O’Brien Family Set For A Good Day At The Curragh
The Curragh returns with Group 1 action this afternoon and it could be a good day for the O’Brien family.
Aidan O Brien is going in search of a 17th victory in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and Joseph will give his brother Donnacha a leg up on a couple of leading chances later on the card.
O’Brien’s to Speak in Sprint
The Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes is a fascinating little race in which veteran Gordon Lord Byron is looking for another victory for Tom Hogan and Aidan O’Brien is responsible for the favourite Spirit Of Valor who ran well in Goodwood.
Like Spirit Of Valor, the Joseph O’Brien-trained Speak In Colours takes a drop in class for this assignment and although Spirit Of Valor comes back down from better company, the three-year-old Speak In Colours is preferred.
The preference was well beaten in the Commonwealth Cup against his own age but that was always going to be a tough ask and prior to that he caught the eye behind Sioux Nation at Naas.
The ground is still good to firm at HQ but a bit of rain would do his chances no harm and with the swing at the weights for being a three-year-old he just looked like a colt that could be now up to making his mark for the first time since joining Joseph O’Brien.
Band Of Brothers
Cheek pieces are fitted to Band Of Outlaws for the first time in the finale and Joseph O’Brien’s three-year-old can defy his hefty weight in the one mile handicap.
Band Of Outlaws is a course and distance winner and races off a 5lbs higher mark here but despite his finishing position of eighth in the Galway Mile a couple of weeks ago, that wasn’t a bad effort in a tough race by Band Of Brothers and he looked open to win again off his current rating.
Lethal Power and Scoil Naisiunta both warrant respect but Band Of Outlaws has some good consistent form this year and should be able to take a couple of prizes like this. A positive market move would be a big plus.
Elliott can Cart the honours at Downpatrick
Gordon Elliott regularly sends a strong team to Downpatrick and the trainer looks to have another good team heading north this afternoon.
Davy Russell is booked on most of the fancied runners and Cartwright looked one capable of landing the spoils in the rated hurdle.
The conditions of the race treat it like a handicap and although Cartwright has to give weight to each of his six rivals in the 2m2f contest, it is still a big drop from the Galway Hurdle which he ran in last time.
An early mistake in that Galway Hurdle put paid to his chances that day and this smaller field should be much more to his liking and he could just have a bit too much class for his rivals here based on some of his winter form.
*Prices correct at time of publication.
Cartwright 9/4 – 2.40 Downpatrick
Band Of Outlaws 4/1 – 5.15 Curragh