Shane Foley expects Lucky Vega to give a bold account in the the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
Lucky Vega arrives on the back of arguably the most impressive performance by a juvenile this season in the Phoenix Stakes, when Jessica Harrington’s youngster quickened away to win by three and a half lengths.
This afternoon’s assignment represents a different task – and while Aidan O’Brien’s Chesham winner Battleground has been withdrawn having been found to be coughing, the Charlie Appleby-trained Superlative Stakes scorer Master Of The Seas forms part of the opposition.
“From day one he’s always been a nice horse,” said Foley, speaking on an Irish Champions Weekend preview.
“He had a little hold-up after his maiden win, which meant it was a bit of a rush getting to the Railway Stakes. He got beat in that, but improved no end for it and showed what he was capable of in the Phoenix.
“He’s laid-back, so should have no problem going up to seven furlongs. ”
Appleby has won the last two editions of the National Stakes with the ill-fated Quorto and last year’s champion juvenile Pinatubo – so is bidding for a hat-trick.
“He worked nicely during the week, and we’re very pleased with him,” said the Godolphin trainer.
“It’s going to be a good race. I respect Jessica Harrington’s horse – he won the Phoenix well.
“Thankfully it’s a race we’ve had a bit of luck in in recent years, and it would be nice to continue it.”
Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon bolted up on his debut, but lacks in experience compared to the others.
“Obviously it’s a big step up in class from a maiden straight into a Group One, but we didn’t have many other options,” said the Owning Hill trainer.
“He’s in at the deep end, but couldn’t have won his debut any easier.”
Ken Condon’s Laws Of Indices had Lucky Vega behind him when winning the Railway but was then only fourth in the Phoenix.
“He’s not ground dependent, and he’s a very straightforward horse,” said Condon.
“Physically, he’s doing very well.
“I’m very happy with where he’s at – he looks a picture, and I think he’ll give a good showing.”
Jim Bolger’s Mac Swiney is another who has Group race-winning form to his name – over course and distance in the Futurity Stakes.