O’Brien thinking about Eclipse jockey

AIDAN O’BRIEN believes there is no rush to decide who will partner So You Think in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.

The son of High Chaparral is a multiple Group One winner in Australia and was sent off at long odds-on for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot after having won his first two starts in Ireland in impressive style.

He suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Rewilding under Ryan Moore, but the five-year-old is likely to need a new pilot this weekend, with Moore set to ride Derby and Arc hero Workforce for his boss, Michael Stoute.

“We’re looking at the Eclipse, but we’ll see how he is at the start of the week and we’ll sit down and chat about it,” said O’Brien.

“Joseph (O’Brien) rides him out every day, Seamie (Heffernan) rides him in all his work, and Seamie rode him the day he won the first time at the Curragh.

“I don’t think there’s any scarcity of riders, so we’ll decide if he’s going to run or not first and then we can talk about who is going to ride him.

“We’re delighted with him and everything has been good since Ascot.”

So You Think is one of eight confirmations for the Eclipse, with O'Brien also leaving in Cape Blanco, Jan Vermeer and Alexander Pope.

Ed Dunlop has entered his multiple Group One-winning filly Snow Fairy, who missed Saturday’s Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh due to the soft conditions.

The trainer will not make a final decision on her particiption until later in the week, however.

“Nothing is definite with a horse who has gone to Ireland and come back in the space of 36 hours,” said Dunlop.

“She seems fine and has started back cantering. She lost quite a bit of weight because of the journey, but she is putting it back on rapdily.

“I have also entered her in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock, just in case something weird happened with the weather, so we’ll see.

“I think she’ll run somewhere this weekend as long as I’m happy with her as, after that, we are going to get a bit lost with her.

“We’d be looking at starting her off in something like the King George or the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, which are a while away yet.”

Stoute is set to be represented by Workforce, as well as likely pacemaker Confront.

Roger Varian’s Sri Putra, runner-up in the race 12 months ago, completes the possibles.

Meanwhile, Ascot Gold Cup hero Fame And Glory could again cross the Irish Sea to contest the Lonsdale Cup at York in August.

The son of Montjeu is a multiple winner at the highest level over middle distances and took in his stride the step up to two and a half miles in the Royal Ascot feature.

“We were delighted with him in Ascot and he could come back to the Curragh, or there is the Lonsdale Cup at York,” said Aidan O'Brien.

Ballydoyle also struck in the juvenile division with Chesham Stakes heroine Maybe and Coventry Stakes winner Power.

“We’re delighted with Maybe and she came out of the race well. It was another bit of experience for her,” stated O’Brien.

“She could go for the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh before coming back for something like the Moyglare.

“Power has been on a break since Ascot but everything seems fine.

“Hopefully we’ll have a look at something like the Heinz (Phoenix Stakes) back at the Curragh.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox