to produce Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit It A Bomb. She was not disgraced under a considerate ride when eighth behind Roly Poly on Monday.

Unnamed fillies out of the Sadler's Wells mares Imagine and Queen Of The Night also look likely to reside at Ballydoyle eventually, as does another unnamed filly out of Rockfel Stakes winner Wading, a daughter of Montjeu closely related to Galileo and Sea The Stars.

War Front is a syndicated stallion who covers limited books at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, so breeders are restricted in how many mares they can send him. Consequently, the superpowers of racing have fought over his independently bred stock at the sales, driving prices higher and higher.

Weatherbys has recorded four purchases from last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale as in training with O'Brien, although the most expensive purchase by Coolmore's MV Magnier at the auction, a $1.15 million colt out of Orate, is not yet one of those.

The most expensive War Front yearling at Keeneland, a $1.45m filly out of the Galileo mare Betterbetterbetter, was bought by Shadwell and it was indicated at the time she would come to Europe, although she has no trainer registered yet.

Other War Front juveniles beyond Ballydoyle to look forward to include Craig Bennett's homebred half-sister to Cursory Glance, a filly called Playing Trix with Roger Varian; Romanticism, a Juddmonte homebred filly out of seven-time Grade 1 winner Sightseek with Sir Michael Stoute; and the several that the stallion's owner-breeder Joseph Allen has entrusted to Jean-Claude Rouget in France, one of them, Battle Flag, a sister to last year's Prix du Jockey Club third War Dispatch.

The frightening thing is, whatever War Front achieves with his three-year-old and two-year-olds bred off fees of $60,000 and $80,000, better may yet still be to come with his future crops who were conceived when he stood at $150,000 and $200,000.


TWO-YEAR-OLDS BY WAR FRONT IN EUROPE
(With named trainers registered by Weatherbys or France Galop)

Army General
c. Charming (Seeking The Gold)
Aidan O'Brien

Australian Warship
c. Good Vibes (Unbridled's Song)
Aidan O'Brien

Barca
c. Magnificent Honour (A.P. Indy)
Aidan O'Brien
$900,000 Keeneland September

Battle Flag
f. Photograph (Unbridled's Song)
Jean-Claude Rouget

Brave Anna
f. Liscanna (Sadler's Wells)
Aidan O'Brien

Dilmun
f. Pachattack (Pulpit)
David Wachman

Dream Awhile
f. Baroness Richter (Montjeu)
Jean-Claude Rouget

Hawana
f. Tare Green (Giant's Causeway)
John Gosden
$350,000 Keeneland September

Lancaster Bomber
c. Sun Shower (Indian Ridge)
Aidan O'Brien

Playing Trix
f. Time Control (Sadler's Wells)
Roger Varian

Record Number
c. Bauble Queen (Arch)
Saeed Bin Suroor 
$900,000 Keeneland September

Right Flank
c. Principal Role (Empire Maker)
Andre Fabre

Roly Poly
f. Misty For Me (Galileo)
Aidan O'Brien

Romanticism
f. Sightseek (Distant View)
Sir Michael Stoute

Sileel
f. Gilt (Bernardini)
Ed Dunlop
$425,000 Keeneland September

Thafeera
f. Aqsaam (Dynaformer)
Charles Hills

War Secretary
c. Upperline (Maria's Mon)
Aidan O'Brien
RNA $825,000 Keeneland September

Unnamed
c. Kissed (Galileo)
Aidan O'Brien

Unnamed
c. Royal Decree (Street Cry)
Aidan O'Brien

Unnamed
c. Stone Hope (Grindstone)
Aidan O'Brien
$850,000 Keeneland September

Unnamed
c. Wild Poppy (El Prado)
Aidan O'Brien
$500,000 Keeneland September


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Saval Beg option for Order

  • Last Updated: April 27 2016, 11:09 BST

Order Of St George could make his seasonal reappearance in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown ahead of a shot at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Order Of St George: Saval Beg option

Order Of St George: Saval Beg option

Despite not running until June last year, the four-year-old made an instant impact in the staying ranks after winning three of his four starts, culminating with a runaway success in the Irish St Leger in September.

Although yet to race beyond a mile and three-quarters, the Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Galileo already heads the ante-post market for the Group One showpiece at Royal Ascot on June 16, which is to be his first major target.

Kevin Buckley, UK representative for owners Coolmore, said: "Where he is going to set him off, I'm not sure. The Saval Beg is probably where he will go, but I've not discussed it yet

"He is in great nick and in proper order. It's just a matter of getting him started and the Gold Cup at Ascot is definitely the target.

"Whether you can say he is the next Yeats yet, I don't know, as he has got a lot of steps to climb, but he is heading in the right direction."

He added: "Bondi Beach has got a lot of options open, but I've not discussed anything with Aidan since he won that race impressively.Buckley stressed plans remain fluid as to where last year's St Leger runner-up Bondi Beach will be seen next after making a winning return in Listed contest at Limerick earlier this month.

"It was great to see him come back and do it like that. He has got a lot of nice options and I am sure we are going to see a lot of him."

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Aidan O’Brien planning triple assault on 1000 Guineas at Newmarket

   

Aidan O'Brien plans to run Minding, Ballydoyle and Alice Springs in Sunday's Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Both Minding and Ballydoyle won Group Ones last season, with the former prompting the usually reticent Ryan Moore to provide the media with some very complimentary comments about her.

Because of that, O'Brien expects Moore to side with Minding ahead of Ballydoyle, who booked her place with a pleasing gallop in front of the Channel 4 Racing Morning Line cameras last Saturday.

"The plan is to run all three unless anything unforeseen ground-wise happens," said O'Brien.

"We know that Minding handles the ease well whereas Ballydoyle is not as effective on easier ground. They were very close as two-year-olds.

"I would imagine Ryan will ride Minding as he was very impressed with her last year. I think he was more impressed with Minding than Ballydoyle when he rode her."

Criquette Head-Maarek is hoping lightning can strike twice with another daughter of Motivator as Midweek lines up.

The masterful French handler, who has won the Classic three times already with Ma Biche, Ravinella and Special Duty, trained Motivator's most famous offspring, dual Arc winner Treve.

While Midweek has some way to go before she can be even mentioned in the same breath as Treve, there are reasons to believe so could be over-priced at around the 25-1 mark.

"She will definitely run, she did a piece of work on Saturday that really pleased me," said Head-Maarek.

"I know she was beaten in the Prix Imprudence, but she will definitely be suited by stepping back up to a mile as she won over that trip last year.

"She was my best two-year-old last season, she was slowly away on her debut and should have finished much closer than fourth.

"I've been lucky with Motivator as a sire in the past and I'm hoping I can be again.

"She's a good filly and will appreciate any cut in the ground - it just depends if any of the other fillies are better than her."


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O’Brien admits Air Force Blue has stamina questions to answer in 2000 Guineas

    

Aidan O'Brien has admitted to doubts regarding the stamina of red-hot favourite Air Force Blue ahead of Saturday's Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

By far and away the clear form pick, he only met with defeat once in five races as a juvenile, when second in the Coventry Stakes behind the reopposing Buratino.

However, he turned that form around in the Phoenix Stakes and stamped himself as the leading two-year-old with a dominant display in the Dewhurst Stakes.

That was over seven furlongs, though, and he has another furlong to see out on his return to action.

"Obviously this will be the acid test as it's his first run over a mile, we'll probably learn a lot about him," said O'Brien.

"Those seven-furlong two-year-old races are like enhanced sprints and it is a tough searching mile at Newmarket, but you'd have to be hopeful that he will get it, however, you can never be sure until they do it on the day."


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Former Ballydoyle Resident Red Cardinal 4YO by Montjeu wins the 4.30 at Bath for New trainer David Simcock & Jamie Spencer


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Ballydoyle have 4 entries in the Greffule Stakes Group 2 at Saint-Cloud Idaho, 

Port Douglas, Deauville, & US Army Ranger.


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US Army Ranger GALILEO'S Best Chance of a 4th Derby Winner no Stallion has ever sired 5



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A Star is Born ROLY POLY just has the right stuff to be a champion




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Ryan & Found Piece By me



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Naas highlights 25th April 2016 - Roly Poly


Limerick Highlights 23rd April 2016 - Bondi Beach & Birthplace


Dundalk Highlights 22nd April 2016 - Long Island Sound & Housesofparliment



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Ranger heads O'Brien Derby Army

  • By: Will Hayler
  • Last Updated: April 25 2016, 17:37 BST

US Army Ranger could follow the identical path taken by 2013 Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World on his way to Epsom and visit Chester next week in a bid to collect more racing experience.

Johannes Vermeer: Sustained a setback and won't make the Derby line-up.

Johannes Vermeer: Sustained a setback and won't make the Derby line-up.

Speaking at a Newmarket media event on Monday, Coolmore's UK representative Kevin Buckley confirmed that Ballydoyle still had a number of possible options for this year's Derby, but that US Army Ranger heads the pecking order, as well as the ante-post betting.

"Aidan's still going to get a few horses out but US Army Ranger is the number one so far," he said, of the once-raced maiden winner.

"His next target is a trial. He'd prefer better ground. He had a setback at two so Aidan decided to lay off him and he needs more experience now.

"It was a good performance at the Curragh. He's really well, done really well since that break.

"Aidan has mentioned Chester to me. Although I'm not sure I wouldn't be surprised if he went to Chester and followed the same route as Ruler Of The World. He won exactly the same maiden at the Curragh and then went and won the Chester Vase.

"It's quite a steep learning curve when you go to Chester. You've got to have balance and speed to get around Chester - the crowd is on both sides of the track, there's a lot of noise, and plenty to take in.

"The Gurkha was very impressive so he'll be taking in a trial. Clearly Aidan will have representation in all the trials in Ireland. He'll have something at Chester, Dante, Lingfield, all those races - it's just a matter of which one goes where."

Buckley revealed that stablemate Johannes Vermeer had suffered a setback which would definitely rule him out of the first half of the season and certainly see him miss the Derby and Royal Ascot.

"I think it's something in the hock department," he said. "It's not career-ending, but it has held him back, and he's not going to make it for the Derby. He'd shown high-class form at two and looked every inch a Derby possible to me, but hopefully we'll see him back at some stage."


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Gleneagles (Joseph O'Brien) win the Barronstown

Gleneagles: stands at Coolmore at a fee of €60,000

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Snow Fairy and stars in foal to Gleneagles

MULTIPLE Group 1 winners Snow Fairy and Peeping Fawn are among the mares in foal to Gleneagles during his first season at Coolmore, according to information released by the stud.

Snow Fairy, a nine-year-old daughter of Intikhab, won six Group 1s including the Irish Champion Stakes and Hong Kong Cup for her owner-breeder Cristina Patino.

Snow Fairy has been sent to Patino's own stallions Elusive Pimpernel and Palavicini in her first two years at paddocks and she has a yearling filly by the former called Belle De Neige.

Peeping Fawn, a 12-year-old daughter of Danehill, won four Group 1 races and is the dam of Coventry Stakes third Sir John Hawkins.

Also in foal to Gleneagles are Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroineIntercontinental and British Champions Fillies & Mares winner Seal Of Approval, along with Grey Lilas, the Group 1-winning dam of triple top-level scorer Golden Lilac, and Crazy Volume, the dam of this month's Sydney Cup winner Gallante.

They are among more than 30 Group winners or dams of Group winners to have been covered by Gleneagles this year.

Gleneagles, a Galileo brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous out of a sister to Giant's Causeway, was champion two-year-old and landed last year's 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes.

He is standing his first season at Coolmore at a fee of €60,000.


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Credit The Giver defies top weight


Credit The Giver and Donnacha O'Brien
Credit The Giver and Donnacha O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)

Soon-to-be-licensed Joseph O'Brien was responsible for another winner at Naas today as his Credit The Giver credited his father Aidan O'Brien with a double on the day when defying top weight in the Punchestown Preview Evening Handicap.

The winner was ridden to victory by Joseph's younger brother Donnacha O'Brien and following the win, Joseph O'Brien stated “he was consistent last year, likes getting a bit of cover and got a bit of luck today.

