O’Brien puts faith in Cape
Irish Derby hero Cape Blanco is one of two Aidan O'Brien entries for Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot which is dominated by the Michael Stoute twin towers of Workforce and Harbinger.
Workforce was a hugely impressive winner of the Epsom Derby on his latest appearance and bids to become the first three-year-old since Alamshar in 2003 to win Ascot's mid-summer showpiece.
Fellow Stoute inmate Harbinger arrives on the back of a runaway success in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and will be ridden by Olivier Peslier, with stable jockey Ryan Moore siding with the Epsom hero.
Stoute trained Conduit, Tartan Bearer and Ask to a one-two-three in the race 12 months ago and is an outside bet to repeat the feat having also left in Confront, although he is likely to take up a pacemaking role.
O'Brien has saddled Galileo (2001), Dylan Thomas (2007) and Duke Of Marmalade (2008) to King George success and his main candidate this time would appear to be Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco, which is quoted at a generous-looking 7/1.
Epsom runner-up At First Sight could join him on the trip for the Betfair-sponsored event and the Ballydoyle supremo is expected to make a final decision on his runners and a replacement jockey for the suspended Johnny Murtagh tomorrow.
John Gosden's three-time Group One winner Dar Re Mi will bid to become the first filly or mare to win the race since Time Charter in 1983.
The luckless Youmzain completes the field as he continues to search for an elusive first Group One triumph on British soil.
Meanwhile, Jim Bolger took the opener at Ballinrobe last night when the well-supported Myrine ran away with the Paddy Smyth Memorial Maiden at Ballinrobe under Kevin Manning in the Michael Ryan silks.
Manning sent the daughter of Sadler's Wells to the front over two furlongs out and crossed the line a distance in front.
l James Fanshawe will be praying for fast conditions in Ireland in early September so that he can run Spacious in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
The five-year-old mare has a couple of Group Two wins to her credit but has yet to score at the highest level. She showed she was as good as ever when runner-up to Music Show in the Group One Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
“She's in excellent form. I'm not sure where we go. We entered her in the Prix d'Astarte (Rothschild) which is a week on Sunday or we'll wait until the Matron Stakes at the beginning of September,” Fanshawe said.
“We will just play it by ear. The Matron is the race that sticks out, but the trouble is you could wait for that and the ground goes. She loves top of the ground.”