Liberty may make seasonal debut in Jersey

AIDAN O’BRIEN’S Statue Of Liberty could make his eagerly-awaited seasonal debut in Wednesday’s Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Storm Cat colt has not been seen on course since winning the Coventry Stakes at this meeting last year and he could be joined by stablemates France, Miguel Dervantes and Salt Lake City in the seven-furlong event.

Sir Michael Stoute confirmed the progressive Arakan at yesterday’s five-day stage while Tim Easterby’s Somnus, one of last season’s top juveniles is also a possible.

Monsieur Bond, an unlucky sixth in the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, has been left in the race by trainer Bryan Smart but he is also engaged in the St James’s Palace Stakes the day before.

Other interesting entries among the 26 confirmations include David Loder’s Desert Destiny and 2000 Guineas fifth Saturn.

Godolphin’s duo of Moon Ballad and Grandera head a field of 22 horses to stand their ground the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

The pair, who respectively won the Dubai World Cup this season and this race last year, were left in at the five-day declaration stage along with stablemates Narrative and Sights On Gold.

The Aidan O’Brien challenge is limited to three horses with Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes winner Hawk Wing, who is also entered in the Queen Anne Stakes, leading the trio.

Vodafone Coronation Cup third Black Sam Bellamy and lead horse Ice Dancer have also been left in the mile and a quarter event.

Nayef, winner of the Juddmonte International Stakes at York last campaign, had been confirmed for the race by Marcus Tregoning, who also has Ekraar in the contest while Sir Michael Stoute could run dual Group One-winning filly Islington.

Meanwhile the progressive Rockstown Boy can complete a hat-trick in the Conna Hurdle at Cork this afternoon.

Charles Byrnes’ gelding has produced two decent efforts over flights and is fancied to cope with a dangerous rival now in Kadiskar.

Despite some indifferent jumping, the selection scored at the first time of asking over jumps at Gowran Park, beating subsequent winner, Mirpour, a comfortable three parts of a length. He then overcame a slow early pace, and having to make a lot of his own running, when beating the useful The Boys In Green by two and a half lengths at Tralee.

Kadiskar, who proved himself a decent sort through the winner, had little more than a good school when easily justifying odds of 1-5 at Sligo earlier in the month and is a worthy opponent.

Kickham, who has been largely disappointing of late, is worth another chance in the Newmarket Maiden Hurdle.

He was the medium of some major wagers in a winners’ bumper at the Punchestown Festival in April, but could only manage seventh behind Nicky Henderson’s Royal Rosa.

He has plenty of experience over flights and previously performed with credit when runner-up behind Beef Or Salmon at the Curragh.

The more the ground dries out the better his prospects.

Michael Grassick’s Full Cream is the one they all have to beat in the five furlongs Fermoy Maiden.

Her neck second to Tough Chic at Fairyhouse last month is ordinary form, but still appears to give her the edge against these rivals.

David Wachman’s Le- Monde has a leading chance in the Lombardstown Beginners Chase.

The five-year-old stuck resolutely to his task at Tralee last time when a length and a half second to Wouldn’t You Agree.

At Cork tomorrow, Marino Marini is the choice to land the Group Three Kerry Group Ballyogan Stakes.

He made a respectable seasonal debut, third behind Millennium Force and One More Round in the seven furlongs Gladness Stakes at the Curragh in April, and it is interesting he is now dropped down to the minimum trip.

Marino Marini’s form deteriorated as his two-year-old season progressed, but in the early part of the campaign showed he had both plenty of ability and speed.

Christy Roche’s Catalpa Cargo is the one to be on in the Low Low Chase.

A horse who has had his problems in the past, he comes here in good shape. Following a game victory over flights at Punchestown, the gelding made an excellent debut over fences at Navan, beating Golden Row by nine lengths.

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