O’Brien’s four­pronged at­tack

Daily News - - THE RACEGOER -

AI­DAN O’BRIEN, who is inch­ing ever-closer to Bobby Frankel’s record 25 top-level win­ners in a year, could launch a four-pronged at­tack on the Dar­ley De­whurst Stakes at New­mar­ket to­mor­row.

Mid­dle Park win­ner US Navy Flag ap­pears likely to spear­head the chal­lenge, and is set to be joined by Sea­henge, suc­cess­ful in the Group 2 Cham­pagne Stakes when last seen, while maiden win­ners Men­delssohn and Three­and­fourpence are also be­ing read­ied for the Group 1 high­light.

O’Brien, who has notched 23 Group 1s so far this year, said on Tues­day: “US Navy Flag is a pro­gres­sive horse. He’s a brother to Roly Poly and there are many sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two.

“We al­ways thought he worked like a nice horse but he was just a lit­tle bit slow to learn. We were happy with him in the Mid­dle Park – he seems to have come out well, and at the mo­ment we’re con­tem­plat­ing run­ning him on Satur­day.”

O’Brien con­tin­ued: “Sea­henge could join him. He was very green the first day and was a bit green again at Good­wood, but he did it well in the Cham­pagne Stakes at Don­caster, where Don­nacha [O’Brien] gave him a lovely ride.”

Men­delssohn fin­ished last of the seven run­ners be­hind Sea­henge in the Cham­pagne, but O’Brien has re­vealed the colt has been work­ing much bet­ter in head­gear since that dis­ap­point­ing dis­play, and he is ex­pect­ing an im­proved ef­fort on Satur­day.

He said: “Men­delssohn was be­hind Sea­henge at Don­caster but Ryan [Moore] felt he banged him­self a lit­tle. He’s a horse that’s learn­ing and he has a good look around, but we worked him in blink­ers dur­ing the week and they seemed to wake him up. There’s a pos­si­bil­ity he'll wear a pair of blink­ers, or a vi­sor, on Satur­day.”

The trainer added: “Three­and­fourpence won nicely at Fairy­house and I spoke with [owner] Evie Stock­well this morn­ing and the plan is for us to run him as well.”

Hap­pily, suc­cess­ful in the Prix Jean-Luc La­gardere at Chan­tilly last time, has the op­tion of the De­whurst or bet365 Fil­lies’ Mile, and O’Brien and his team are lean­ing to­wards run­ning in to­day’s Group 1.

O’Brien said: “Noth­ing is set in stone with re­gards our Fil­lies’ Mile en­tries. Hap­pily has come out of her run in France well. Septem­ber and Mag­i­cal could also run. “When there’s not a lot of space be­tween races we like to leave the de­ci­sion as late as pos­si­ble.”

– rac­ing­post.com

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