Friday 17 January 2020

Armory key ammunition for O'Brien in Curragh encounter

Star name: Aidan O'Brien's Armory
Star name: Aidan O'Brien's Armory

Armory is the star name among seven possible runners for Aidan O'Brien in the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on Friday.

The Ballydoyle maestro has saddled 12 previous winners of the seven-furlong Group Two - with Giant's Causeway (1999), Hawk Wing (2001) and this year's Epsom Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck among those on the roll of honour.

Since finishing third behind the Ger Lyons-trained Justifier on his racecourse debut at Leopardstown in June, Armory has registered two hugely impressive victories - most recently coasting to a five-length verdict in the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

O'Brien could also call upon course-and-distance winner Iberia, Lope Y Fernandez, Mount Fuji, Royal County Down, Toronto and Year Of The Tiger.

Lyons is set to run Justifier, who since beating Armory has doubled his tally in the Listed Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary.

Mick Halford has supplemented Roman Turbo, who proved his 25-1 debut success at the Curragh was no fluke when following up in the Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the same track last month.

Jim Bolger's recent Gowran scorer Geometrical, Jessica Harrington's Jungle Cove and Rebel Tale from Andrew Slattery's yard are the other hopefuls.

The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the Group Two Debutante Stakes - a race which O'Brien has also won on 12 occasions.

This year's seven-strong Ballydoyle entry includes dual winner Love and Galway Festival victor Petite Mustique.

Alpine Star looks a serious player for the Harrington team after impressing at Galway. The Moone-based trainer has also confirmed Windracer, who won over this course and distance on debut but disappointed behind Love in the Group Three Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown last time.

Joseph O'Brien has left in Silver Flash runner-up Unforgetable, while Johnny Murtagh's Know It All could step up in grade after winning at the track a fortnight ago.

There is also an interesting British-trained contender in Mark Prescott's Alpinista, who won as she liked on her only competitive appearance to date at Epsom in July.

Today's meeting at Hamilton has been cancelled due to a waterlogged track.

The Scottish circuit was due to stage a seven-race Flat fixture but the surface was deemed unfit for racing after an inspection yesterday.

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