O’Brien relies on Devoted To You

BALLYDOYLE, who are usually mob-handed in the Classics, will rely solely on Devoted To You in Sunday’s StanJames.com 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien also had You’ll Be Mine, the current third favourite for the Oaks, left in the race but she now looks unlikely to run.

Devoted To You was narrowly beaten in the Group Three Park Express Stakes on her seasonal reappearance.

“We will probably only run Devoted To You in the StanJames.com 1000 Guineas, she is well and will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh,” reported O’Brien on his website.

William Buick has picked up a lively spare ride on Stan Moore’s Lady Darshaan.

Buick, who only recently replaced Jimmy Fortune as John Gosden’s stable jockey, will ride the Fillies’ Mile runner-up for the Lambourn handler.

Moore reported the daughter of High Chaparral to have come through a morning gallop in fine style.

“She breezed nice this morning, she’s in good form and we are hoping for a good run,” said Moore.

Charlie McBride will saddle likely outsider Blue Maiden, a fast-finishing second to Music Show in the Nell Gwyn.

“Her run in the Nell Gwyn was particularly good I thought and for me she was a bit unlucky, she was hampered three out,” he said.

“We’ve got 3lb to make up on the winner but she seems to have done well since.

“The step up to a mile will definitely suit. She’s by Medicean out of a Generous mare and is bred to stay even further.”

Sky Bet have seen strong support for Richard Hannon’s May Hill winner Pollenator and were forced to trim her odds into 8-1 from 12s.

Meanwhile, Fencing Master, stablemate of red-hot StanJames.com 2000 Guineas favourite St Nicholas Abbey, has been the horse for money with Sky Bet.

O’Brien’s second-string, who is due to be ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, is now 12-1 from 16s.

“Although there is no doubting the confidence behind St Nicholas Abbey, we have seen good money for the Ballydoyle second string on jockey bookings,” said Sky Bet’s Matt Doyle.

Connections of Canford Cliffs admit their colt’s ability to see out a mile is a major question mark ahead of Saturday’s Newmarket showpiece.

One of the most impressive Coventry Stakes winners in recent years, he lost his unbeaten record in the Prix Morny and was defeated by stablemate Dick Turpin in the Greenham Stakes on his reappearance. Opinion is divided as to the depth of his stamina and Richard Hannon jnr, assistant trainer to his father, is as much in the dark as punters.

“Canford Cliffs is fine but there’s a dark horse there as well in Dick Turpin and he’s going very well as well,” said Hannon.

“Canford Cliffs worked on Sunday and he was very impressive.

“We worked him in behind a very good horse of Stan Moore’s, Total Gallery, and he did everything right – we were absolutely delighted.

“Whether he gets a mile or not I can’t answer, we won’t know until Saturday, we’ll just have to grin and bear it. If he doesn’t get a mile it’s not the end of him, it’s just the start of his other career.”

Clive Cox’s Xtension was narrowly touched off by the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Beethoven and Fencing Master in the Dewhurst, having earlier won the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and finished second to Canford Cliffs in the Coventry.

“He’s wintered well, he looks well and we are happy with his preparation,” said Cox.

“You couldn’t be disappointed with his Dewhurst run. He briefly hit the front and to be beaten in a three-way finish like that, a nose and a neck, I was delighted to be honest.

“We trained him last year with the idea that he would progress with a little bit of luck and he always gave us that inclination.

“I’m pleased to say he wintered well and I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t give a very good account of himself.”

Charlie McBride is facing a race against time to secure a top jockey for Audacity Of Hope.

While McBride is no nearer to knowing who will be on board, he thinks the race will be run to suit the Red Ransom colt.

“We’ve fully decided that he’s going to go in the Guineas but we thought we had Kieren Fallon, then we didn’t, then we did, so we don’t know what’s going on at the moment,” said McBride.

“I don’t know who’s riding him but there’s plenty of jockeys available.

Fallon has picked up the ride on Aidan O’Brien’s 50-1 chance Viscount Nelson.

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