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Friday 24 November 2017

O'Brien out to get Touch back

Aidan O'Brien's duo Midas Touch and At First Sight feature among a field of just four runners in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

The Ballydoyle handler has saddled seven of the last 12 runners of Sunday's Group Two contest, including subsequent Epsom Derby winners Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002).

Midas Touch makes his first appearance since finishing fourth behind stablemate Jan Vermeer in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud and is the choice of stable jockey Johnny Murtagh.

At First Sight was narrowly beaten into second in last month's Ballysax Stakes over this course and distance.

Speaking on www.coolmore.com, O'Brien said: "Midas Touch is in good form, he is just ready to start back.

"We re-routed him from the Dee Stakes in Chester as Mikhail Glinka won't make the Derrinstown due to a bruised foot.

"At First Sight is well also, he ran a nice race the last day when finishing second in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown.

"We hope he has improved from that run and that he runs a good race on Sunday."

Reiteration is unbeaten in two starts this year and represents Jim Bolger, who saddled St Jovite and Perfect Imposter to successive Derrinstown wins in 1992 and 1993.

Dermot Weld's Address Unknown, fifth in the Ballysax Stakes, completes the line-up.

Coordinated Cut, Chabal, Workforce and Cape Blanco are the headline acts among a field of 13 confirmed for Thursday's totesport Dante Stakes at York.

The Michael Bell-trained Coordinated Cut won the £250,000 Tattersalls Timeform Trophy on his return at Newmarket last month, while Godolphin's Chabal was a convincing winner of the Sandown Classic Trial on his seasonal return.

O'Brien's Cape Blanco won each of his three starts as a juvenile, culminating in Futurity Stakes victory, but he has not run since that race last August. O'Brien has a second string to his bow in 2000 Guineas also-ran Viscount Nelson, while Godolphin also have Emirates Dream and Layali Al Andalus.

Michael Stoute's well-touted Workforce skipped a Guineas run in favour of a Derby preparation and he boasts one win in as many starts.

Sariska and Midday have frightened away much of the opposition in the totesport.com Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday.

The Group One winners were among just five four-year-old fillies left in the Group Two contest at the confirmation stage from 18 that had remained at the first acceptance point.

The pair met twice last season, with Sariska coming out on top on both occasions to complete the English and Irish Oaks double.

Sariska, trained by Michael Bell, missed an intended engagement at Newmarket last weekend due to a minor foot injury and looks like being re-routed to the Knavesmire.

Henry Cecil's Midday managed to gain two victories at the top level, in Goodwood's Nassau Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.

One old rival who may not shirk the challenge is the Barry Hills-trained High Heeled.

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