O’Brien targets Curragh Gold

Despite brilliant filly Minding being ruled out due to injury, Aidan O’Brien still has three representatives in the Tattersalls Gold Cup as he bids to win the Curragh prize for a record seventh time.

The Ballydoyle handler relies on recent Huxley Stakes winner Deauville, Johannes Vermeer and Somehow, who turns out just eight days after finishing fourth in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

It will be Somehow’s fourth appearance in less than a month.

O’Brien said: “Deauville did it nicely in Chester and is in good form. If the ground is good that will suit him well. He doesn’t want to go further than a mile and a quarter, but the trip is fine for him.

“Jan Vermeer had a lovely run in Naas and has come forward since then. We were going to run Somehow in the Group Two fillies’ race (Lanwades Stud Stakes), but when Minding came out we said we would let her take her chance.

“A mile and a quarter is a good trip for her. She has taken her races very well.”

Trainer Ken Condon is keeping his fingers crossed the forecast rain materialises ahead of Success Days’ latest shot at Group One glory.

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The five-year-old looked a colt of huge potential after winning the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial a couple of years ago, but an injury suffered in the Epsom Derby halted his progress.

He bounced back last season, finishing third in this race behind Fascinating Rock and the top-class mare Found, before going on to win at Pattern level for the third time in the Royal Whip Stakes over course and distance last August.

Success Days kicked off the new campaign with a narrow defeat to Air Pilot in the Alleged Stakes at Naas, and Condon is confident his stable star can make his presence felt this weekend if underfoot conditions are suitable.

“It looks an open enough renewal. Even on ratings quite of few of them are fairly evenly matched,” said the Rathbride-based trainer.

“We were very happy with his run in Naas, he’s been in very good form since and all his checks earlier this week were good, so we’re looking forward to it.

“I suppose the ground would be more of a concern than the horses he’s up against.

“We’re very happy with the horse, he’s won at the Curragh before and ran a good race in this race last year.

“Hopefully he’ll run well again if the ground is right.”

Roger Charlton, who won the Tattersalls Gold Cup twice with Al Kazeem in 2013 and 2015, is represented by Group One scorer Decorated Knight, the only British runner in the eight-strong field.

The Jim Bolger-trained Moonlight Magic, Joseph O’Brien’s Reckless Gold and Gentil J from Harry Rogers’ stable complete the line-up.


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