Marengo can shrug off penalty in Ballysax

Irish Examiner - Racing - - RACING - By Pat Keane

Bat­tle Of Marengo, the only pe­nalised run­ner in the con­test, can land the Group 3 P.W. McGrath Me­mo­rial Ballysax Stakes at Leop­ard­stown to­mor­row.

He is one of a num­ber of horses Ai­dan O’Brien has near the top of the Epsom Derby mar­ket and is fan­cied to give those clas­sic claims a ma­jor boost.

The Galileo colt wasn’t knocked about on his de­but on this track in Au­gust — fin­ished third — and then made mas­sive im­prove­ment to win his sub­se­quent three races.

He took his maiden by a street at Gowran Park, then landed a Listed event at Leop­ard­stown be­fore round­ing off the cam­paign with a smooth vic­tory in a mod­est Group 2 at the Cur­ragh.

Sugar Boy is 2lbs clear of the se­lec­tion at the weights and also won three in-a-row last sea­son, end­ing with an easy six and a half lengths suc­cess in a Listed event here. But he seems to be very much ground de­pen­dent — the softer the bet­ter — while all sur­faces ap­pear to come the same to the tal­ented Bat­tle Of Marengo.

Tommy Car­mody’s Sweet Light­ning is the clear pick of the weights in the Her­itage Stakes af­ter hack­ing up, un- der a big bur­den, in the Lin­coln at the Cur­ragh.

Sweet Light­ning has 5lbs in hand of O’Brien’s Dec­la­ra­tion Of War, but again wants test­ing con­di­tons to be seen at his best and pref­er­ence is for the lat­ter.

Un­beaten in two races in France as a ju­ve­nile, Dec­la­ra­tion Of War made a de­cent im­pres­sion as a three-yearold in this coun­try. He won on heavy ground at the Cur­ragh and then showed his ver­sa­til­ity when grab­bing a Group 3 at Dun­dalk.

O’Brien may also have the an­swer to the Leop­ard­stown 2000 Guineas Trial with once-raced The United States, who beat the use­ful Dibayani on un­suit­ably heavy ground at the Cur­ragh in July.

At Tramore to­day the in­form Fiery Os­car gets the nap in the Like Tramore Race­course On Face­book Hand­i­cap Chase.

Rodger Sweeney’s charge has won his last two over flights and runs now off a mark 22lbs be­low his cur­rent rat­ing as a hur­dler.

At Tramore to­mor­row, Wil­lie Mullins’ Sweet My Lord gets the nod in the Tramore Race­course Mem­bers’ Chase. He made no show at Chel­tenham, but prior to that was hold­ing ev­ery chance when fall­ing at the last in the valu­able Leop­ard­stown Chase.

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