Friday 21 October 2016

O'Brien Reeling it in

Highland Reel with Ryan Moore aboard. Photo: Cranhamphoto.com
Highland Reel with Ryan Moore aboard. Photo: Cranhamphoto.com

Aidan O'Brien is set to send Highland Reel for the Juddmonte International at York on Wednesday as Epsom Derby runner-up US Army Ranger diverts to the Curragh this day week.

The King George winner at Ascot last month will go in search of more Group One honours on Wednesday as O'Brien, who looks for a third win in four years in the Juddmonte, drop's the four-year-old back to 10-furlongs as Highland Reel bids to follow recent Ballydoyle-trained winners Declaration Of War and Australia.

O'Brien could be double-handed even in the absence of US Army Ranger with Sir Isaac Newton also expected to make the line up for which Postponed is currently the 1/1 favourite.

US Army Ranger is set to feature on a highly entertaining weekend at the Curragh next week with the Group Two Royal Whip Stakes looking like a top class renewal.

Of the Epsom Derby runner-up, O'Brien said: "US Army Ranger has had a little break and the plan is to start him back in the Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh. He's in good form and we are happy with him. Found is a possible runner too."

While Found would also add spice to the race, O'Brien's US Army Ranger looks like he'll have another Dermot Weld-trained colt to get the better of but this time not Harzand.

Weld is set to run Tattersalls Gold Cup winner Fascinating Rock in the Group Two and Weld said: "The plan is for Fascinating Rock to begin his autumn campaign in the Royal Whip.

"He's in very good form and I'm very happy with him."

On what is a very informative weekend for Irish Champion's Weekend, O'Brien is also due to give last year's Irish St Leger winner, Order Of St George, a prep run for a repeat in Ireland's final Classic of the season.


Of the Ascot Gold Cup winner and his team for the weekend O'Brien added: "Order Of St George has also had an easy time and is ready to start back.

"He'll run in the St Leger and whatever he does in that he'll come forward from it. He's in good form.

"Churchill will hopefully run in the Futurity Stakes, all being well and Promise To Be True is in the Debutatne Stakes but it is possible she'll wait and Rhododendron, who won nicely at Goodwood, might go there instead.

Meanwhile, O'Brien's leading juvenile, Caravaggio, did appear among 85 entries for the Dewhurst Stakes in October but plans remain open for the unbeaten colt.

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