herald

Friday 17 August 2018

No living' with O'Brien's star

IT was due to a lofty reputation that saw John Oxx's Akeed Mofeed sent off the odds-on favourite for yesterday's Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

Despite the fact that the horse was rated a stone lower than some of his rivals, who had previously raced in Group One company, he seemed to be following a path similar to some of Oxx's more famous inmates, especially the most famous of them all, Sea The Stars.

Akeed Mofeed, however, fell short of what was required to win yesterday's Group Two Juddmonte-sponsored contest at HQ as the Group One-placed David Livingston further strengthened the form of the National Stakes by running out a half-a-length victor.



Oxx had mentioned the good consti-tution of his horse and it needed to be better than most to yet again overcome a slow enough break from the stalls to still finish that close, and while the trainer said prior to the race "ground won't be used as an excuse", you would have to think it was softer than ideal.

That said, there is no doubt that the Aidan O'Brien-trained David Livingston didn't totally enjoy the underfoot conditions either, yet still managed to make every yard of the running on what was simply an extremely gutsy and brave performance.

The win added further to what has been an outstanding year for jockey Seamie Heffernan who did the steering yesterday.

The timing was also just right with a decision on riding arrangements for So You Think in next weekend's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe yet to be declared -- in public at least.

Afterwards, Oxx revealed that Akeed Mofeed would be unlikely to run again this season, but rule him out at your peril.

Whether there is a Classic to be won with Mofeed remains to be seen, but there is certainly Group Ones in him on ground that is not as bad as yesterday.

As for the winner, well he too could be finished for the season, according to his trainer.

The master of Ballydoyle revealed afterwards: "That was tough going out there and he's had plenty of it this year so it's not important if he doesn't run again this year."

If he does appear again the Racing Post Trophy and the Grand Criterium in France are on the agenda, but O'Brien added: "I'd say he will stay next year and will love a mile and a quarter. He'll be one for the Derby trial races."

Speaking of horses who had their last outings of 2011 over the weekend, Lightening Pearl, Ger Lyons' historic maiden Group One winner (as a trainer) is another set to be well rested and minded for an exciting three-year-old campaign.

Pearl provided the Co Meath-based trainer with his first win at the top level on the Flat with success in the Cheveley Park Stakes and an ecstatic Lyons tweeted yesterday: "That's her season finished, folks. She will now be trained for the Guineas next spring."

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