Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Green leads Ballydoyle charge

Joseph O'Brien

Furner's Green leads a three-strong team from Aidan O'Brien's stable in the sportingbet.com Acomb Stakes at York.

The trainer's son Joseph steered the son of Dylan Thomas to a three-length defeat of stablemate and Acomb rival Battle Of Saratoga at Tipperary, with fourth-placed East Meets West also making the trip.

Both the other runners were beaten by Strait Of Zanzibar in the Hurricane Run Stakes back at Tipperary this month.

The young jockey said: "I rode him in his maiden at Tipperary, where he won nicely. He's a nice horse and I'm looking forward to it."

Seamie Heffernan, who takes the mount on Battle Of Saratoga, added: "We've got three nice colts in the race. My fellow ran second at Tipperary last time and the horse that Colm O'Donoghue rides (East Meets West) ran in the same race and looked a bit unlucky in third. I'd imagine Joseph's horse is the classiest of the three."

Peter Chapple-Hyam looks to continue his mini-revival with a big-race winner as Al Khan takes on a host of unknown quantities in the Group Three test. The popular handler's stable is flying at the moment with three winners and others running well over the last week.

Al Khan collected a maiden at Doncaster last month but faces other well-regarded recent winners like Balty Boys and Entifaadha as well as Furner's Green.

The trainer said: "It's a very tough race - I wish I'd run him somewhere else really! He's a horse I like a lot and he has improved since Doncaster, but he'll need to as there's going to be no hiding place. However, we have got to find out how good he is."

Barry Hills saddles the final runners of his career this week before handing over his famous Lambourn yard to son Charlie next Monday, and his representative is Balty Boys, who runs in the colours of Sir Alex Ferguson and collected a maiden at Newbury in fluent style last time.

Charlie Hills said: "I think the step up to seven furlongs will really suit this horse. He has plenty of speed, as he showed when winning his maiden, and he is a colt we have always liked."

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