I Can Fly and Happen out to enhance Falmouth record for O'Brien

Seven stand ground for Friday’s Newmarket feature

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Aidan O’Brien has left in I Can Fly and Happen at the confirmation stage as he bids to win the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes for the third time in four years at Newmarket on Friday.

The Ballydoyle handler took this Group One contest with Alice Springs in 2016 and Roly Poly last year, but his run was halted 12 months ago when Clemmie was beaten into third place as the Jessica Harrington-trained Alpha Centauri lifted the prize.

On her latest start, I Can Fly was third to Move Swiftly in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Happen was sixth to Watch Me in the Coronation Stakes.

Beshaayir, who defeated I Can Fly in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh in May, is one of two possibles from the William Haggas stable along with Queen Anne Stakes third One Master.

Roger Varian is doubly represented through Mot Juste and Qipco 1000 Guineas third Qabala, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Veracious completing the septet.

A notable absentee was the Karl Burke-trained multiple Group One winner Laurens.

Her owner John Dance tweeted: “Sorry to report that Laurens has picked up what we hope is a niggle yesterday (Friday) and thus hasn’t been confirmed for the Falmouth Stakes.

“She’ll have an easy week, be reassessed and we’ll make a new plan from there.”

Burke, speaking after enjoying a winner at Haydock on Saturday afternoon, said: “She’s just got a little niggle on her left hind, a slight reaction to a curb.

“She cantered this morning, cantered beautifully, but an hour later she wasn’t 100 per cent.

“This has been brewing over the last 48 hours. She’s too valuable an animal, too good (to risk) – she owes us nothing.

“So as much as it hurts to miss out on a chance of a Group One, we’ve taken the right decision. John was fully supportive of that, if anything more than I was – he was pretty adamant we should skip it, and we hope we’ll get her right for the race in Deauville (Prix Rothschild) in three weeks.

“It’s not a serious injury in a long-term scheme – it’s just at the wrong time.”

I Can Fly and Happen out to enhance Falmouth record for O'Brien
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