“I hope the handicapper isn't too hard on him. I don't know how many times it's going to work out that way for him but it's good to get the win.”

For the record, Aidan O'Brien's other winner on the day was promising Roly Poly in the juvenile fillies maiden.

By Tom Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson



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Ballydoyle score with Ascot bound newcomer

Roly Poly (12) and Seamus Heffernan
Roly Poly (12) and Seamus Heffernan
(Healy Racing Photos)

Champion Trainer Aidan O'Brien has made a blistering start to the new Flat season and sent out Roly Poly to make a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at Naas today.

Ridden by Seamus Heffernan, the daughter of War Front and out of Group 1 winner Misty For Me, moved into contention inside the final furlong and in the end edged outGone To Russia by a short head.

O'Brien was officially sending out his 24th winner of the season, although soon-to-be-licensed son Joseph O'Brien is responsible for some, and he later stated “you'd have to be delighted with that. She was very green and just ready to come racing.

“Seamie gave her a brilliant ride and nursed her along. He only gave her one little backhand flick.

“Hopefully she'll progress really nicely from that and she could be an Ascot filly. She's quick.

“It's lovely ground out there and this is a lovely place to start them.”

By Tom Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


Misty For Me - The Curragh 25.06.2011

Misty For Me: daughter of Storm Cat won four Group 1 races

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Regally-bred Roly Poly wins on Naas debut

WELL-BRED two-year-old filly Roly Poly made a winning debut in a competitive 5f maiden at Naas on Monday, repelling the late challenge of Gone To Russia (Rock Of Gibraltar) by a short head.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien for Coolmore, Roly Poly is by top Kentucky sire War Front out of four-time Group 1 winner Misty For Me.

Coolmore have sent plenty of mares to War Front and bought his stock at auction, having raced his Group 1-winning sons Air Force Blue, Declaration Of War, Hit It A Bomb and War Command.

Other War Front two-year-olds trained by O'Brien this year include Brave Anna, a sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit It A Bomb who was eighth to Roly Poly on Monday, and a half-brother to Excelebration called Lancaster Bomber.

War Front, who stands at Claiborne Farm at a fee of $200,000, has sired ten top-flight winners in total.

Misty For Me won the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Prix Marcel Boussac at two and the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Pretty Polly Stakes at three.

She is a sister to last year's Prix Marcel Boussac winner Ballydoyle and to Musidora Stakes runner-up Twirl, out of Butterfly Cove, an unraced Storm Cat half-sister to champion two-year-old Fasliyev.

Misty For Me's first foal, the Fastnet Rock three-year-old filly Cover Song, has finished unplaced in the US, and the dam also has a yearling colt by War Front.

O'Brien said after Roly Poly's victory: "She was very green and she was just about ready to go racing. She'll progress nicely from that we hope, and she could be a Royal Ascot filly."


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Ballydoyle Double as Credit the Giver (Top) & Roly Poly (Bottom) Win at Naas 



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Air Force Blue, Air Vice Marshal, Bravery & Shogun among 17 left in 2000 Guineas. Minding, Ballydoyle & Alice Springs among 17 left in 1000 Guineas. Seventh Heaven Somehow & Even Song are entered In the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday 



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Can't believe i missed this yesterday 3 Years since he passed away STORM CAT my Tribute Piece to a legend 

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Washington DC is 1 of 9 runners in the Pavilion Stakes (G3) at Ascot on Wednesday. Ground is Good to Soft at moment and would not suit Ryan Booked for the ride.


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Hans Holbien 8th on Australian Debut started at just under a mile which was way too short for him but only a start for him 


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Sweet Idea tops list of mares to be served by Gailileo

BY Tony Arnold


The Queen’s new broodmare Sweet Idea, ridden by Blake Shinn, wins the 2015 Group I Galaxy at Randwick. Picture: Simon Bullard

A Randwick Group I-winning mare now owned by the Queen tops a select list of elite Australian-bred racemares being served by European colossus Galileo this year.

The negotiations for Sweet Idea to be sold by Sydney businessman Nick Vass to join the Queen’s thoroughbred breeding stock were intriguing.

Vass actually said no to the first two offers made for Sweet Idea, but relented on the third bid, an offer “too good to refuse”, believed to be close to $3 million.

The second offer, made by the Queen’s racing and bloodstock manager John Warren, left Vass feeling intimidated, with Warren indignant that a bid made on behalf of the Queen was turned down.

With her first season booking to Galileo, Sweet Idea joins a formidable list of former Australian Group I winners to be covered by Coolmore Stud’s seven-times European champion.

Notable among those mares is Coolmore’s home-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock, multiple Group I winner Atlantic Jewel, whose first foal is a yearling colt by Galileo and she has recently foaled another colt to the champion Saddler’s Wells stallion.

The Fastnet Rock mares Nechita and Sea Siren, and Redoute’s Choice’s sister Monsoon Wedding are also Coolmore-owned mares going to Gallileo — the last named having foaled a colt to Galileo this year.

Other mares to Galileo this year include Melito, a Group I Randwick winner by Redoute’s Choice, the New Zealand Group I winner Fix (by Iffraaj) and the Exceed And Excel mare Believe ’n Succeed, the dam of Lonhro’s New Zealand Group I winner Bounding.

Sweet Idea, a first-class runner for clients of trainer Gai Waterhouse, was bought for $240,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions yearling sale on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Vass took a 20 per cent share in Sweet Idea who ran 19 times to win eight races and be placed eight times for earnings of $2,415,350.

Sweet Idea’s wins included the 2015 Group I The Galaxy (1100m) and Group II Missile Stakes (1200m), Tristarc Stakes (1400m), Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) and Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).

And she was runner-up in the Group I Myer Classic (1600m), Memsie Stakes (1400m), Coolmore Stakes (1500m, beaten a short half head), and the $1.5m Magic Millions Classic (1200m, beaten a short neck).

Sweet Idea is a chestnut mare by Snitzel and is the fifth winning foal of Flidais, a mare by the US Preakness Stakes winner Timber Country, a son of the Mr Prospector horse Woodman and the multiple Group I producer Fall Aspen.

Flidais was a joint breeding venture between Arrowfield Stud, the NSW Hunter Valley home of Snitzel, and Japan’s premier breeder Katsumi Yoshida. Flidais was raced in Australia by Yoshida for a modest return of a maiden win over 1850m at Newcastle in 14 outings.

But Flidais’ mother Electronic, by the US Del Mar Derby winner First Norman, was a very good stayer, with her nine career wins including the 1995 Group I The Metropolitan (2600m) for trainer Waterhouse and a group of owners which included Vass.

Flidais descends from a British-developed family introduced to this region in the 1930s through the imported mare Stourbridge Fair.

Stourbridge Fair’s fourth dam Light Of Other Days is the mother of a notable sprinter Woolsthorpe who is on the honour roll as the 1895 and 1897 winner of the King’s Stand Stakes, a feature of Royal Ascot, as well as the 1895 July Cup, a race long considered England’s premier sprint.

Sweet Idea signed off her racing career after decisively winning The Galaxy at the 2015 Sydney autumn carnival, with a post-race examination revealing she had injured a tendon.

Vass, who runs nine broodmares on a property in the Hunter Valley, made a $1.5m bid for Sweet Idea from fellow owners, with his offer also including owning and racing the first foal out of the mare.

But that offer was rejected with Sweet Idea instead entered for the Magic Millions National broodmare sale in June, where Vass secured her outright with a winning bid of $1.6m.

Days after the MM sale, Vass was contacted by an Australian bloodstock agent acting for a British buyer, with an offer of an instant profit for Sweet Idea. The offer was turned down.

“Two or three weeks later, I had a call from John Warren, the Queen’s manager, and I was told there had been a misunderstanding over Sweet Idea at the Magic Millions sale when it had been his intention to buy the mare,” Vass said.

“He was behind the initial offer to me and he was now personally making a new offer. But I said no because I considered Sweet Idea my flagship mare, which I had raced for so much enjoyment with friends, while also having raced her mother.

“John seemed quite taken back when I knocked back the offer ... I think he was upset that I wasn’t doing the right thing and that made me a bit angry.”

Vass thought nothing more of the saga until receiving a further call about a month later from Warren with a renewed offer for Sweet Idea.

“She was days away from being served by I am Invincible,” Vass said. “The offer was too good to refuse. I accepted. Warren flew out with a vet and cleared her and I had my Privy Council cheque in hand almost instantly.

“I signed a confidentiality clause over the agreed price so I can’t say how much I sold her for, but I can say it was nearly double what I paid for her at auction.”

To help defray the substantial cost of securing Sweet Idea, the Queen approved Warren’s recommendation to balance the books by selling the home-bred colt Peacock, a lightly raced dual Newmarket winner and a stakes-placed Royal Ascot runner, to Hong Kong interests.

In a recent interview with Britain’s Racing Post, Warren said this trade off “was the way of obtaining a top-class broodmare prospect, as breeding is Her Majesty’s fundamental interest.

“The reason she (Sweet Idea) was of tremendous interest to Her Majesty was twofold,” Warren added.

“First, she suits Galileo exceptionally well, being from the Danehill sire-line and built like a powerhouse. She was a brilliant two-year-old who trained on and was equally good at three and four years.

“And, second, Sweet Idea’s dam is by Timber Country who is a son of Fall Aspen and next year she will go to Dubawi, whose great grandmother is Fall Aspen, so it will be fascinating in-breeding to one of the all-time great broodmares.”

Estimate, the Queen’s best performer of recent times, recently delivered her first foal — a colt by Dubawi — and was due to be served again by Darley Stud’s banner waving stallion.

A seven-year-old mare by the distinguished German stallion Monsun — sire of Melbourne Cup winners Fiorente and Precisionist — Estimate won five of 13 outings in the royal colours with her career high point in the 2013 Group I Ascot Gold Cup (4000m).



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Well-bred fillies make debuts for O'Brien


THE 5f fillies maiden at Naas on Monday evening (6.10) sees a trio of well-bred debutantes unleashed by Aidan O'Brien.

Brave Anna, a two-year-old daughter of War Front out of the Sadler's Wells mare Liscanna, is a sister to the unbeaten Hit It A Bomb.

The siblings are both homebreds for Evie Stockwell and Hit It A Bomb notched three victories at two including in the Listed Star Appeal Stakes and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in October last year.

Liscanna herself landed a 6f nursery at Naas before going on to land the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes at three and she is a half-sister to another Group 3 performer in The Bogberry, who won the 2008 running of the Kilternan Stakes.

O'Brien also saddles How, a daughter of Galileo out of the Danehill Dancer mare Lillie Langtry, who is a sister to dual Group 1 heroine and current favourite for the 1,000 Guineas, Minding, and to Group 3 scorer Kissed By Angels.

Lillie Langtry won five times for O'Brien, including the Group 3 Sprint Stakes and the Group 2 Debutante Stakes before notching victories at the highest level in the Coronation Stakes and Matron Stakes.

Rounding off the trio is Roly Poly, a daughter of War Front who is the second foal out of four-time Group 1 winner Misty For Me.

Misty For Me's victories at the highest level came in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, Prix Marcel Boussac, Irish 1,000 Guineas and Pretty Polly Stakes.

There are plenty of other winners to be found on her page as she is a sister to Ballydoyle, who landed the Prix Marcel Boussac in October, and is from the family of unbeaten two-year-old Fasliyev.


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Ballydoyle Runners Naas Today



3 Nice Fillies make debuts tomorrow

HOW - full sister to Minding

BRAVE ANNA - full sister to Hit it a Bomb

ROLY POLY - War Front x Misty for Me


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G-Boss takes a handy £90,000+ lead over Dubawi in the Champion Sires Table


Power So You Think & Excelebration on 1st season Sires table



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Clare Balding got the chance to go and meet the Daddy GALILEO at Coolmore

Stud after the Morning Line Show


AIR FORCE BLUE - Picture from Clare Balding


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 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup 2016 Special Preview Show HIGHLAND REEL


Ryan Moore update on Highland Reel: Felt like he needed the run when fourth in the Sheema Classic, and he is just about the highest-rated in here, I'd have thought. He beat Flintshire in a Hong Kong Vase over 1m4f here in December, and travels well into his races, so the step back down in trip shouldn't be a problem. Ideally, you want to be drawn in stalls three to seven here, so my draw in six is fine and I give him a big each-way chance.




