herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

O'Brien and Weld are going for gold in the Big Apple

Dermot Weld and Aidan O'Brien will both have runners at Belmont Park in New York tomorrow night with Weld sending over Postulation to contest the Derby over there and Outstanding will be the Ballydoyle representative in the Oaks on the same card.

Weld famously won the Belmont Stakes with Go And Go in 1990 but he returns to the New York track tomorrow with Postulation who faces eight rivals in the feature race and will be ridden by Weld's long-term stable jockey Pat Smullen.

The improving three-year-old progressed from decent placed efforts this season to beat a Group One winner in Parish Hall at the Curragh last time and in Listed company.

He makes the step up to Grade One for the race where he'll take on the Carla Gaines-trained Bolo who looks likely to be favourite, while the race also features a horse called Takeover Target but not the same Takeover Target that may be a familiar household name due to his exploits in top-class sprints a number of years ago. A field of 14 runners is due to go to post for the Belmont Oaks in which Outstanding will attempt to maintain her unbeaten record this season for Aidan O'Brien and Epsom Oaks winning jockey Colm O'Donoghue.

The daughter of Galileo and Absolutelyfabulous is a full sister to the Group One winning Magician and was certainly given a big billing by her name. Although she failed to land a blow in two starts last season, she is two from two so far this term after winning her maiden in Naas in May and followed that up with the Naas Oaks Trial at the same track just over a week ago.

O'Brien certainly has a host of options for the Irish Oaks at the Curragh later this month with Diamondsandrubies, Qualify and Words obvious candidates, so a redirection for Outstanding to go to Belmont tomorrow night may prove to be a nice bit of placing by the Ballydoyle trainer, who had a good year at the track in 2011 when he sent over Cape Blanco for a couple of successful raids.

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