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It’s been an excellent few weeks for Aidan O’Brien and his Ballydoyle team with River Thames, Leinster House, United Nations, HMS Endeavour, History, Scriptwriter and Aikhal all winning juveniles. MONTENEGRO gets the verdict to score on debut with any market support for the son of Camelot a positive for a team who won this race last year with the sadly ill-fated Santa Barbara. Good Heavens is the horse to beat following his second to Bluegrass while Navagio should improve for Johnny Murtagh.
Aidan O’Brien’s record in the Beresford Stakes is simply outstanding with the Ballyboyle maestro dominating this race with a total of 20 winners since 1996, which includes 10 successive victories in the Group 2 contest since 2011. From Sadler’s Wells to Alamshar, Azamour, Sea The Stars, St Nicholas Abbey, Capri, Saxon Warrior and Japan, this race has been a steppingstone for some of the most memorable Group 1 and Classic winners over of my generation.
LUXEMBOURG was impressive and won smartly on debut at Killarney in July and looks a horse with plenty of potential. The son of Camelot learned plenty when coming from off the pace when seeing off Tuwaiq under a comfortable hands and heels ride by Mick Hussey, with Ger Lyons’ runner reopposing here at HQ. Swan Bay is the obvious danger for Joseph O’Brien having won nicely at Galway, but Luxembourg gets the vote thanks to O’Brien’s record and his recent purple patch.
This 6 furlong maiden isn’t the strongest on paper and should come down to a battle between JEROBOAM for Aidan O’Brien and Punakha for Willie McCreery. Both have plenty of experience with the Ballydoyle runner rated 4lbs superior on official ratings (84) following eight career starts to date. You could argue the son of War Front is exposed at this point, but this race looks winnable and a drop in trip looks ideal following his recent run when finishing second at Leopardstown back in July.
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The excellent recent form of the Jessica Harrington team is not a surprise to anyone at this point with the Moone handler looking capable of firing in another winner with PRINCESS RAJJ in this 6 furlong nursery. The daughter of Rajj has been heading in the right direction of late with encouraging runs having finished fourth at Sligo and third at Down Royal. It’s an open affair with this filly benefiting from the 5lb claim of jockey Scott McCullough and once again racing off an official rating of 64.
POWER UNDER ME has been running consistently well for Ger Lyons this season and deserves to get his head in front for connections in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes. It’s a nice ride for Gary Carroll with Colin Keane at Newmarket with this horse coming here after his second-place finish to Gustavus Weston in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes here last month. Art Power brings the best form to the table and is the horse to beat for Tim Easterby and David Allen now dropping back into Group 3 company.
The King Power owned runner has run some creditable races in defeat this season, finishing behind Starman twice while also finishing third and fifth in both the Diamond Jubilee and Betfair Sprint Cup. The last time this horse raced in Group 3 company was when scoring here on Irish soil in the Lacken Stakes at Naas last summer.
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