Roo­sevelt can add name to il­lus­tri­ous roll of hon­our

Jud­dmonte Beres­ford Stakes is a proven fount of Derby he­roes

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS - Brian o’Con­nor Rac­ing Cor­re­spon­dent

Ai­dan O’Brien hasn’t fi­nalised his team for next week­end’s Prix de l’Arc de Tri­om­phe so spec­u­la­tion on the 2018 Derby might seem very pre­ma­ture were it not for the il­lus­tri­ous his­tory of to­mor­row’s Group Two high­light in iden­ti­fy­ing fu­ture clas­sic win­ners.

Since Ni­jin­sky al­most half a cen­tury ago through Assert, Alamshar, Sea The Stars and Capri in 2016, the Jud­dmonte Beres­ford Stakes is a proven fount of Derby he­roes of var­i­ous hues.

The Cur­ragh re­build means it is switched to Naas this year but the odds are lit­tle is likely to change with O’Brien heav­ily favoured to win for a re­mark­able 17th time in 22 years. He has three of the five run­ners this time and for pun­ters the pic­ture is mud­died by a shuf­fle of jockey ar­range­ments.

Ryan Moore is on per­haps the most in­trigu­ing prospect, Saxon War­rior. The Ja­panese-bred son of Deep Im­pact and Maybe looked to have any amount of po­ten­tial when a sur­prise de­but at the Cur­ragh un­der Don­nacha O’Brien last month.

The trainer’s son switches this time to the Ir­ish Cham­pi­ons Week­end run­ner -up Kew Gar­dens while Séa­mus Hef­fer­nan is moved from the lat­ter colt to De­lano Roo­sevelt who Moore rode to fin­ish third in that Leop­ard­stown heat won by Nel­son.

If it seems like the Bal­ly­doyle team is feel­ing its way with some ex­cit­ing tal­ent that hasn’t stopped book­mak­ers quot­ing Saxon Farm at 20-1 for Ep­som next June.

De­lano Roo­sevelt is twice that in a Derby pic­ture al­ready heav­ily dom­i­nated by O’Brien.

It’s easy to see why con­sid­er­ing Saxon Farm is in the reck­on­ing as he looked to catch even those clos­est to him off-guard with his de­but vic­tory, sweep­ing from the back of the field to win in style. How­ever the run­ner-up that day has been beaten twice since so the form ap­pears ques­tion­able.

Riyazan was fourth in the Leop­ard­stown race won by Nel­son while Warm The Voice would be a widely pop­u­lar win­ner for his trainer Bren­dan Duke.

The bet­ting value though could be with De­lano Roo­sevelt.

Soft ground

A sur­prise 14-1 win­ner him­self on his Leop­ard­stown de­but, he started favourite for that Leop­ard­stown race and never looked a win­ner af­ter run­ning very green in the early stages.

He was run­ning on no­tice­ably well in the clos­ing stages how­ever and may show the ben­e­fit of that ex­pe­ri­ence now.

O’Brien can pick from the quar­tet of Or­der Of St Ge­orge, Win­ter, Capri and High­land Reel for next Sun­day’s Arc and there is a link to last year’s Chan­tilly hero­ine Found in the open­ing maiden at Naas.

Her full brother James Cook makes his de­but un­der Moore in a race where an­other Bal­ly­doyle new­comer, Cy­press Creek, is a full brother to Capri.

Seven cross-chan­nel trained run­ners are de­clared for Naas in­clud­ing Juliet Fox­trot who will be rid­den by Bri­tain’s cham­pion jockey Jim Crow­ley in the Group Three CL & MF Weld Park Stakes.

The Jud­dmonte-owned run­ner won her maiden by seven lengths on soft ground at Good­wood. How­ever she is faced with some very high class form here, none more so than Mary Tu­dor’s.

She is still a maiden af­ter two starts but held her own with Group One fil­lies in last month’s Debu­tante Stakes.

Quiet Re­flec­tion won the Com­mon­wealth Cup and the Hay­dock Sprint Cup in 2016 but reap­pears with plenty to prove in the Re­nais­sance Stakes.

On her best form Karl Burke’s star could go to next month’s Cham­pion Sprint at As­cot on the back of an­other vic­tory in a race that may wind up dom­i­nated by fil­lies.

Al­pha­bet be­lied 50-1 odds to chase home Car­avag­gio in the Fly­ing Five and the hand­i­cap­per clearly reck­ons there was noth­ing flukey about it as he has hiked her 18lbs in rat­ings. Nev­er­the­less she still has some­thing to find in bare form terms with Only Mine.

Cur­ragh trainer Dar­ren Bun­yan sends his high class sprinter Hit The Bid to New­bury to­day for a Group Three where Leigh Roche takes the ride.

To­day’s home ac­tion is over the jumps at Na­van where for­mer cham­pion jockey Barry Ger­aghty re­turns to ac­tion af­ter suf­fer­ing a hair­line frac­ture in his shoul­der blade at Kil­lar­ney last month.

Ul­tra-con­sis­tent

Ger­aghty has four rides in­clud­ing Hash Brown for his boss JP McManus in the hand­i­cap chase.

Co Kilkenny-based trainer Eoin Doyle could es­pe­cially en­joy the re­turn of Na­tional Hunt rac­ing to Na­van. The Win­kler is a con­tender for the hand­i­cap chase while the ul­tra-con­sis­tent Fiesole has lead­ing claims in an ear­lier hand­i­cap hur­dle.

The Mon­t­jeu geld­ing won two hand­i­cap hur­dles at Down Royal in May and since then has scored twice on the flat in­clud­ing at Gowran last month.

Fiesole ap­pears in the form of his life and his jumps mark is only 6lbs higher than last time he ran over flights.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: GETTY IM­AGES

Quiet Re­flec­tion won the Com­mon­wealth Cup and the Hay­dock Sprint Cup in 2016 but reap­pears with plenty to prove in the Re­nais­sance Stakes.

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