O'Brien lining up strong Beresford challenge

Trainer is seeking a 19th win in the Curragh feature

  • Tuesday 24 September
  • News
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Aidan O’Brien is responsible for 10 of the 21 contenders in Sunday’s Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

The Ballydoyle handler has saddled a staggering 18 previous winners of the prestigious juvenile contest, including each of the last eight.

Among O’Brien’s winners are Septimus (2005), St Nicholas Abbey (2009), Saxon Warrior (2017) and last year’s hero Japan, while the John Oxx-trained of Alamshar (2002), Azamour (2003) and Sea The Stars (2008) also feature on the prestigious roll of honour.

This year’s O’Brien squad includes Iberia – fifth behind star juvenile Pinatubo in the National Stakes here earlier in the month – Galway winners Innisfree and Persia, recent Listowel victor Santiago and Wichita, runner-up to Molatham at Doncaster last time.

The standard is set by Andrew Slattery’s Rebel Tale, who was fourth in a Group Two at Leopardstown on his latest appearance.

Other hopefuls include the Ger Lyons-trained pair of Camorra and Yaxeni and Shekhem from Dermot Weld’s yard.

The main supporting race on Sunday’s card is the Group Three Weld Park Stakes, in which Jessica Harrington’s Albigna could make a relatively swift return to action after finishing a disappointing sixth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Her potential rivals include runaway Naas winner Auxilia (Lyons) and the hat-trick seeking Blissful – one of five entries for O’Brien.

There are also a couple of Group Three prizes up for grabs at the Curragh on Saturday, the first being the AES Renaissance Stakes.

Karl Burke has won this six-furlong contest in each of the past two seasons with Quiet Reflection and Unfortunately respectively – and could this year send True Mason across the Irish Sea.

The home contingent includes Joseph O’Brien’s Speak In Colours, the Joe Murphy-trained Gustavus Weston and Tom Hogan’s admirable veteran Gordon Lord Byron.

There will be more emphasis on stamina in the two-mile Holden Plant Rentals Loughbrown Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien’s dual Classic winner Capri could drop in class following a largely disappointing campaign thus far, while Weld’s Falcon Eight might find this a little easier than when last of four behind Stradivarius in last month’s Yorkshire Cup.

Weld has also entered four-times winner Kastasa.

Noel Meade could saddle Dadoozdart, who has not been seen in competitive action since winning the Ulster Derby at Down Royal in June.

O'Brien lining up strong Beresford challenge
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