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Aidan O'Brien describes Australian Champion 2YO & Royal Ascot hope 

Vancouver as "very special"


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Birthplace another for the O'Briens

Birthplace and Ana O'Brien come home in front
Birthplace and Ana O'Brien come home in front
(Healy Racing Photos)

For the second time in as many races we had an Aidan O'Brien-trained Galileo winner when Birthplace landed the 188BET Horse Racing Charter Handicap at Limerick.

Thirty five minutes on from Bondi Beach's win in the feature, under Seamie Heffernan, Aidan O'Brien guided Birthplace (13/2) into a two length win.

Birthplace was equipped with first-time blinkers for this transition into handicap company, after three runs in maidens.

"He's a lovely horse and likes that trip," the winning rider commented.

"He'll be better on better ground and the blinkers sharpened him up - he can be lazy but he's genuine."

(TW & EM)


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Bondi Beach shows his class

Bondi Beach asserts under Seamie Heffernan
Bondi Beach asserts under Seamie Heffernan
(Healy Racing Photos)

Seamie Heffernan's confidence in Bondi Beach proved well justified when Aidan O'Brien's charge stamped his class on the Listed 188BET Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick.

Heffernan settled the 6/4 favourite out the back, but once he set the Galileo colt alight down the outer in the straight it was soon looking ominous for the rest.

Not seen since down the field in the Melbourne Cup in November, and agonisingly denied victory in the St Leger at Doncaster in September, Bondi Beach here went away from Altesse in the final furlong to triumph by two and three parts of a length.

"I was impressed and he won snug. He is a bit stronger and a bit more relaxed this year," revealed Heffernan.

"He could be anything but he is a good stayer."

(TW & EM)



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Ballydoyle set for 1000 Guineas

  • Last Updated: April 23 2016, 10:02 BST

Aidan O'Brien would be "very happy" to run Ballydoyle in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday week.

Ballydoyle: All set for the 1000 Guineas

Ballydoyle: All set for the 1000 Guineas

The Group One-winning daughter of Galileo impressed her trainer in a workout on Saturday morning and is now likely to join stablemate Minding, the ante-post favourite for the Fillies' Classic, in the line-up.

Speaking after her gallop, O'Brien told Channel 4 Racing: "That was lovely, you'd have to be very happy.

"On that piece of work, we'd be very happy to run in the English Guineas."

Air Force Blue is favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket next Saturday but O'Brien expressed a slight reservation about the trip as the War Front colt steps up to a mile for the first time.Ballydoyle has not run this season but looked the part at Longchamp in October when she won the Prix Marcel Boussac by a length and a quarter.

The three-year-old enjoyed a spectacular juvenile campaign that saw him claim three Group Ones, including the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

O'Brien said: "He did his last piece of work yesterday and I think he's there now.

"We are a little bit worried about the mile in the Guineas because he's so quick.

"The ideal plan would be Newmarket, Irish Guineas and Royal Ascot, but, if not, we have the option to shorten up."

Investec Derby favourite US Army Ranger could complete his Classic preparations by competing at Chester's May meeting.

His trainer is keen to get more match practice into the son of Galileo after having only raced once as a juvenile, when he won a heavy-ground maiden at the Curragh last April.

O'Brien said: "Because the ground was soft, everything was in slow motion the first day he ran, so he probably didn't learn an awful lot.

"It's possible we'll go to Chester and he'll have to learn a lot very quickly."    


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Heffernan doubles up on Sound

 By Gary Carson

Seamie Heffernan completed a quick double for Ballydoyle at Dundalk tonight when Long Island Soundproduced a fine front-running performance in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race.

The regally-bred War Front colt, who is out of a half-sister to superstar mare Zenyatta, made it two from two in the mile winners contest.

It took a while for the penny to drop when the winner made a successful debut here at the start of the month but he was much more professional tonight and was sent straight into the lead.

Heffernan asked the heavily backed 5/6 shot (5/2 this morning) for an effort passing the two pole and he stuck to his task well in the closing stages to record a length-and-a-half success.

Midnight Crossing edged a good battle for the runner-up spot close home, getting the verdict by a short-head from Mulligatawny.

“He's learning. I suppose it starts early when you have MV Magnier and his advisors spotting them and buying them,” said Heffernan afterwards.

“It starts when they are bought and we need the lads to go and buy them. It's nice when they fulfill their promise.”



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Housesofparliament rules at Dundalk


 By Gary Carson

Ballydoyle colt Housesofparliament quickened impressively to open his account at Dundalk tonight in the 188BET Maiden.

Seamie Heffernan sent the 5/6 shot to the front with over a furlong and a half to run in the ten furlong contest and he soon settled matters.

The son of Galileo ran around slightly in the closing stages but was always well on top as he recorded a cosy five-length victory over Flying Bullet.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained winner had found stable-mate Bhutan too strong when sent off favourite on his return to action at Leopardstown 12 days ago.

“He had a lovely run first time and we thought he had come forward,” said Heffernan.

“Hopefully the horses keep improving.”

When asked if the quicker surface suited he responded:-

“I think our horses are bred to be good and fast so the faster the ground the faster they go.”



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Champion Sires Tables Update (Up To yesterdays Racing)



Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight & News 

(Up to 19th April)




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 Highland Reel Drawn 6 in Hong Kong for the QEII CUP

Ballydoyle's Highland Reel working at Sha Tin (Hong Kong)

 


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St George's brother Kellstorm blows in

 By Alan Magee

Kellstorm (right) and Seamie Heffernan win the 1m4f maiden
Kellstorm (right) and Seamie Heffernan win the 1m4f maiden
(Healy Racing Photos)

Kellstorm, third to Investec Derby favourite US Army Ranger on his reappearance at the Curragh, gave the form of his more illustrious stable-companion something of a boost when taking the Fundraising Events At Tipperary Races Maiden.

The full-brother to Irish St Leger winner Order Of St George not surprisingly relished this step up to a mile and a half to justify odds of 4/5.

The son of Galileo led entering the straight under Seamie Heffernan, who needed to get serious over a furlong out.

However the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt kept on well inside the final 100 yards to beatEvening Hush by a length and a half.

English Pale was a further length and a quarter back in fourth.

O'Brien said, "He's a staying horse and you'd have to be happy with that. His brother stayed well and he (Kellstorm) is a lovely genuine horse. He's possibly a horse for the Queen's Vase and will have one run in between then."

The Ballydoyle trainer added, "Order Of St George is being aimed at the Gold Cup but I have plenty of doubt about him getting two and a half miles. When any horse gets to two miles it's unknown territory. He did get 1m6f in a strongly run race on soft ground though."

Regarding his Guineas runners he added, "Air Force Blue is in good form and we might have two or three runners in the 1,000 Guineas. Minding, Alice Springs and Ballydoyle are all possibles at this stage.




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Ambiguity justifies support on debut

 By Alan Magee

Ambiguity (Donnacha O'Brien) lands the opening juvenile race
Ambiguity (Donnacha O'Brien) lands the opening juvenile race
(Healy Racing Photos)

The market spoke strongly in favour of Ambiguity in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race at Tipperary, and the Fastnet Rock juvenile duly justified the confidence with a winning debut.

The full-brother to Cougar Mountain was sent off the 4/6 favourite against four rivals and Donnacha O’Brien, riding for his father Aidan, had few anxious moments.

The hot-pot challenged a furlong out, and was just driven out to assert in the closing stages.

The front-running Eacharn was two and a quarter lengths adrift at the line, with Istana further three quarters of a length back in third.

Joseph O’Brien, who supervises training of the winner on Owning Hill near Piltown, said "He had been working nicely at home and Seamus (Heffernan) rode him work the other day and loved him. The ground was slower than ideal but he is an exciting horse.

"I don't know if he'll run in the Marble Hill or the winners' race in Naas but we'll get today out of the way. Ascot is the plan and, being by Fastnet Rock, he'll be better on better ground."

(TW & AM)




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Emotionless absence sees Blue shorten

Air Force Blue winning the Dewhurst Stakes
Air Force Blue winning the Dewhurst Stakes
(Healy Racing Photos)

Bookmakers feel the Qipco 2000 Guineas could be a "turn-off" for punters after Emotionless was ruled out of the race on Saturday week.

Air Force Blue hardened to 4-7 favourite from 4-6 following the news that Godolphin's hope Emotionless, the 10-1 next best, will miss the colts' Classic, while 14-1 chance Blue De Vega is also considered unlikely to take his chance at Newmarket on Saturday week.

An odds-on shot and the likelihood of a small field for such a high-profile race in the early part of the Flat season is not what the sport needs, according to Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams.

"It's a big blow," he said.

"What we are left with is what no bookmaker would relish - a small field in the Guineas.

"This favourite is scaring horses away and now we've lost what the market says was his principal rival.

"Bookmakers do not want in an ante-post market a 4-7 favourite.

"We're looking at a 2000 Guineas that at the moment is lacking a bit of shape. You don't want a lap of honour or a procession, you want a race.

"With the favourite at 4-7, the race is a bit of a turn-off. It's news that has left us grimacing a bit and we are now just hoping it can retain some shape.

"We might have a superstar in Air Force Blue but we need opposition. If that opposition fades away you run the risk of having a non-event in betting terms.

"It's disappointing news and we pray for no more hiccups and that a few more trainers are willing to have a sporting crack at the favourite.

"The nightmare scenario is that we have less than eight runners. You don't want that in the first Classic of the season."

Trainer Charlie Appleby took the difficult decision to rule Emotionless out of the 2000 Guineas as he feels the Champagne Stakes winner will benefit from being given more time.

Godolphin's hope took part in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket last week which had been intended to put him spot on for the Classic but connections will now concentrate on the second half of the season.

"The horse has done nothing wrong in his work but I feel that he is still maturing and will be a better horse with more time," Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

"He is an incredibly exciting horse to train but he is a horse for the second half of the season and he has a real future as a four and five-year-old when he is fully developed. The decision not to run is a difficult one but it is in the best interests of the horse and that is all that matters."


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Vancouver

Vancouver (left) will stand at Coolmore Australia in 2016

 PICTURE: Getty Images 

Golden Slipper winners head Coolmore roster

COOLMORE have announced the stud fees for the 12 stallions that will stand at their Australian base in the Hunter Valley for the 2016 southern hemisphere season.

Champion sire Fastnet Rock, who had a breakthrough season in Europe last year with Diamondsandrubies, Fascinating Rock and Qualify successful at the highest level, has again been listed with a private fee.

Golden Slipper winners Vancouver, a son of Medaglia D'Oro, and Lonhro colt Pierro have been priced at A$66,000 (£35,921/€45,616), which for the latter is a reduction on the A$77,000 he stood for last year.

Vancouver is currently being readied by Aidan O'Brien for a European summer campaign, while Pierro's first crop will hit the track next year.

Another new recruit to the stud is Group 1 Blue Diamond and Sires Produce Stakes winner Pride Of Dubai, a son of Street Cry who will commence his breeding career at a fee of A$55,000 (£29,934/€38,014).

So You Think, a champion in both hemispheres, has made a good start to his stud career with his first southern hemisphere crop including Group 2 winner Gold Rush.

The son of High Chaparral's fee is unchanged from last season at A$49,500 (£26,941/€34,212).

Dual Group 1 winning sprinter Choisir is another to have his fee remain the same with the son of Danehill Dancer standing for A$29,700 (£16,164/€20,527).

He will once again stand alongside his champion sprinter son Starspangledbanner, who will be returning to New South Wales in 2016 after an improvement in fertility aided by a three year spell at Anthony Mithen's Rosemont Stud in Victoria.

The ten-year-old stallion will be back at Coolmore Australia after spending the northern hemisphere season at their County Tipperary headquarters. His fee has been set at A$24,750 (£13,470/€17,106).

Rubick, a Group 2 winning son of Encosta De Lago, also remains at A$17,600 (£9,579/€12,164) after standing his first season at the stud last year.

