Weekend wins in England and Curragh for O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore added to their big weekend wins in England when Best In The World took the Listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
The well-backed favourite got on top inside the final furlong and certainly looked one to follow when beating Dolce Strega in convincing fashion. O'Brien and Moore were also on the mark when Black Sea took the seven furlongs maiden.
The pair also landed two Group 1s at Newmarket over the weekend with a pair of potential superstars. They took the Dubai Fillies' Mile with Minding and followed up with Air Force Blue who could hardly have been more impressive in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes.
Minding now heads the ante-post betting for next season's 1,000 Guineas while bookmakers are certainly taking no chances with Air Force Blue who is odds-on in places for the 2,000 Guineas. Meanwhile, at Limerick, Tigris River won the conditions' hurdle for O'Brien and Barry Geraghty.
Liz Doyle maintained her fine recent form when Thinkitplanitdoit easily won the bumper in the hands of Lisa O'Neill at Tramore on Thursday, while Denis Hogan and New Ross man Seán Flanagan combined to win the two miles, six furlongs handicap chase with Eirí Na Cásca who scored at odds of 25/1.
Aidan and Joseph O'Brien captured three of the seven races on the mid-week card at Navan on Wednesday. Newcomer Giant Redwood came from off the pace to win the two-mile maiden and looks every inch a future hurdler, while a switch to the jumping game is surely also on the cards for Prospector who got on top close home to win the ten furlongs maiden for the pair.
The most impressive of the three winners was Cook Islands who ran out the cosy winner of the eight furlongs maiden for colts and is certainly one to follow.
Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger winner Order Of St George will not be travelling to Australia for the Melbourne Cup due to the prospect of quick ground. Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old was one of the leading fancies for the race but fears over firm going at Flemington early next month have led to the decision to remain at home.
O'Brien is still likely to be represented in the southern hemisphere's biggest race as both Bondi Beach and Kingfisher remain on track for the AUS$6.2-million event. Highland Reel could represent Ballydoyle in the Cox Plate, a race the stable won with Adelaide last year. Don Cossack, second favourite for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, could make his seasonal re-appearance at Punchestown this week. The Grade 3 Star Best For Racing Coverage Chase on Thursday is the early target for Gordon Elliott's eight-year-old who was a winner at Aintree and Punchestown at the end of last season. Colin Bowe's high-flying Shantou Flyer also holds an entry in the race.
Finally, leading trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are set to be represented in the US Grand National at Far Hills, New Jersey on Saturday. The champion trainer looks set to be represented by Daneking while Elliott could send Eshtiaal, a three-time hurdles winner who landed a Flat handicap when last seen
Racing takes place at the following Irish racetracks over the coming week: Curragh, Tuesday, October 13 (first race 1.35 p.m.); Punchestown, Wednesday, October 14 (first race 2.05 p.m.); Punchestown, Thursday, October 15 (first race 2.15 p.m.); Downpatrick, Friday, October 16 (first race 2.30 p.m.); Dundalk, Friday, October 16 (first race 6.05 p.m.); Cork, Saturday, October 17 (first race 1.50 p.m.); Cork, Sunday, October 18 (first race 2.05 p.m.), and Naas, Sunday, October 18 (first race 1.50 p.m.).