O’Brien sets Glory strategy

FAME AND GLORY will be given a midsummer break by Aidan O’Brien before being brought back to the track for the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Investec Derby runner-up capitalised upon the absence of Sea The Stars to thunder home in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby over the weekend, and will now be rested until the beginning of September.

Fame And Glory is a best-priced 6-1 shot to carry off the Paris showpiece on the first Sunday of October.

Four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats could well head back to the Berkshire track on July 25 for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while St James’s Place Stakes scorer Mastercraftsman is in line for a step up in trip at York in August.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Fortune has expressed his glee about winning Saturdays golden ticket on Rip Van Winkle in the Coral-Eclipse.

After Johnny Murtagh last week failed in an appeal to reduce a ban incurred on Kayf Aramis at Royal Ascot, the mount on Aidan O’Brien’s colt became available to one lucky jockey.

Murtagh has partnered Rip Van Winkle on each of his five racecourse starts to date, winning twice as a two-year-old and picking him above other O’Brien horses to finish fourth to Eclipse opponent Sea The Stars in the 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

Fortune has only ridden for O’Brien a handful of times in recent seasons, and without success.

But when Murtagh was banned for the last two days of the Royal meeting, he was entrusted aboard the stable’s Beethoven in the Chesham Stakes, steering him to fourth.

“It’s great news – I’m delighted,” said Fortune.

“Dropping back to a mile and a quarter should suit him and I should think he has a great chance – I’m very hopeful.”

One of Rip Van Winkle’s other main rivals will be Cima De Triomphe, who completed his preparations on the gallops yesterday.

Luca Cumani’s new charge defeated the much shorter-priced Conduit in May’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes – albeit on 7lb better terms.

The colt made his debut for Cumani when closing into sixth behind Royal Ascot winner Vision D’Etat in the Prix Ganay.

Cima De Triomphe had previously been trained in Italy as a two- and three-year-old.

Cumani remains realistic about his prospects, however.

“He did his last bit of work this morning where he went six furlongs in company with two other horses,” said Cumani.

“He’s in good form, and we are going there hopeful of a good run, but under no illusions as to the difficulty of the task against horses like Conduit, Sea The Stars and Rip Van Winkle.

“We still have 12 furlongs as an option for him at another time – he is versatile enough to be effective at both – but this will be a tough 10 because there will be plenty of pace in the race.

“He was beaten only six lengths in the Arc which was a creditable run.

“We were slightly disappointed with his run in the Ganay with how the race worked out but the form has been boosted by Vision D’Etat.”

Cumani’s pragmatism was echoed by Kevin Shea, who will be aboard the Mike de Kock-trained Archipenko.

“It’s definitely going to be the race of all races,” said the South African pilot.

“I must be honest, I’m a bit sceptical about it at the moment – but we’re always hopeful and things can always pan out for you in the race.

“When you look at the Sea The Stars and Conduit’s line with Eagle Mountain (in the Breeders’ Cup Turf) and these kind of horses that are running, he’s running against it is a bit of a tough ask – but stranger things have happened in the game.

“I was a little bit disappointed with him last time up and he’s definitely better than that.

“He’s in top form and we’re looking forward to it.”

Eclipse Stakes - Cashmans bet:10/11 Sea The Stars, 4/1 Conduit, 9/2 Rip Van Winkle, 8/1 Cima de Triomphe, 16/1 Archipenko, Twice Over, 25/1 Westphalia, 40/1 Monitor Closely, Tazeez, Jukebox Jury, 66/1 Steele Tango, 100/1 Lang Shining, 150/1 Malibu Bay, 300/1 Set Sail.

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