Three stallions have had their fees decreased with dual Group/Grade 1 winners Adelaide, a son of Galileo, and War Front colt Declaration Of War set to cover at A$16,500 (£8,980/€11,404), down from the A$22,000 and A$24,750 they commanded respectively last season.

European freshman sire Excelebration, a triple Group 1-winning son of Exceed And Excel, will stand for A$13,750 (£7,484/€9,503), a reduction on last year's fee of A$16,500.

Completing the roster is 2013 Prix Morny winner No Nay Never. The son of Scat Daddy's first foals were born in Europe this year and he will stand his first season in Australia for A$11,000 (£5,987/€7,603).

Coolmore Australia 2016 Fees

Vancouver $66,000 NEW

Pierro $66,000

Pride Of Dubai $55,000 NEW

So You Think $49,500

Choisir $29,700

Starspangledbanner $24,750 RETURNING

Rubick $17,600

Declaration Of War $16,500

Adelaide $16,500

Excelebration $13,750

No Nay Never $11,000 NEW

Fastnet Rock Private

All fees include GST

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Highland Reel settled in well at Sha Tin


Highland Reel (Ryan Moore) winning the Longines Hong Kong Vase last December
Highland Reel (Ryan Moore) winning the Longines Hong Kong Vase last December
(Healy Racing Photos)

Highland Reel continues to please his connections as he builds towards Sunday's Audemars Piguet QEII Cup at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong.

The four-year-old will be shooting for further international success after the landing the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in America and the Hong Kong Vase at this track last year.

Highland Reel was most recently seen when fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan last month and he enjoyed an easy spin on Wednesday morning.

Pat Keating, assistant trainer to Aidan O'Brien, said: "I'm happy with him - didn't want him to do much this morning. He's settled in well and continues to do well."



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Rhodes Reports - FULL Ballydoyle Royal Ascot Entries here http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/rhodes-reports.php


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Ballydoyle's Highland Reel had an easy gallop on the Sha Tin course proper today. He's Looking well




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Claudio Monteverdi Finished 4th in the Derby trial at Epsom he just did not fire today here is pictured before the race.

 


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Irish debut for brother to Cougar Mountain

Image result for cougar mountain horse

THE 4.35pm at Tipperary on Thursday sees some nicely bred juvenile colts making their debuts over 5f against more experienced rivals.

Aidan O'Brien is double-handed with Ambiguity, a son of Fastnet Rock, and the Excelebration colt Istan.

Bred by Whisperview Trading, the colt is out of the Nureyev mare Descant, an unraced half-sister to Zafonic, European champion at two and three years old and winner of the 1993 2,000 Guineas, and to Group 3 scorer and sire Zamindar.Ambiguity is a brother to the trainer's Group 3 Desmond Stakes victor and Queen Anne Stakes third Cougar Mountain and a half-brother to four other winners.

Istan represents freshman sire Excelebration, the three-time Group 1 winner who stands at Coolmore for €15,000.

Bred by Trebles Holford Farm Thoroughbreds, Istan has been through the sales ring on two occasions, first when selling to Blandford Bloodstock for 34,000gns at the 2014 Tattersalls December Foal Sale and most recently when purchased by Amanda Skiffington at last year's Goffs Orby Yearling Sale for €150,000.

The Coolmore-owned colt is a half-brother to two winners out of Listed winner and 2005 Oaks runner-up Something Exciting, a daughter of Halling.

The Fitri Hay-owned Slains Castle, a son of Zoffany, lines up in the same race for trainer David Wachman.

The colt is the second foal out of Pivotal mare Snowy Peak, a winning half-sister to Group 2 winner and 2,000 Guineas runner-up Snow Ridge and German Listed scorer Snow Gretel.

Offered by breeder Denis Noonan's Cregg Stud at last year's Goffs Orby Yearling Sale, the colt was purchased by Stephen Hillen for €200,000.

First-season sires looking for maiden win at Beverley

The Beverley 5f novice stakes at 1.50pm sees two juvenile fillies looking to open the account for their freshman sires.

The Keith Dalgleish-trained Clem Fandango was bred by John Raw in France out of the unplaced Coronado's Quest mare Question, a daughter of US Listed winner and Cheveley Park Stakes-placed Royal Shyness.

Offered at last year's Arqana Deauville v2 Yearling Sale, she was purchased by Federico Barberini and Middleham Park for €11,000.

Question's first foal by Sir Percy, Happy Sun Percy, is a winning sprinter in France and last year the mare foaled a colt by Siyouni.

Clem Fandango will be a second runner for the Australian bredElzaam, winner of the Listed Carnarvon Stakes and runner-up in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes.

The son of Redoute's Choice stands at Ballyhane Stud for £3,500.

Seafront, a once-raced daughter of Foxwedge, carries the colours of Saeed Manana after she was purchased by Rabbah Bloodstock at last year's Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 18,000gns .

The James-Tate-trained filly is out of the 5f winning juvenile Locharia, a daughter of Wolfhound, who has produced seven winners and hails from the family of triple Group 1 winning sprinter and 1994 champion European mare Lochsong.

Her sire Foxwedge, a son of Fastnet Rock won the Group 1 William Reid Stakes in his native Australia and stands at Newgate Farm in New South Wales.

In opposition is the Tamayuz filly Red Shanghai, a €12,000 purchase by Michael Flynn at last year's Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale.

Out of Rouge Noir, a winning daughter of Saint Ballado, Red Shanghai is a half-sister to five winners including Listed-winning juvenile Light The Fire, a son of Invincible Spirit, and Elusive City colt Cadley Road, a winning two-year-old who finished runner-up in a French Listed race.

Shadwell homebred Tamayuz, a son of Nayef, was unbeaten as a juvenile for Freddy Head and recorded two victories at the highest level when successful in the Prix Jacques le Marois and Prix Jean Prat.

Retired to Derrinstown Stud in 2009, he is sire of Group 1 winner G Force as well as Group 2 scorer Sir Prancealot, currently this season's joint leading first-season sire with three winners.

Tamayuz stands at Derrintown Stud for €12,500.


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Sarah O'Brien and Nina Carberry battle it out


- Leading Lady Rider Title Goes Down to the Wire Between Nina Carberry and Sarah O’Brien.

- Injured Ruby Walsh Leading National Hunt Jockey’s Championship by Ten Wins

With the 2015/2016 National Hunt season coming to a close at the end of the Irish National Hunt Festival at Punchestown on Saturday, April 30th, reigning leading lady rider, Nina Carberry is just one win clear of nearest rival Sarah O’Brien as she bids to retain her title. While Nina has ridden 18 winners*, Sarah is a close challenger and her tally of 17 winners from 37 rides leaves her with an impressive strike rate of 46%. The winner will be presented with the specially-commissioned Mary Hyde trophy.

With 102 winners so far this season, current champion National Hunt jockey, Ruby Walsh remains ten clear of Gigginstown House Stud’s retained rider, Bryan Cooper on 92. Although Ruby is currently side-lined with a hairline fracture to his wrist, he is optimistic that he will be cleared to return in time for the Irish National Hunt Festival next week. Should Ruby be crowned champion jockey for the 11th time, he will beat the current record which he shares with Frank Berry.

Champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins, who is closely contesting the British National Hunt trainers title, has trained 169 winners in Ireland this season, leaving him guaranteed to retain his title. His closest rival, Gordon Elliott has also enjoyed a very successful season with 119 winners so far.

Gigginstown House Stud looks to have an unassailable lead over JP McManus in the Owner’s Championship with close to €1 million in prize-money separating them. They are set to be crowned champion owners for the fourth time, after a fantastic season highlighted by winning their second BoyleSports Irish Grand National in a row.

Patrick Mullins has once again dominated the amateur ranks with 44 wins, well clear of Nina Carberry and Sarah O’Brien in second and third place. Patrick won the title of Champion Amateur Rider for the first time in 2007/2008 and has retained it every season since. Mullins is quickly closing in on 450 career winners as he chases Ted Walsh’s record tally of 545.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Kennedy from Dingle in County Kerry, who rides predominantly for the Gordon Elliott stable, looks certain to win the conditional jockey’s title. With 42 winning rides over the season so far, he lies 13 ahead of David Mullins, who has enjoyed a tremendous season, winning the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle on Nichols Canyon at Punchestown in November and the Aintree Grand National on Rule The World for Mouse Morris just 11 days ago. Donagh Meyler is in third place with 24 wins.

The six champions will be awarded in the parade ring at Punchestown on Saturday, April 30th at approximately 4pm.

*includes Qualified Riders Flat races under Rules of Racing



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Starspangledbanner Small

Starspangledbanner: son of Choisir had "dumbfounded experts"

 PICTURE: Rosemont Stud

Starspangled amazes experts with 50 in foal

STARSPANGLEDBANNER has "dumbfounded experts" with improved fertility levels at Coolmore in Ireland this year.

The successful but subfertile sire has 50 mares already in foal and at the end of the breeding season will fly down to Coolmore Australia for southern hemisphere covering duty.

The nine-year-old son of Choisir had stood at Anthony Mithen's Rosemont Stud in Victoria, where he was foaled and raised, for the past three years.

Starspangledbanner originally stood at Coolmore Australia but when his fertility issues became apparent he was returned to training, after which he was sent to part-owner Mithen's operation.

Coolmore Australia supremo Tom Magnier said: "Last season Anthony told us that Starspangledbanner's fertility had improved significantly to the point where he had over 50 mares in foal so we decided to shuttle him to Ireland.

"Up there he has exceeded all expectations, with 50 mares already in foal and his fertility is excellent. All the experts are literally dumbfounded.

"We are extremely grateful to Anthony and all his staff and vets at Rosemont Stud for doing such a fine job with the horse."

Despite limited numbers, Starspangledbanner has excelled with his early progeny.

In Europe his first crop contained Royal Ascot winners Anthem Alexander and The Wow Signal plus European Free Handicap scorer Home Of The Brave.

His first crop in Australia has yielded 13 winners from 19 runners including Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude winner Of The Brave.



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Aidan O'Brien: has won the race four out of the last five runnings

Aidan O'Brien: 20-1 to win all five British Classics this season

 PICTURE: Getty Images

Claudio Monteverdi on trial for Derby at Epsom

O’Brien cut for Classic clean sweep

THE sustained challenge of Willie Mullins means the jumps trainers' title could be heading to Ireland, and there has also been support this week concerning the possibility that Aidan O'Brien could make off with all five British Classics this season.

William Hill cut O'Brien to 20-1 (from 33) for a clean sweep, andClaudio Monteverdi , between a 14-1 and 20-1 shot for the Investec Derby, is his representative in the Investec Derby Trial at Epsom on Wednesday.

O'Brien said: "He improved from his first run of the season to win a mile maiden at Leopardstown this month by almost five lengths. We're happy with him and hopefully he can improve again. Going up in trip should suit him.The son of Galileo and brother to triple Group 1 winner Lush Lashes is match-fit with two runs already this season, having finished fourth in a maiden at the Curragh before winning at Leopardstown this month.

"We were thinking of waiting and running him at Chester but we've a good few horses to run in the different trials."


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Caravaggio Piece By Me




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A Star is born CARAVAGGIO

 



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Ryan Booked to ride CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI in the Epsom Derby trial at 

Epsom on Wednesday + Ballydoyle Dundalk Entries Friday



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Desperate News That Hit It A Bomb has had a setback and wont make the early Classics Also Johannes Vermeer wont be in Action for a Few Months after a setback. 


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Ballydoyle Traveling Head lad Pat Keating's Update on Highland Reel in Hong Kong


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Aidan O'Brien will be represented solely by Claudio Monteverdi in Epsom's Derby trial on Wednesday with no runner in Sandown trial Friday.


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Cougar Mountain & Found have been entered in the Prix Ganay on 1st May as has Highland Reel but he will run in Hong Kong 


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Dead-heat at Dundalk as O'Brien makes it four

 By Donal Murphy



Stone Mountain (nearest) and Spruce Meadows battle out the finish
Stone Mountain (nearest) and Spruce Meadows battle out the finish
(Healy Racing Photos)

Aidan O'Brien recorded his fourth winner of the evening at Dundalk as his Stone Mountain dead-heated with Johnny Feane's Spruce Meadows in the Fundraising Made Easy At Dundalk Stadium Handicap.

