Major boost for Joseph O’Brien
Joseph O'Brien looks to have significantly increased his chances of winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle in his own right this season after acquiring a batch of Coolmore-bred three-year-olds from his father's stable.
Housesofparliament: One of a number of ex-Coolmore horses bought by JP McManus
The fledgling handler didn't have his licence when Ivanovich Gorbatov won last season's Triumph Hurdle and, while the young O'Brien had prepared him for the race to all intents and purposes, it was Aidan's name that appeared on the racecard.
However, Joseph is now fully operative as a trainer and has sent out 20 winners already this Irish National Hunt season, with the acquisition of 11 three-year-olds from his father's yard a major boost in his first full season with a licence.
The Irish Independent have reported that all of the horses will run in JP McManus' famous green and gold colours, like Ivanovich Gorbatov, while seven of the new recruits are sons of Galileo and six of them are rated over 100.
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St Leger third Housesofparliament is the most highly-rated as he achieved an official rating of 113 on the Flat, while the 110-rated Sword Fighter, who won at Royal Ascot, is also among the number to move to Piltown.
The Major General, rated 109 on the level, was half-a-length second to Ulysses in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and he's the third best of the bunch to make the switch to hurdling.
The other Galileos that will be gelded and sent over timber are Triplicate (rated 101), Unicorn (96), Big Ben (93) and Bhutan (no rating, but did beat Housesofparliament by three lengths when winning a maiden on his only visit to the track).
Tree Of Knowledge (102, by Oasis Dream), Landofhopeandglory (102, High Chaparral), Cook Islands (96, Fastnet Rock) and Immortal Bridge (84, Fastnet Rock) complete the potentially formidable team of juvenile hurdlers.
Sky Bet go 11/4 that Joseph O'Brien wins the 2017 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and spokesman Michael Shinners said: "JP McManus' relentless pursuit of trying to find the next Istabraq looks to have stepped up significantly and he looks like he means business this season.
"It's not often a horse rated as highly as 113 on the Flat goes hurdling and Housesofparliament is a particularly exciting addition to the jumping ranks and one we'll be keeping an eye on throughout the campaign.
"With such an array of talent at his disposal the Triumph Hurdle could well be heading McManus' way again and we go 11/4 that Joseph trains the winner after he effectively did last season."
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