Taj for Naas trials
Taj Mahal, a full brother to Gleneagles and Coolmore, is just one of a very interesting list of entries for the Royal Ascot Trials day at Naas this Sunday.
Declarations for the fixture don't close until tomorrow morning but given that Aidan O'Brien has opted to give Taj Mahal an entry in the Coolmore War Command Rochestown Stakes is a signal to the high regard he is held in at home.
Taj Mahal is the only newcomer in the race which was won previously by Jim Bolger's Dawn Appraoch but Ger Lyons' exciting course and distance winner Psychedelic Funk would be a star of the meeting if he was to take his chance in the race.
The Seán Jones-owned colt is two from two at Naas and he is a best priced 7/1 for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
Even without making an appearance yet, Taj Mahal is just 14/1 in places for the Coventry Stakes. The Royal Ascot Trials day at Naas often attracts runners from Britian and Richard Hannon looks likely to be represented as he usually is at the meeting and Hannon has made four entries in total.
Trainer Mick Halford is hopeful of getting his Godolphin-owned filly Anamba back on track this weekend.
The Leopardstown maiden winner beat Coolmore on debut and then went down by just half a length to the same filly in the Group Three Weld Park Stakes on her last run back in September.
Halford had declared Anamba for last Sunday's Irish 1,000 Guineas but was forced to withdraw her when the rain got into the ground and changed the going conditions.
"We didn't run her because of the ground the other day. She's in at Naas, she's in good form and she'll take her chance as long as the ground stays good," said her trainer.
"She got big and strong over the winter but took a bit of time to come to hand with the wet and miserable spring. Now she's ready to start."
Meanwhile, the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood closed for entries yesterday and although the race is not until the end of July, it already has all the hallmarks of being one of the races of the season.
Among the 50 entries are the Irish Guineas' winner Awtaad and Jet Setting as well as Galileo Gold, The Gurkha, American star Tepin and Minding.