Successful earlier with Caravaggio, Seventh Heaven and Bravery, O'Brien made it four with Stone Mountain who was ridden by his son Donnacha - himself completing a double having earlier won on Bravery.

Spruce Meadows, who was beaten by three parts of a length by Stone Mountain over the course and distance in February, was ridden by Gary Halpin for owner Ann Cassidy.

This son of Intikhab lead after three furlongs but was ridden and headed by Stone Mountain inside the final furlong.

However he battled back gamely in the final strides, getting up to draw level again on the line.

Both horses were returned at 5/1, while Fire Tree (10/1) finished a length and three parts back in third under Connor King for David Wachman.

The Mouse Doctor was sent off the 9/2 favourite (from 7's on-course) and he was another two lengths back in fourth under Kevin Manning for Jim Bolger.

Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "It's been a very good night.

"He's a consistent horse. He needs cover and luck in running. Donnacha gave him a great ride.

"He'll stay further and jump a hurdle in time."

Johnny Feane said: "He's going to have one more run and then get a little break.

"Half a loaf is better than nothing at all. Gary said they were going no pace so he took the initiative and went to the front.

"He was leery in front but ran well and we're happy with that."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Bravery completes another treble for O'Brien

 By Donal Murphy


Bravery strides clear under Donnacha O'Brien
Bravery strides clear under Donnacha O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)

After completing a treble at Navan yesterday, Aidan O'Brien repeated the feat at Dundalk this evening, as Bravery claimed the Hen & Stag Packages Maiden (earlier successful with Caravaggio and Seventh Heaven).

A good second on his debut at Leopardstown last October, the son of Galileo finished sixth of twenty-five on his return to action at the Curragh last month.

Available at 4/6 last night Bravery was well-supported and went off the 1/2 favourite under Donnacha O'Brien.

In rear early on he soon improved a position into seventh. He was asked to close from two furlongs out and he came through to lead at the furlong pole, keeping on well from there to score by two and a quarter lengths.

Mittersmill (3/1) finished second under Colin Keane for Ger Lyons, while My Fantasea(11/2) was a further half a length back in third under Declan McDonogh for John Oxx.

Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "He had a good run last year and had a nice start at the Curragh in very bad ground. He ran a nice race there as he was a bit keen.

"He'll step up in class now and could go for the Irish Guineas or a Derby Trial. I'd say there is a good chance he'll run in the Irish Guineas.

"He doesn't need a mile-and-a-half but he might get it."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Heffernan & O'Brien double-up with Heaven

 By Donal Murphy



Seventh Heaven is pushed out by Seamie Heffernan
Seventh Heaven is pushed out by Seamie Heffernan
(Healy Racing Photos)

Seventh Heaven completed a Dundalk double for her connections (Aidan O'Brien, Seamie Heffernan and owners Smith, Tabor & Magnier- earlier on the mark with Caravaggio) as she ran out a good winner of the Light Up Your Night Fillies Maiden.

Seventh on her debut at Leopardstown on Champion Stakes Day, the daughter of Galileo was then fourth on her next start at Newmarket.

Available at 5/2 last night that price was quickly snapped up, and she opened on-course at 4/5 before going off the clear 9/10 favourite.

Settled behind the leaders she was pushed along to challenge from two furlongs out, hitting the front with over a furlong to race, staying on well from there to score by three and a quarter lengths.

Newcomer Heartful (8/1) finished second under Pat Smullen for Dermot Weld, whilePlanchart (12/1) was a further four and a half lengths back in third under Declan McDonogh for Andrew Slattery.

Seamie Heffernan said afterwards: "She had two grand runs and I was hoping she'd win."

Joseph O'Brien added: "She's a lovely filly. She was weak last year and obviously won nicely today.

"I think the Musidora or the Blue Wind might be the plan for her.

"She'll be better stepping up in trip and probably good ground is important to her."

The winner holds entries in the 1000 Guineas at the Curragh along with the Epsom and Irish Oaks.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Caravaggio 'could be a bit special'


Seamie Heffernan rider of Caravaggio
(Healy Racing Photos)

Newcomer Caravaggio justified strong market support to take the opener at Dundalk, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Available at 11/10 in opening shows last night, the son of Scat Daddy soon went odds-on and went off the clear 1/3 favourite under Seamie Heffernan.

Settled in third he was pushed along to lead a furlong out and soon went clear, going on to score by a length and three parts for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

Lundy completed a 1, 2 for O’Brien as he kept on well to take second under Donnacha O’Brien at the odds of 10/1.

Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "They are two nice horses and the winner could be a bit special.

"The Scat Daddy is very fast and Dad thinks an awful lot of him. Probably Royal Ascot is high on the agenda.

"He looks the real deal I think. Everyone that has sat on him has loved him and he didn't disappoint today.

"He was green but it's his first day away and he's never been round a bend either."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson.

Heff " Aidan said he's nice horse it's nice to go to the track and do it first time. He was a little green. He's a Grand horse & won well


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HENRYTHENAVIGATOR JUVENILE HYZENTHLAY HITS THE MARK

Hyzenthlay and Ana O'Brien winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden Navan  Photo: Patrick McCann 17.04.2016

 Henrythenavigator’s US-sired runners hit the highest mark in Europe and his debut Irish-produced crop made an auspicious start on Sunday.

Hyzenthlay (2f Henrythenavigator-Anka Britannia, by Irish River), trained by Aidan O’Brien and overseen by his son Joseph at Owning Hill, comfortably took a five-furlong maiden at Navan on her first start. Joseph’s sister Ana was riding.

“She was going nicely and showing plenty of speed. It was our first two-year-old to run from the hill and we were not sure what kind of marker we had on them,” said Joseph O’Brien. “We weren’t going to run her because of the ground but she might be a stakes filly.”

Henrythenavigator, who sired three European trained G1 winners when standing in America, is covering for €7,500 in 2016.

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Minding wins the Fillies’ Mile NewmarketMinding (right) wins the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last year PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

O'Brien targeting Classic double with Minding

AIDAN O'BRIEN has confirmed that Minding, ante-post favourite for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas and Investec Oaks, is an intended runner in both races in a bid to become the first to complete the double since Kazzia in 2002.

In his exclusive stable tour for the Racing Post, O'Brien revealed that Minding is on track for the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday week.

"She’s been doing plenty of half-speeds and is quite forward," said O'Brien. "We’re happy with her fitness and she’ll be going straight for the Guineas at Newmarket, where she finished off last season by winning the Fillies’ Mile in very good style.

"She showed last year that she handles easy ground well but genuine good ground would be fine for her – she probably wouldn’t want it too fast, though," he added. "Hopefully she’ll go on to the Oaks."

O'Brien thwarted an attempt by Coolmore partners Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith to land the double with Legatissimo last year with 50-1 shot Qualify in the Oaks. Minding is a general 7-4 for the Guineas and is 7-2 to score at Epsom on June 3.

Bomb will not make Newmarket

O'Brien also offered plenty of other clues for his Newmarket running plans and beyond. He revealed that Hit It A Bomb, as short as 16-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, will not make the line-up.

"He did very well over the winter and has got a lot stronger. Unfortunately he’s had a slight setback and won’t be ready for Newmarket," said O'Brien.

"We won’t force him but he might be ready for the Irish Guineas or, if not, Royal Ascot."

Claudio Monteverdi to scout out Epsom

Claudio Monteverdi, as low as 14-1 for the Derby on June 4, satisfied his trainer in a piece of work on Monday morning and will be O'Brien's sole runner in Wednesday's Investec Derby Trial at Epsom. Ryan Moore will take the ride.

O'Brien added that he would not have a runner in Sandown's bet365 Classic Trial on Friday, a race he won with Imperial Monarch in 2012


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Ballydoyle Treble at Navan

Ballydoyle's 3 Winners at Navan today The Gurka Pretty Perfect & Hyzenthlay

 


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Cougar Mountain & Found have been entered in the Prix Ganay on 1st May as has Highland Reel but he will run in Hong Kong 

 


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French Guineas a target for Navan winner - Ballydoyle's Pretty Perfect enters Oaks picture - Joseph's first juvenile 'runner' wins All stories in News Section

 


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HIGHLAND REEL arrives in Hong Kong ready for the Queen Elizabeth Cup



 


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French Guineas a target for Navan winner


The Gurkha and Ryan Moore climb to the line
The Gurkha and Ryan Moore climb to the line
(Healy Racing Photos)

Aidan O'Brien's The Gurkha appears to have Classic aspirations following his impressive win in the Kilberry (C & G) Maiden at Navan today, providing top jockeyRyan Moore with a win on his first visit to the Co Meath venue.

The Gurkha, a son of Galileo, was the latest in a day-long list of front-running winners at the track and while joined for the lead in the early stages, stretched clear of his rivals in the home straight before recording a nine lengths win over Saafarr.

Aidan O'Brien stated “we thought he was very nice going to Leopardstown, and something happened going down the back; I think another rider lost an iron but Seamie (Heffernan) came back in and said he was a smart horse.

"He had a good draw, and you would have to be very happy with him. He could be a French Guineas horse. We will have to see.

"It's Ryan's first time here and he was very complimentary about the track."

Champion Trainer O'Brien was officially recording a treble, but in truth wasn't responsible for his initial 'winner' Hyzenthlay, which is in the care of his soon-to-be-licensed son Joseph O'Brien.

The Gurkha's (named after the collective term for units of the British Army that are composed of Nepalese soldiers) win also continued the remarkably successful run of front-running rides, with 'all-the-way' tactics winning six of the opening seven races.

By Tom Weekes, quotes from Alan Magee



 


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Ballydoyle's Pretty Perfect enters Oaks picture


Pretty Perfect and Colm O'Donoghue lead Glamorous Approach
Pretty Perfect and Colm O'Donoghue lead Glamorous Approach
(Healy Racing Photos)

There was little wrong with the performance of Pretty Perfect, who entered the Oaks picture when winning the Listed Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Salsabil Stakes at Navan today for Ballydoyle's Aidan O'Brien.

Ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, Pretty Perfect, who didn't go unsupported at 9/1 (from 16s this morning), made all the running and in the end proved three and a half lengths too strong for Glamorous Approach, with eight and a half lengths and more back to the remainder.

Champion Trainer O'Brien later stated “she was held up the first day and then Ana (O'Brien, daughter) made the running on her when she won at Leopardstown.

"Colm gave her a lovely ride, and she will go for one of the Oaks trials. Looking at her you would say that she definitely stays."

Colm O'Donoghue added "she had good form last year, and the maiden she won has worked out well. She kept galloping, is by Galileo and you would have to think the Oaks is an option."

By Tom Weekes, quotes from Alan Magee


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Joseph's first juvenile 'runner' wins


Hyzenthlay and Ana O'Brien
Hyzenthlay and Ana O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)

Soon-to-be-licensed Joseph O'Brien trained the winner of the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at Navan today as his Hyzenthlay caused a 20/1 upset, when ridden to victory by his sister Ana O'Brien.

The daughter of Henrythenavigator was prominent along the running rail throughout and once moving to the front under two furlongs out, stayed on gamely to defeat Oh Grace by half a length.

Favourite Cuff (15/8) raced for Hyzenthlay's official trainer Ana O'Brien and ran an eye-catching race when a staying on fourth, having been outpaced early in the race.

Following Hyzenthlay's success, Joseph O'Brien stated “she was going nicely and showing plenty of speed. It was our first two-year-old to run from the hill (in Piltown ,where he trains), and we were not sure what kind of marker we had on them.

"We weren't going to run her because of the ground but she might be a Stakes type filly."

By Tom Weekes, quotes from Alan Magee



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Grade 1 winner Together represented by first foal

THE first foal of US Grade 1 winner Together makes her debut on Sunday with Earring, her daughter by Dansili, lining up for the 1m three-year-old fillies maiden at Navan at 4.45pm.

