While the Irish dominance in the betting for the Ebor on Saturday didn’t transcribe to success in the race itself, one major force from the Emerald Isle was quietly doing what he does best.
Indeed, Aidan O’Brien himself had a fairly quiet week on the Knavesmire, with just two places to show for his nine York runners. But back in Ireland he returned to form with a bang.
On Saturday a new favourite for the 1,000 Guineas emerged in the form of Ballydoyle.
Carrying the name of O’Brien’s training base, hope were high from the outset for the daughter of Galileo, and she looks set to reward the Coolmore operation handsomely.
Relishing the top of the ground conditions at the Curragh, she bounded clear to win the Group 2 Debutante Stakes by 2l.
She had Group 3 winner Most Beautiful back in third and looks sure to improve with age, as well as the step up a further furlong for the Guineas trip.
Ladbrokes cut her into 10/1 (from 14/1) following that success, but such was the support the bookmaker received, further evasive action was needed, with the filly promoted to 8/1 jolly for the May Classic.
Has O’Brien Found his Arc representative?
After a case of seconditis, another offspring of the great Galileo finally got her three-year-old season off the mark.
In truth a second in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes is far from poor, but victory for Found in the Royal Whip Stakes would have meant a sense of relief for the champion Irish handler.
It may have come at Group 3 level in a three-runner race but the filly’s success opened up dreams of more Longchamp success for connections.
A winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac last October, her trainer has said they “could have a look at the Arc” after the 4l triumph on Sunday.
And with fillies winning the last four Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s, no one could begrudge an interest at the 14/1 offered on another Group 1 success.
St Leger picture gets even more muddled
Aidan O’Brien currently holds 16 of the 29 entries for the Ladbrokes St Leger, and now he has the favourite.
His Fields of Athenry ran a solid enough race in the Ebor, while Bondi Beach was a game runner-up in the Great Voltigeur last week, but Order of St George stole the show.
In winning the Irish St Leger Trial, the colt saw off former Hardwicke Stakes winner Sea Moon and Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Kingfisher in straightforward fashion.
He was cut into 5/1 from 12/1 for the final Classic of the season on September 12, and with his record now two from two on soft, he could be hard to beat if there was cut in the ground on Town Moor.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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