Colm O’Donoghue cannot wait to team up with Starspangledbanner in a race for the first time at Haydock tomorrow.
O’Donoghue rides the Australian import every day on the gallops at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables, and comes in for the mount in the Betfred Sprint Cup as Johnny Murtagh is in action for the trainer at Leopardstown.
“I sit on him at home every day. He knows me better then I know myself!” said O’Donoghue.
“I’m delighted to get the ride and so happy that the boss has given me the chance. It’s a great race and he’s a very good horse.
“He’s proved he’s probably the best sprinter around. The field he beat in Royal Ascot was amazing. They were some of the best sprinters around in the world at that time.
“We’ve got masses of respect for the opposition. There are good horses like Regal Parade, who has been in great form, and it’s never going to be easy.”
Lady Of The Desert tries her hand at sprinting after not quite making the grade against the best of her generation and sex over a mile.
Brian Meehan’s charge ran well despite finishing out of the frame in the French 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes on her last two starts.
“She’s got plenty to do against these top sprinters, but she’s running over six furlongs and we believe she’s definitely a sprinter. She didn’t stay in the spring,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Jaber Abdullah.
“This is the only real race to bring her back in after the summer. This is a find-out mission.
“I’m sure she’s a sprinter, but whether she’s quite good enough with these we don’t know.”