Alamshar and Balestrini may renew rivalry

JOHN OXX’S Classic hope Alamshar is one of 14 entries left in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday following yesterday’s forfeit stage.

The Aga Khan-owned colt has attracted good support for the Vodafone Derby after coming a strong-finishing second to Balestrini in the Ballysax Stakes last time out and is a general 7-2 chance for the blue riband.

Oxx also has Alisar and Masandam in Sunday’s race.

Alamshar could face Balestrini again here as the colt is one of eight entries from the Aidan O’Brien yard.

The Ballydoyle maestro has also entered Alberto Giacometti, who was third in the Ballysax and one-time Derby favourite Brian Boru.

His strong potential challenge also includes Catcher In The Rye, Delacroix, Fontanes, Roosevelt and The Great Gatsby.

Dermot Weld, trainer of Sagitta 2000 Guineas winner Refuse To Bend, has recent Navan winner Maharib in the Group Two contest.

Elusive City, Gerald Butler’s Prix Morny winner, is one of four British acceptors in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp on Sunday.

Also remaining in the French 2000 Guineas are Makhlab (Barry Hills), Bourbonnais (Godolphin) and the David Elsworth-trained Norse Dancer, third behind Refuse To Bend in the Newmarket equivalent on Saturday.

There are eight British acceptors in the French 1000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.

They are Nasij (Ed Dunlop), Londonnetdotcom (Mick Channon), Soviet Song (James Fanshawe), Crystal Star (Sir Michael Stoute), Duty Paid (David Elsworth), Pearl Dance (John Gosden), plus the Godolphin pair, Anyaas and Echoes In Eternity.

Battle Chant (Ed Dunlop), Skelligs Rock (B Duke) and Magistretti (Neville Callaghan), all hold entries in the French Derby trial, the Group One Prix Lupin, on the same card.

The extended mile and a quarter race remains an option for the high-class French colt Dalakhani.

Falbrav, Highdown and Rakti are the three British-trained acceptors remaining in the Group One Premio Presidente della Repubblica over 10 furlongs in Rome on Sunday.

Luca Cumani’s Falbrav, a triple Group One winner for former trainer Luciano d’Auria, landed the corresponding race last year.

The son of Fairy King acquitted himself well when third in the Prix Ganay at Longchamp on ground much softer than he likes.

Falbrav beat Godolphin’s Ekraar in the della Repubblica last year and the Dubai operation have Highdown entered this time.

Rakti won last season’s Derby Italiano for trainer Bruno Grizzetti.

The Gary Tanaka acquisition was switched to Michael Jarvis after a run of disappointing form.

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