O’Brien confident ahead of rematch

AIDAN O’BRIEN does not believe a drop in trip will inconvenience Fame And Glory as he prepares to lock horns with Sea The Stars for a second time in the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday.

The Montjeu colt had to make do with the runner-up spot as Sea The Stars took the glory in the Derby at Epsom but enjoyed his day in the sun when running out an impressive winner of the Irish equivalent.

Providing ground conditions are suitable, the rematch is set to take place at Leopardstown this weekend and O’Brien is looking forward to the challenge.

“Everybody knew that maybe Epsom was a muddling pace and we felt that maybe it was a little inconclusive,” said O’Brien.

“I’m not saying the result would have been different but we would have had a better handle on it.

“He went to the Curragh where the pace was even and won very snug, so obviously we’re looking forward to Leopardstown.

“We don’t think the drop to a mile and a quarter will be a problem. We always think the real top-class mile and a half horses have no problem dropping back.

“He’s a horse with plenty of speed, he’s a great traveller and is tactically quick early, so we’re looking forward to the race.”

Meanwhile, Chinese White is set to return to the Curragh on Saturday week after landing her first Pattern-race success there at the weekend.

The four-year-old filly, trained by Dermot Weld, is being aimed at the Irish National Stud Blandford Stakes at the Kildare track and will then go for Group One glory in the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on October 4.

“She’s come back fantastic after the race and the plan is to run her in the Blandford Stakes, a Group Two for fillies at the Curragh on September 12,” said James Kelly, racing manager to owner Lady O’Reilly.

“Then she will go to France for the Prix de l’Opera.

“We were delighted with her on Sunday. She was entitled to win as well as she did on her form but it is always a relief when it happens.

“We always thought she was a high-class filly. If you go back to the English Oaks last year, two furlongs from home she hit the front and looked as though she would win.

“Things went slightly pear-shaped after that, but she’s back now and better than ever. We hope that if she keeps progressing and stays in one piece we’ll keep her training next season.

“She’s won on good to firm ground and on heavy, so she is completely ground independent which is nice. It gives us a lot of options and we’re happy with her.”

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