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Sunday 22 October 2017

O'Brien connects four at Navan as son shines

It was a day for the O'Brien family to remember at Navan yesterday as Aidan saddled four winners on the card and his son Joseph closed the gap behind Gary Carroll in the race to be champion apprentice to just two with a treble on the day.

O'Brien started the day on 28, with last year's champion Carroll leading the way on 33 and Ben Curtis one behind him. Both the leading two failed to get on the winner's list yesterday as O'Brien rode his first ever career treble.

The treble was instigated as Foster Cross caused a 25/1 upset in the 2m October Maiden in which odds-on favourite Hidden Universe could only manage fourth.

Eirnin then landed the fillies maiden as the youngster teamed up with his father to come on the right side of a Ballydoyle 1-2 as stable companion Diamond Brooch and Johnny Murtagh were a short head back.

Aidan O'Brien completed a treble himself when Don Carlos scored under Johnny Murtagh after the Seamie Heffernan ridden Exodus won the 1m maiden, and his four-timer was settled with Joseph O'Brien's treble in the last race of the evening as Table Mountain justified favouritism.

Fran Berry closed the gap on Pat Smullen to eight as he scored on the Charles O'Brien trained Jedward and Smullen drew a blank on the day with the next Flat action taking place at Dundalk tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, Cheltenham Festival officials have announced a new race at the 2011 Festival, meaning there will now be 27 races throughout the course of the week.

The new race is the Grade Two Jewson Novices' Chase over 2m4f, meaning that the novice chasers will now have a middle distance opportunity rather than the 2m Irish Independent Arkle Chase or the 3m110y RSA Chase.

St Patrick's Day kicks off next year's festival and that will also be the day for the new race.

Cheltenham's director of racing, Simon Claisse, said: "An additional race at the festival is good news for the industry. It gives another winning opportunity for jockeys, trainers, owners and stable staff. It gives our customers at Cheltenham better value and it is bound to produce more betting turnover which means more levy."

Sans Frontieres has been ruled out of next month's Melbourne Cup after suffering a muscle-related illness.

Jeremy Noseda's four-year-old had been one of the leading contenders for the Flemington showpiece after landing the Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

He had been in quarantine for almost a fortnight but will now not travel to Australia.

Barry Simpson, racing manager for owner Robert Ogden, said: "He suffered a severe attack of azoturia (muscle stiffness) after he finished work on the (Newmarket) Heath on Tuesday night. It's hugely disappointing for Robert and everyone involved.

"We were all looking forward to having a runner in such a famous and prestigious race."

Simpson continued: "It started at 5pm on Tuesday night and the attack was quite severe.

"We had veterinary people to see him straight away and the view is that he has reacted to the Australian food mix that he has gradually been given.

"It's a massive ask to get a horse to Australia in the first place, so when something like this happens it makes it all the more difficult.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow at the moment but the decision has been made."

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