Anthony Van Dyck is one of six possible runners for Aidan O’Brien in the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
The Ballydoyle maestro has saddled 11 previous winners of the prestigious juvenile prize, with Giant’s Causeway (1999), Hawk Wing (2001), Gleneagles (2014) and Churchill (2016) all on the roll of honour.
Anthony Van Dyck appears the trainer’s chief hope this year, having followed up a runaway victory in a Killarney maiden with a dominant display in the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.
O’Brien has also entered Van Beethoven, Broome – who has been declared to run in Wednesday’s Acomb Stakes at York – Cape Of Good Hope, Christmas and Mohawk.
Jim Bolger also has a fine record in the Futurity, with St Jovite (1991), Teofilo (2006) and New Approach (2007) among his six winners.
The master of Coolcullen has just one contender for this year’s renewal in Teofilo colt Guaranteed, who opened his account at the second attempt with a narrow verdict over this course and distance last month.
Klute, trainer by Jessica Harrington, beat Guaranteed on his debut here at the start of July and looks set to return in what promises to be an informative contest.
Group Two honours are also up for grabs in the Debutante Stakes.
O’Brien has won this prize on a record 12 occasions, including in each of the last three years, and this year’s seven-strong team includes Just Wonderful, Hermosa and Peach Tree.
Patrick Prendergast’s Skitter Scatter arguably sets the standard for the home team following her Group Three triumph in the Silver Flash at Leopardstown.
But perhaps the one they all have to beat is Mark Johnston’s potential British raider Main Edition, who bounced back from Royal Ascot disappointment to win the Sweet Solera at Newmarket a fortnight ago.
Sheila Lavery’s hugely impressive course-and-distance winner Lady Kaya is also in the mix.
The Bolger-trained Verbal Dexterity could finally make his reappearance in the Manguard Plus Royal Whip Stakes.
The Vocalised colt was considered a serious Classic contender after a stunning performance in the National Stakes here last September, but he has not been seen in competitive action since placing fourth in the Racing Post Trophy the following month.
Should he return this weekend, his possible rivals include Willie Mullins’ Riven Light – who was last seen winning the BMW Mile at the Galway Festival for the second year in succession.