HONOUR A LEGER
Flying Flag can net the Classic spoils
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.