Together claimed the 2011 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes for Aidan O'Brien on her final start before retirement after finishing runner-up at the highest level five times, including in the 1,000 Guineas and Irish 1,000 Guineas.

In 2014 she produced a filly by War front and last year she foaled a colt by the same sire.The daughter of Galileo is a sister to the dual winner and Listed Salsabil Stakes third Terrific and half-sister to Jan Vermeer, a son of Montjeu who landed the Group 1 2009 Criterium International and finished third in two more contests at the top level.

The following 1m maiden for three-year-old colts and geldings at 5.15 pm also sees some nicely bred sorts making their debuts.

Walk The Line, a 180,000gns purchase by MV Magnier at the 2013 Tattersalls December Foal Sale, lines up for Aidan O'Brien carrying the colours of his wife Anne-Marie.

The son of High Chaparral is the first foal out of the Green Desert mare Penny Post, a twice successful half-sister to a pair of juvenile Group 1 winners by Danzig, Zieten and Blue Duster, from the family of Group 2 scorer Western Hymn.

Penny Post's subsequent foals are a 2014 filly by Teofilo who realised 250,000gns when purchased by agent Shawn Dugan at last year's Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and a 2015 filly by Frankel.

In opposition is stablemate The Gurkha, a son of Galileo who finished third on his Leopardstown debut earlier this month.

Bred by the Chintz Syndicate out of Group 3 victress Chintz, a daughter of Danehill Dancer, he is a brother to the winning juvenile and Group 3-placed Queen Nefertiti as well as two-year-old scorer lllinois, and hails from the family of 2012 Arc heroine Solemia and Prix Marcel Boussac winner Silasol.

Precocious juveniles on show in Navan fillies maiden

The 5f maiden at 2.30pm for two-year-old fillies sees some well-bred contenders looking to continue the juvenile success achieved by members of their close family.

The Lady O'Reilly-owned Blue Bahia, a daughter of Irish National Stud resident Big Bad Bob, lines up for Dermot Weld.

Bred by Castlemartin Stud and Skymarc Farm out of the Pivotal mare Brazilian Bride, Blue Bahia is a half-sister to a pair of winners by Invincible Spirit, the dual Listed scorer Rivellino and 5f winner Brazilian Breeze.

Their dam Brazilian Bride won twice as a juvenile including in the Group 3 Sprint Stakes at Naas and hails from the family of Classic winners Henrythenavigator, Magician and Saffron Walden as well as Group 1-winning two-year-olds Beethoven, Listen and Sequoyah.

The well-bred Cuff, a daughter of Galileo, represents Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore and comes from a precocious family.

Bred by the Massarra Syndicate out of the Listed winner Massarra, she is a sister to the Group 3-winning two-year-old Wonderfully, who was purchased by Ballylinch Stud for $1.8 million at last year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, and Group 3 runner-up and St James's Palace Stakes third Mars.

Additionally, Cuff is a half-sister to Group 1 Gran Criterium heroine Nayarra, a daughter of Cape Cross, and to the winning dam of last year's Lingfield Derby Trial victor, Kilimanjaro.

Massarra, a daughter of Danehill, is herself a sibling to a couple of sires renowned for their ability to produce quality two-year-olds as she is a sister to the Group 3-placed Kodiac and half-sister to Sprint Cup hero Invincible Spirit, a son of Green Desert.

Another well bred contender is the Willie McCreery-trainedLoveisallaroundyou, a daughter of Clodovil.

Bred by Rathasker Stud, where her sire stands alongside Anjaal, Bungle Inthejungle and Es Que Love, Loveisallaroundyou is out of the Diesis mare Anazah, a once-placed half-sister to the US Grade 3 winner Rock Lobster.

A €40,000 purchase by owner Garrett J Freyne at last year's Goffs Orby Yearling Sale, she is a sister to the 2012 Listed Premio Coolmore heroine Sorella Bella and half-sister to three other winners including juvenile scorer Jet Mate, a son of Fast Company.

Sire De Grugy half-brother in action at Wincanton

The final race at Wincanton on Sunday, the second division of the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race run at 5,40pm, is set to host the debut of a half-brother to former Champion Chase hero Sire De Grugy.

The five-year-old gelding Blue Sire, a son of Day Flight, is trained like the 2014 Champion Chase hero by Gary Moore for the Preston Family and Friends.

He was bred by SCEA La Grugerie out of Hirlish, an unraced Passing Sale half-sister to the French Listed chase winner Orlando Magic, a son of Assessor.

The six-time Grade 1 winner Sire De Grugy, a son of My Risk, is unsurprisingly the best of the four winners she has produced but Assessor gelding Nassor De Grugy,a dual French jumps winner, has earned black type by virtue of being placed in a French Listed chase.

Juddmonte homebred Day Flight, a son of Sadler's Wells, won seven of his 15 starts when trained by John Gosden with four victories achieved at Group 3 level.

The 12-year-old stallion stands at Haras du Brem for €1,600 with his best performer being Willie Mullins' Grade 2 hurdle winner A Toi Phil.


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5 Entered for the Sandown Classic Trial for APOB - LIEUTENANT GENERAL - UNICORN - CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI - BEACON ROCK - DEAUVILLE -


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The Morning Line is Live from Ballydoyle Next Saturday morning



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Ryan Moore Booked to Ride Cuff, Best in the World, Dewdrop, Earring & The Gurka at Navan on Sunday 



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LANDOFHOPEANDGLORY Finished 4th in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy & Shogun also ran well in 3rd place in the Craven Stakes.




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Not long now until Joseph gets the licence exciting times ahead for him




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Minding heads 61 entries for 2016 Investec Oaks 


16 for Ballydoyle - ALICE SPRINGS, BALLYDOYLE, BEST IN THE WORLD, CALIFORNIADREAMING, COOLMORE, EARRING, ETCHED, EVEN SONG, HOW HIGH THE MOON, KIND OF MAGIC, LIKE A STAR, MINDING, PREFER, PRETTY PERFECT, SEVENTH HEAVEN, SOMEHOW.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - The 2016 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs Racecourse has attracted an initial entry of 61, two more than last year.

For the second year running, the world's oldest (first run 1779) and most famous fillies' Classic has closed in mid-April, as opposed to early March.

Run over the same 12 furlongs as the Investec Derby, the Investec Oaks takes place at Epsom Downs on Friday, June 3, Ladies' Day and the Group One race has a total prize fund of £450,000.

Ireland's champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien won the Investec Oaks for the fifth time in 2015 with Qualify and is responsible for 16 entries this year, headed by Minding, 4/1 favourite with Coral, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.

The three-year-old Galileo filly was a dual Group One winner last season, taking the seven-furlong Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh followed by Newmarket's Dubai Fillies' Mile.

Another eye-catching contender from O'Brien's contingent is Ballydoyle (10/1), named after his training yard, who defeated Minding when landing the Group TwoDebutante Stakes before finishing second to the same rival at the Curragh. She ended 2015 by taking the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp in October.


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The Invincible Spirit colt sold to Jamie McCalmont for 360,000gns

 PICTURE: Tattersalls

Invincible Spirit colt tops Craven Sale opener

IT was a low-key start to the first session of the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up sale on Tuesday evening, but trade soon picked up and by the time the hammer had fallen on the last lot, ten six-figure two-year-olds had made their way through the ring.

Top lot honours fell to a 360,000gns for a son of Invincible Spirit bought by Jamie McCalmont, bidding on behalf of Coolmore.

McCalmont said: "He's been bought for Coolmore but I'm not sure who will train him yet. He's such a big powerful horse but he walked around there very calmly, nothing fazed him. He's a lovely colt."The colt, who was consigned by Oaks Farm Stables, is out of the Belong To Me mare Loch Jipp, who won the Listed Hilary Needler Trophy at two. The colt was pinhooked by the vendor for 150,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale



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Flying The Flag: out of Classic heroine Halfway To Heaven

Flying The Flag: out of Classic heroine Halfway To Heaven

 PICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)

South African sire ranks welcome son of Galileo

THE South African stallion ranks are set to welcome a new son of Galileo, as Bush Hill Stud in KwaZulu-Natal has announced it is standing the impeccably bred Flying The Flag from 2016.

The six-year-old is owned by a partnership that includes Coolmore, Mauritzfontein Stud and Wilgerbosdrift, with shares being made available to breeders.

He will stand at a fee of R20,000 (£950/€1,200).

Flying The Flag was bred by Orpendale, Chelston and Wynatt out of Halfway To Heaven, a daughter of Pivotal and top-class sprinter Cassandra Go who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Nassau Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes.

The mare's first foal, he was trained by Aidan O'Brien to win a Leopardstown maiden and finished second in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at two and to win the Group 3 International Stakes at the Curragh at three.

Transferred to Mike de Kock in South Africa at five, he won a valuable handicap at Meydan and finished fourth in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta.


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Former Ballydoyle Resident Tenth Star to Stand in India 

tenthstar

Tenth Star | Mebajeona Stud Farm

Tenth Star (Ire) (Dansili {GB}–Alpha Lupi {Ire}, by Rahy), winner of the Listed Golden Fleece S. and second in the G2 Royal Lodge S. of 2011 while racing for the Coolmore partners and the Niarchos Family, is standing his first season at Mebajeona Stud Farm in India, and has had his first mares scanned in foal. Tenth Star is out of an unraced daughter of dual French Classic winner East Of The Moon (Private Account), and his third dam is the Niarchos Family’s legendary Miesque (Nureyev).



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Coolmore will put her Classic ambitions to the test in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on Tuesday.

Coolmore

A full-sister to last season's dual 2000 Guineas hero Gleneagles, Coolmore enjoyed a solid if unspectacular juvenile campaign for Aidan O'Brien.

The Cashel maestro houses current 1000 Guineas favourite Minding and has another major contender in Ballydoyle.

Coolmore is a Guineas outsider, having proved no match for Minding when fourth in last season's Fillies' Mile, with O'Brien on a fact-finding mission back at Newmarket.

He said: "We think she'll stay further and the purpose of going is to see whether we'll go back for the English Guineas.

"We always thought maybe the Irish Guineas and then step up to a mile and a quarter.Seven furlongs will be tight enough for her, but it will give us a feel."

Coolmore has ground to make up on John Gosden's Fillies' Mile runner-up Nathra.Connections are hoping she can earn a place in the Qipco-sponsored Classic on May 1.



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'Monster' Air Force is thriving

  • Last Updated: April 11 2016, 18:23 BST

Air Force Blue is reported to have thrived over the winter as his date with the QIPCO 2000 Guineas edges closer.

Air Force Blue's most recent racecourse appearance came in this gallop at the Curragh

Air Force Blue's most recent racecourse appearance came in this gallop at the Curraghr

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt met with defeat just once last season, when second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and finished his campaign with three straight Group One successes, the last of which came in the Dewhurst at Newmarket.

He is set to head straight to the Rowley Mile on April 30, and O'Brien's son and assistant Joseph said: "Air Force Blue is very exciting and was an exceptional two-year-old.

"He's done very well over the winter and size-wise he's a 16.2 monster."

Asked about the two-year-olds at Ballydoyle, he added: "The horse that won at Dundalk on Friday night (Peace Envoy) was a bit green but he's very quick.

"We also have a two-year-old by Scat Daddy whose nice and will be coming out soon."



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Black Sea gets his head in front on the line

Sun 10th Apr 2016, 15:20
Ryan Moore
Ryan Moore
(Healy Racing Photos)
Black Sea won a thrilling three-way-go for the line at the end of a mile round Leopardstown for the Listed 2,000 Guineas trial.

Rank outsider A Likely Story was sent into the lead by Leigh Roche and was clear a quarter of a mile out.

The remaining three runners knuckled down to their task and began to cut into the deficit as the leader's petrol dwindled.

The three main protagonists whooshed past the toiling front-runner in the final 150 yards with Stenographer just at the head of affairs.

Ryam Moore had switched Black Sea to the inside and the duo came up with a power-packed finish to get up by a head at 7/2.

Stenographer (3/1) and True Solitaire, the 8/11 favourite, dead heated for second in a driving finish.

Moore took the ride on Black Sea after his original mount, Johannes Vermeer, was taken out due to being lame.

