Fly­ing Flag can net the Clas­sic spoils

Irish Sunday Mirror - - SPORTS - BY RYAN MCELLIGOTT


The sec­ond day of Ir­ish Cham­pi­ons Week­end has the po­ten­tial to yield a big-race dou­ble for O’brien whose team are back fir­ing on all cylin­ders.

Flag Of Hon­our has done well since step­ping up to a mile and three quar­ters this sea­son and he boasts two vic­to­ries over this course and dis­tance.

The first of those wins came in the Group 2 Cur­ragh Cup in July and he re­turned from al­most two months off to land the St Leger Trial.

He had only a neck to spare over Twi­light Pay­ment last time, but he gave the im­pres­sion that he would im­prove con­sid­er­ably for that re­turn to ac­tion.

Fur­ther­more any fur­ther eas­ing in the ground over the week­end will work in his favour as he copes well with soft con­di­tions.

Flag Of Hon­our is pre­ferred to the Ir­ish Derby win­ner La­trobe, who will find this much eas­ier than last month’s Jud­dmonte In­ter­na­tional where he fin­ished down the field. The step up to this trip should suit La­trobe and he has al­ready shown that he can cope with soft ground.

In the Goffs Vin­cent O’brien National Stakes, An­thony Van Dyck is put for­ward to strike for the O’brien team.

This colt has pro­gressed well with ev­ery run this sea­son and he pro­duced a de­cent ef­fort to land last month’s Fu­tu­rity Stakes.

On that oc­ca­sion he was un­der pres­sure some way from home, but he was ac­tu­ally firmly on top at the fin­ish and was value for more than the win­ning mar­gin.

He faces a for­mi­da­ble threat in the Godol­phin colt Quorto who has gone un­beaten in two out­ings.

This son of Dubawi looked a top-notch prospect when he brushed aside Cape Of Good Hope to win the Group 2 Su­perla­tive Stakes at New­mar­ket.

Perhaps the most in­ter­est­ing race of the day is the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, where Skit­ter Scat­ter is taken to con­tinue her rise up the ranks.

This Pa­trick Pren­der­gast inmate has im­proved with ev­ery run and she sets the stan­dard on last month’s Debu­tante Stakes triumph.

If she can match that form she will take all the beat­ing. Lady Kaya is re­spected here, while a big show­ing is ex­pected from Just Won­der­ful.

The first run­ning of the Der­rin­stown Stud Fly­ing Five Stakes should go for ex­port, with Ha­vana Grey look­ing a rock solid favourite.

Al Qawha can also strike a blow for the raiders in the open­ing Bold Lad Hand­i­cap, while Eziyra can­not be op­posed in the Bland­ford Stakes, and the fast-im­prov­ing Still Stand­ing can deal with Down­draft in the con­clud­ing North­fields Hand­i­cap.

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