O'Brien eyeing Leopardstown prizes
Ivanovich Gorbatov is sure to have his supporters as he turns out in the Racecourse Of The Year Handicap at Leopardstown on Thursday evening.
Aidan O'Brien's charge will be making his handicap bow in the one-mile-seven-furlong heat, but given he is entered for the Irish St Leger Trial later this month, connections are surely expecting more from this Montjeu colt in due course.
Third on his only juvenile start, Ivanovich Gorbatov won a Navan maiden in May and with three of those in behind having gone on to win themselves, the form has a pleasing look about it.
Jim Bolger's Theophilus and the Jessica Harrington-trained Weather Watch top the weights for the race with Charles O'Brien's Hurricane Sky, winner of two of his last three starts, another key contender.
O'Brien saddles Cenotaph in the opening Leopardstown Summer Membership Handicap while Lieutenant General tries to get off the mark at the fourth attempt in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.
He was last seen when finishing third in the Group Three Tyros Stakes at this track two weeks ago.
The Crewmaster represents the Ballydoyle team in the Bulmers Live At Leopardstown Maiden after bagging a fine second on his racecourse bow at the Galway Festival last week.
O'Brien unleashes two newcomers in the Live At Leopardstown Maiden with Prospector a particularly eyecatching contender as a $1.4 million half-brother to Mastercraftsman.
Hallmark also runs for the Coolmore team while Dermot Weld runs Chinese Light, a full sister to Group One winner Chinese White who has been beaten by the likes of Group One winners Legatissimo and Diamondsandrubies in the past.
Liberty's Gift ended a barren spell at Wexford recently and Paul Flynn gets her out again in an attempt to strike while the iron is hot in the 'Stunning' Apprentice Handicap.