“Ryan gave him a great ride. He said he will go on better ground and will get further,” Aidan O'Brien said.

“He won his maiden and then was a bit keen in a Group race here. Ryan decided that he'd try and get him to relax today and plenty of pace suited him.

“Ryan said he's a horse that will suit America in time. He'll step up into a trial now going further.”

Paddy Power cut Black Sea from 33/1 to 25/1 for the Derby.


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Bhutan shows plenty in Foxrock

Sun 10th Apr 2016, 14:43
Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's second-string Bhutan led home a stable one-two with an impressive debut performance in the mile and a quarter maiden for three-year-olds at Leopardstown.

The 14/1 shot raced in fifth under Donnacha O'Brien on the approach to the straight. He made stealthy headway on the outer to move into third with a quarter of a mile left.

The grey colt was soon ridden and progressed to lead narrowly over a furlong out. Stablemate Housesofparliament threw down his challenge on the inside but Buthan picked up really well in the final 150 yards to draw clear and win by three lengths.

Runner-up Houseofparliament, with Ryan Moore in the saddle  in the saddle, was returned the 2/1 joint favourite. Mighty Legend (5/1)was a further three and a half lengths back in third.

Aidan O'Brien said: "He's been sleeping at home obviously. I liked him as a two-year-old but as we got close to running him he was getting lazier and lazier and we didn't get to run.

“In his last few bits of work he's been going nice and respectably. He's a good-looking horse and a well-bred horse.

“He'll run in one of the trial races next and we'll see. He could make a lot of progress.

“Ryan liked the second horse.”

Donnacha O'Brien added: "We just wanted him to learn a bit today. There was plenty of horse there when I gave him a squeeze and he impressed me.

"The second horse (Housesofparliament) was the first string. We thought he would be hard to beat today but my lad was professional enough first-time out. He's a nice horse."

When asked if he could run in a Derby trial he replied: "He's after winning a maiden impressively. He handled the ground and I don't see why he couldn't run in one whether or not he would be first string. He's entitled to run in something like that."


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Ascot on agenda for exciting Peace Envoy

Fri 8th Apr 2016, 18:34
Peace Envoy makes a winning debut in Dundalk
Peace Envoy makes a winning debut in Dundalk
(Healy Racing Photos)
All eyes were on Aidan O'Brien's newcomer Peace Envoy in the opening juvenile maiden at Dundalk and the colt didn't disappoint as he strode out well to win.

The favourite, Peace Envoy, was popular with punters as his morning price of 5/4 contracted to 8/11 on the off.

He's from the first crop by new sire Power who landed the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 2012.

Seamie Heffernan had him in fourth upon breaking from the stalls before the pair made good headway on the inner a quarter of a mile from home.< Peace Envoy came to tackle Hugin just outside the furlong marker and forged on in the final furlong. The winning margin was recorded at a length and a quarter from King Electric (8/1) who finished well for second without troubling the winner.

He's quick and a bit green,” Seamie Heffernan said.

“I was always happy that when I asked him he was going to go. The dream is alive with him and you'd have to think Ascot would be on the agenda.”

Pat Keating, travelling head lad, added: “Aidan said he was very happy with him, that he hadn't been away from home and that he could be an Ascot horse.”


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Ineffable completes good day for O'Brien's

Wed 6th Apr 2016, 18:29
Ineffable winning at Dundalk
Ineffable winning at Dundalk
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien will officially be credited with a treble at Leopardstown today but in truth his third winner Ineffable, in the Spin 1038 Handicap, is in the care of the Champion Trainer's soon-to-be licensed son Joseph O'Brien.

Ineffable was ridden to victory by Joseph's brother Donnacha O'Brien, who was completing a double of his own, having earlier steered Claudio Monteverdi to win the opener.

The win was a real family success as Aidan O'Brien's Whisperview Trading Ltd is credited as the breeder of the gelding who also runs in his wife Ann-Marie O'Brien's colours.

Following the race, Joseph O'Brien stated “he handled the ground well and was fit from running at Dundalk.

“He handles the surface at Dundalk well, and he seems to handle that also; I'd say he will jump hurdles in time."


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O'Brien's Somehow enters Oaks picture

Wed 6th Apr 2016, 17:44
Somehow and Seamus Heffernan beat Shamreen
Somehow and Seamus Heffernan beat Shamreen
(Healy Racing Photos)
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has taken the opening two maiden races at Leopardstown today, landing the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden with the Seamus Heffernan ridden Somehow.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock moved past Shamreen inside the final furlong and in the end recorded an impressive length and three parts win over that rival, with four and a half lengths back to the third placed horse.

O'Brien, whose Claudio Monteverdi won the opening maiden, later expressed his satisfaction with the performances of his early runners saying "you would have to be happy with the way they are running in general - they seem to be fairly well forward."

He added “she (Somehow) had a lovely run first time, has been working nicely and has a beautiful pedigree.

“We will step her up now into an Oaks Trial; there are plenty of options at Chester, York, Lingfield and the Blue Wind at Naas. She may get a mile and a half.


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Monteverdi wins Leopardstown opener

Wed 6th Apr 2016, 16:12
Claudio Monteverdi and Donnacha O'Brien
Claudio Monteverdi and Donnacha O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle team appear in good health in the early part of the season and his Claudio Monteverdi readily justified 4/5 favouritism in the opening Racecourse Of The Year Maiden at Leopardstown today.

Ridden by Donnacha O'Brien, the son of Galileo made all and in the end scored a four and three parts of a length win over Freeman.

Afterwards trainer O'Brien stated “he got an easy lead, and quickened well off the bend. We'll step him up now in class, and he'll stay further than a mile."

Claudio Monteverdi, named after a 17th century Italian composer, has an entry in the Dante Stakes at York next month.


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Derby gamble on US Army gathers pace

Mon 4th Apr 2016, 17:21
US Army Ranger
US Army Ranger
(Healy Racing Photos)
The Investec Derby gamble on US Army Ranger has continued to gather pace following the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt's taking maiden success at the Curragh on Sunday.

Unraced as a two-year-old, the son of Galileo did not go off as favourite in the 10-furlong contest, such was the word on track for Dermot Weld's fellow newcomer Aasheq.

In the race itself, Ryan Moore produced US Army Ranger with a perfectly-timed run to collar Weld's charge, who lost little in defeat.

Bookmakers immediately took further evasive action having seen money during the week, and on Monday Coral halved his price from 14-1 to 7-1 for the Epsom Classic on June 4.

Spokesman David Stevens said: "US Army Ranger was an interesting Investec Derby market mover in the lead up to his Curragh appearance, but since his debut victory it has been one-way traffic for the colt and Epsom.

"His price has contracted at all rates from 14-1 down to his current 7-1, and we'll await his next racecourse test with interest."

Ladbrokes are also 7-1 about his Classic chance, having been 10-1 after the Curragh and 16-1 beforehand. David Williams said: "The gamble on US Army Ranger is well and truly under way.

"Punters saw enough at the Curragh to believe this could be the middle-distance Ballydoyle superstar of the summer."

Speaking after the race, O'Brien indicated either the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial or a trip to Chester would be the next step for US Army Ranger.


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O'Brien dominates entries for Classic trials

Tue 5th Apr 2016, 15:51
Black Sea
Black Sea
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien is keeping his options open at Leopardstown on Sunday by having lots of entries in three Classic trials on the card.

The champion trainer will be shuffling his pack as he is responsible for nine of the 17 entries for the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes.

Of those, four are also in the Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial. They are: Black Sea, Johannes Vermeer, Lieutenant General and Shogun.

Johannes Vermeer is the highest profile of those, having finished second in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster being winding up his juvenile campaign with victory in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

O'Brien's other five in the Ballysax are A Year To Remember, Beacon Rock, Cook Islands, Deauville and Idaho.

The Ballydoyle handler has five in the 2,000 Guineas Trial from a total of 12. His other one is General Macarthur, whose dam is Imagine, winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks in 2001.

Alice Springs, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, is one of three O'Brien possibles for the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes. Californiadreaming and How High The Moon complete his trio.

Potential rivals include Jim Bolger's duo of Ceol An Ghra and Queen Sicily, and Kevin Prendergast's facile Naas maiden winner Cool Thunder.

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US ARMY RANGER Digital art piece by me Photos David Betts Photography


 


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US ARMY RANGER chilling out at ballydoyle tonight Picture from Donnacha O'Brien




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Support Continues for Ranger in Derby now as short as 5 to 1


TIMEFORM On US Army Ranger



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Ryan on smart debutant winner US Army Ranger  

Image result for ryan moore jockey

"Every time I went for him there was another gear there and he didn't go to the last gear," 


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Army Ranger makes winning debut at the Curragh

Updated: Sunday, 03 Apr 2016 18:20 | 


Aidan O'Brien may have found his Investec Derby candidate after US Army Ranger made a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at the Curragh.

Well-backed for the Classic through the week, he was not even favourite for the 10-furlong contest as the dogs were barking for Weld's Aasheq (11-10).

It looked like favourite-backers would go home happy as Pat Smullen cruised to the front with two furlongs to run, but Ryan Moore was just beginning to ask a question of the well-bred Ballydoyle newcomer.

Despite the testing ground US Army Ranger (15-8) picked up impressively to win going away by three-quarters of a length, in a race O'Brien's Ruler Of The World won before going on to Epsom glory in 2013.

Paddy Power cut the winner to 12-1 from 20s for the Derby, with Coral 14-1 having been 25-1 earlier in the week and RaceBets 10-1. The son of Galileo is set to be seen in a trial next.

O'Brien said: "Pat (Smullen) rode him in some work here two weeks ago and liked him, but I was a bit worried beforehand (with all the money for Weld's horse).

"We thought he was very nice last year but he had a small problem and didn't run. He has only done half-speed work for Donnacha (O'Brien), but he has worked well with horses that have Group-race form.

"I told Ryan to drop him in and educate him. He has a great pedigree, but has only won a maiden. That was the most serious bit he has ever been asked to do.

"He could go for something like the Derrinstown or to Chester for education. He'll only have one more run if he goes to the Derby."



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Derby hope Ranger wins on debut

Sun 3rd Apr 2016, 18:11

Newcomers US Army Ranger and Aasheq dominated the betting for Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, and they ruled on the racecourse too, with the former coming out on top for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.

Having attracted support in the betting for the Epsom Derby earlier in the week, the son of Galileo opened on-course at 2/1 before going off the 15/8 second favourite.

Settled towards rear early on, he improved into mid-division approaching the straight and was sixth as they straightened-up for home.

He made good progress to track the leaders from two furlongs out and he hit stayed on best inside the final furlong, getting up in the closing stages to score by three parts of a length.< Aasheq was sent off the well-backed 11/10 favourite (was 10/3 last night) and he finished second under Pat Smullen for Dermot Weld.

Aidan O'Brien also saddled the third, and that was Kellstorm who was three and a quarter lengths back at 16/1.

Aidan O'Brien, who won this race in 2013 with subsequent Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of World, said afterwards: "Pat (Smullen) rode him in some work here two weeks ago and liked him but I was a bit worried beforehand (with all the money for Dermot Weld's horse).

"We thought he was very nice last year but he had a small problem and didn't run. He has only done half speed work for Donnacha but has worked well with horses that have Group race form.

"I told Ryan to drop him in and educate him. He has a great pedigree but has only won a maiden. That was the most serious bit he has ever been asked to do.

"He could go for something like the Derrinstown or to Chester for education. He'll only have one more run if he goes to the Derby."< US Army Ranger is out of Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, while he is a half-brother to Words, Stubbs and Nevis.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee


                                                                                                                  US Army Ranger gets the better of Aasheq (Healy Racing Photos)




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Dundalk Highlights from Friday Night including LONG ISLAND SOUND & WASHINGTON DC

 




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Found-360

Found: has been declared to run at the Curragh on Sunday

 PICTURE: Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos

Found likely to run despite testing ground

BREEDERS' CUP TURF winner Found looks set to make her reappearance in the Listed Coral.ie Alleged Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, despite the ground being described as heavy.

