herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Flat fraternity go on tour

Irish trainers searching for opportunities from America to Germany this weekend

IT'S a point of much frustration for the Flat racing fraternity that in the middle of the season the racing action in Ireland this weekend is dominated by summer jumping.

From the 36 races due to take place this weekend, only 12 will be on the Flat and one of those is an amateur race, but some of Ireland's leading trainers are going further afield in search of opportunities.

Both Dermot Weld and Aidan O'Brien are heading Stateside with runners at Belmont Park in New York tomorrow evening.

O'Brien is double-handed at the track with Colm O'Donoghue going over to ride both Adelaide in the Belmont Derby and Wonderfully in the Belmont Oaks, while Pat Smullen will be onboard the Dermot Weld-trained Flying Jib in the Oaks.

There is a real international flavour to the Belmont meeting with French trainer François Doumen with a runner and Dubai winner Toast Of New York could prove to be very aptly named for Jamie Osborne and owner Michael Buckley as the three-year-old runs in the Derby alongside an Australian raider Pornichet for Gai Waterhouse.

Adelaide was second behind the impressive Eagle Top at Royal Ascot, while Wonderfully was last seen when ninth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but Flying Jib is a winner of her last three and Weld will be hoping to add to his previous Belmont win with Go And Go, who was ridden by Mick Kinane back in 1990.

Meanwhile, Ballydoyle will also be represented in Germany on Sunday as Geoffrey Chaucer lines up in the German Derby having missed his Curragh engagement last week.

Joseph O'Brien will have to sit out the weekend action following his Royal Ascot ban and there is no doubt that along with today's Eclipse at Sandown, the prospect of riding the supplemented Geoffrey Chaucer in Sunday's feature will be a blow to the 21-year-old.

With three Irish runners in the Eclipse, there is also Irish interest at Haydock where Johnny Murtagh goes in search of Group Two glory in the Lancashire Oaks with We'll Go Walking.

The four-year-old was third in the Warwickshire Oaks last time out and previously ran a nice race behind Tarfasha at Naas.

Royal Ascot winner Domination is also declared to run in the Coral Marathon at Sandown tomorrow for Charles Byrnes and Fran Berry, one of three rides Berry has on the card.

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