However, despite the ground being softer than ideal, trainer Aidan O'Brien has suggested that he is likely to allow Found to take her chance.Found was beaten on her seasonal reappearance on heavy ground last year and her participation in the Alleged Stakes had looked in doubt earlier in the week due to the testing conditions.

'We want to get her season started'

"We'll make a decision after the first couple of races are run and we'll see how testing the ground is, but the chances are Found will run," O'Brien said.

He added: "She's handled plenty of ease in the past and we want to get her season started."

Found was an impressive winner of a Group 3 race on soft ground last year and chased home Golden Horn on yielding ground in the Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes.


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Ryan Moore will ride U S Army Ranger Found & Dick Whittingtonon Sunday



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Curragh Runners Sunday 3.50 Dick Whittington Cougar Mountain The Happy Prince 

4.25 Found Father Christmas 5.35 Kellstorm The Major General US Army Ranger



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Another Record Breaking month for AOBFS (Only Just) with over 12,000 Unique Visitors to the site in March 2016



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Washington DC back with a bang


 By Michael Graham


Breeder Pat Hyland, second left, and friends with Washington DC
Breeder Pat Hyland, second left, and friends with Washington DC 
(Healy Racing Photos)

Aidan O'Brien's Washington DC was an exciting juvenile last year and made an impressive seasonal reappearance when emphatically putting his rivals away in Dundalk's Listed race over seven furlongs.

The Zoffany colt raced in mid-division behind front-running Al Mohalhal before tanking into the lead a furlong and a half down.

Seamie Heffernan sent him on and he thundered away in the last furlong to post a decisive two and a quarter length victory.

The winner was returned the 11/10 favourite on the back of concluding his season last year with second place to stablemate Air Force Blue in the Grade One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August. Prior to that he took the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

John Oxx's Alphonsus was all the rage in the betting ring contracting from 16/1 to 7/1 on the off. Those who backed him each way were rewarded as he finished second.Most Beautiful (7/4) was a further length and three parts away in third.

Seamie Heffernan said: "He had some very good form and has a fair amount of ability.

“He did things right. He travelled very easily and quickened. He has plenty of class.

“We have a couple of Zoffany's that could be alright.”

When asked if he thought the winner would have any issues staying a mile he added: “I don't think so but time will tell.”< Washington DC gave O'Brien and Heffernan a double on the evening after Long Island Sound won the second race.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson



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Long Island Sound off to a Perfect Start 


Fri 1st Apr 2016, 18:58 By Michael Graham

War Front colt Long Island Sound make a good first impression when staying on strongly to land Dundalk's mile maiden for three-year-olds.

He was pushed along in fifth by Seamie Heffernan with just over three furlongs to travel but made good headway inside the two pole. His relentless progress continued as he picked up the lead approaching the final furlong.

He was soon ridden and forged on well in the latter stages to score by two and a half lengths for trainer Aidan O'Brien at 10/3.

Although he was easy to back during the day, punters came for him at the track supporting him down from 4/1.

Zilbiyr, the 2/1 favourite from 9/2 in the morning, finished his race off well to take second without threatening the winner.

He was half a length ahead of Raconteur at 16/1 on debut for Willie McCreery.

Seamie Heffernan said: "A lot of ours will improve a lot from their first run and hopefully he will improve a lot.

“When the penny dropped he did it well. He has plenty of strength about him and will probably stay further than a mile.”

Additional reporting by Gary Carson



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Ryan Moore flies in for trio of rides for Aidan O’Brien at the Curragh - Brian O'Connor (Irish Times)

Attention focussed on debut performance of US Army Ranger

Trainer Aidan O’Brien to make late decision on participation of Found

Trainer Aidan O’Brien to make late decision on participation of Found

With four weeks to go to the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas, Ryan Moore makes his first trip of the year to Ireland for four scheduled mounts at the Curragh.

A trio of rides for Aidan O’Brien includes Dick Whittington in the featured Group 3 Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes but whether or not Moore gets the opportunity to team up with his Breeders Cup heroine Found in the Coral Alleged Stakes may depend on the weather outlook. Ground conditions are already testing at the Curragh with almost an inch of rain forecast through the weekend. O’Brien has indicated he will make a late call on Found’s participation .

Ultimately it could be Moore’s other Ballydoyle mount, the unraced US Army Ranger, who is the focus of most attention in the concluding 10-furlong maiden.

Winning debut

Ruler Of The World made a winning debut in this race in 2013 and graduated to landing the Epsom Derby under Moore just 10 weeks later. US Army Ranger, a son of Galileo and Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, is already as low as 14-1 in some ante-post Derby lists.

Moore rode 11 winners in Ireland in 2015 but Joseph O’Brien’s retirement could result in more visits by the 32-year-old Englishman.

The days of the Gladness Stakes being a significant Guineas trial look to be in the past with nine older horses lining up in the historic event, including the 2014 winner Sruthan who bounced back to form with a vengeance by landing the Lincolnshire here a fortnight ago. Paul Deegan’s star has been hiked 11 lbs in the ratings for that defeat of his stable companion Aussie Valentine and he appears one of the few in the race who will relish very testing ground.

Opposition

His opposition includes the 2014 Phoenix Stakes winner Dick Whittington, who hasn’t run since finishing fourth in last spring’s Greenham but, like his stable companion Cougar Mountain, Moore’s mount should be much more at home on quick going.

Colm O’Donoghue is on Cougar Mountain but his link-up with Jessica Harrington sees the Cork jockey riding the Alleged hopeful, Bocca Baciata, among four runners sent to HQ by the Moone-based trainer.

Bocca Baciata likes give in the ground, although perhaps not as much as she’s likely to get for the first start of her four-year-old career. Nevertheless she should be a major player in this listed event, even if Found lines up too.

Callender was running on well in the closing stages of the first two-year-old contest of the season a fortnight ago and with normal improvement for that experience looks an obvious candidate for the opener.

In other news, amateur jockey Barry Browne has lodged an appeal to the Turf Club’s Referrals Committee against his seven-day suspension for misuse of the whip at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday. Browne was banned after riding On The Shannon to success in a novice handicap chase.



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Washington DC

Washington DC: returns to action

 PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)

Washington DC starts campaign over new trip

WASHINGTON DC, winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, steps up to seven furlongs on his reappearance in the Listed Text Your Bets To Paddy Power On 51465 Stakes (7.30) at Dundalk this evening.

Speaking on Thursday trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "Washington DCwas one of those we took to the Curragh on the first day of the season to exercise after racing. He's in good form but is just ready to start off and I'd expect him to improve for the run, and to improve again from his next run."The son of Zoffany, who won a 5f maiden on the Polytrack on his debut last season, ended his juvenile campaign when second to stablemate and Qipco 2,000 Guineas favourite Air Force Blue in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August.

O'Brien indicated tonight's race should not be seen as a trial to see if the colt gets the trip.

He said: "We're looking at sending him back sprinting and there are races coming up at Naas at the end of the month and Navan in May that he could go for. We'll see how things go and, hopefully, he'll be going back to Royal Ascot in June."

The Ballydoyle colt faces eight rivals including the David Wachman-trained Qipco 1,000 Guineas entry Most Beautiful, a Group 3 winner over six furlongs last season, when she also finished third in the Debutante Stakes over tonight's trip. Most Beautiful will be racing on the surface for the first time.

French Blue, an easy winner of a maiden over course and distance in August on her only start, represents Willie McCreery, who said: "It looks a very strong race but, as we don't want to run her on soft ground, there aren't many options just now.

"We know she handles the surface and we're hoping she goes well. The race will tell us where we are with her."

The line-up also includes Sevenleft, who benefited from a change of tactics when making all on his last two starts last season, and Gift Wrap, who ended last year with a six-length nursery win over course and distance.


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Marvellous Gleneagles & Cooolmore's Full brother has been named Taj Mahal, A Great name I think you will agree - Ballydoyle 2YO Page Latest News (4 x 2YO Colt & 1 Filly Just named) > http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/ballydoyle-2yos-2016.php



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Ballydoyle Entries Leopardstown Wed, 6th Apr, 2016



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HIGHLAND REEL Could run Next at Hong Kong in the QEII Cup at Sha tin on 24th April.


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Washington DC set for seasonal reappearance at 7.30 & Long Island Sound (WF) set for debut at 6.30 both at Dundalk tomorrow night. 

LONG ISLAND SOUND is an Unraced 3 Year Old by War Front a $800,000 purchase at Keeneland 2013. Dam is half-sister to superstar mare, Zenyatta.



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GALILEO Turned 18 yesterday here are just some of his amazing achievements



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Found looking for Curragh Stakes prize


Updated: Thursday 31 Mar 2016 15:02 | 

Found and jockey Ryan Moore

Found and jockey Ryan Moore

Breeders' Cup heroine Found could make her seasonal reappearance at the Curragh on Sunday after starring among 12 entries for the Coral.ie Alleged Stakes.

Aidan O'Brien's filly was runner-up in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in the first half of last season.

She went on to chase home Golden Horn in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, before finding Fascinating Rock too strong in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

She gained her revenge on Golden Horn in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland in October.

Her potential rivals in this weekend's 10-furlong Listed event include Ken Condon's high-class colt Success Days, who won the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial last season before disappointing at Epsom and in Germany.

Jessica Harrington's Bocca Baciata and the Jim Bolger-trained Parish Hall also feature.

A field of 20 has been entered for the preceding Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes on the same afternoon.

Possible contenders include Endless Drama, who has not been seen since being touched off by Gleneagles in last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas, O'Brien's Cougar Mountain, Bolger's Herald The Dawn and Irish Lincolnshire winner Sruthan, trained by Paul Deegan.

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Happy 18th Birthday to the one & ONLY Galileo the champion of champions

Special memory for me Galileo Vs Fantastic Light Love the Commentary Galileo is cruising GGGGGALILEO went on.

What a Horse What a Sire adore him.


Epsom Derby 2001 Equine Perfection = GALILEO

 



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5 In the Lockinge for Team Ballydoyle



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She has a Big year ahead 


 


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Air Force Blue (Ryan Moore)

Air Force Blue and Ryan Moore winning the Dewhurst Stakes

 PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)

Air Force Blue could be Ballydoyle's sole 2,000 Guineas runner

AIDAN O'BRIEN expects to be represented solely by hot favourite Air Force Blue in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas next month, while leading fancy Ballydoyle could sidestep the fillies' equivalent.

Air Force Blue, a best-priced even money for the April 30 Classic at Newmarket - bookmakers go 14-1 bar him - worked at the Curragh last week after racing, along with a battalion of stablemates. He is set to go straight to the Guineas, and O'Brien, unusually, does not feel the need to fire any more than one bullet at the contest.

O'Brien said: "Air Force Blue has wintered well. He's a naturally athletic horse and we're happy with him. Tempera­mentally he's very good, really solid, relaxed and happy in himself. We were excited about him last year and are looking forward to him starting.

"He did everything asked of him last year. He has a lot of speed, winning a Heinz [Phoenix Stakes] last year, and when he was beaten in the Coventry he was green. I think he'll be our only runner in the Guineas. That's what I'm thinking at the moment.

"All the top races, like the Irish Guineas, are open to him, but we'll look at Newmarket first."

O'Brien, who has won the 2,000 Guineas seven times, added: "Hit It A Bomb could go for the French Guineas. We were delighted with him last year and he progressed from run to run."

Ballydoyle could head for France

O'Brien underlined that Ballydoyle, one-­time market leader and still second favourite in some lists for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, is not a guaranteed runner. But stablemate Minding, who defeated Ballydoyle in the Moyglare last year and is a best­-priced 11­-4 favourite for the Guineas, is set to head to Newmarket, while Alice Springs, an eye­taking third in the Moyglare, is another possible.

"The plan is to go straight to Newmarket with Minding," said the trainer. "Ballydoyle could then go to the French Guineas. Bally­doyle would want it good or faster. If it's slow, Minding will handle it. She wouldn't want concrete but she's ground­ versatile. She kept progressing last year. Alice Springs will go for the fillies' trial at Leopardstown and we'll see after that."




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One For Your Notebooks lads




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Happy Retirement Cirrus des Aigles You are a warrior

from us all at the AOBFS Team



 

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