Diamond to have weekend spin before Melbourne decision

Johnny Murtagh plans to give Royal Diamond a workout over the weekend before making a final decision as to whether he makes the trip to Australia for the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

Diamond to have weekend spin before Melbourne decision

A reliable performer all season with a Group Three and Listed race to his name, the seven-year-old was said to have been tired after his effort to retain the Irish St Leger, where he could only finish fifth behind Voleuse De Coeurs.

Royal Diamond has 54.5kg at Flemington and Murtagh will need to put him in quarantine by October 3 to arrive among the second batch of European raiders towards the end of the month.

“There’s no news yet,” Murtagh said.

“We’ll wait until the weekend and give him a half-speed gallop then. Hopefully we’ll be able to make a decision after that.”

Meanwhile Altruistic is being aimed against a formidable Aidan O’Brien squadron in Sunday’s Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

Murtagh’s Galileo colt is unbeaten after his only start at Naas on August 5 and has entries in the Racing Post Trophy as well as next season’s early closing Classics.

“He’s in good form and the plan is to run,” said Murtagh.

This Group Two event is traditionally a stepping-stone for champions and has long been associated with Ballydoyle success, with Vincent O’Brien’s 14 wins including Nijinsky and Sadler’s Wells, and his successor Aidan not far behind with 12.

The latter this year has seven possibles, which include the unbeaten Agenda, Geoffrey Chaucer, Mekong River and Illinois.

Ger Lyon’s reliable Exogenesis is the highest-rated of the 11 entries

- Two of Ireland’s top mares are among the entries for the much-changed Irish Field Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Formerly a seven-furlong event for three-year-olds in the spring, the Loughbrown was part of a programme book shake-up and has become the longest-distance black-type event of the Irish season over two miles.

It has attracted both Dermot Weld’s Unaccompanied, the top-class hurdler and stayer last seen winning a conditions event at the Galway Festival, and Missunited for Mick Winters.

She gave Winters his second consecutive Galway Hurdle and followed up in a Listed event on the level at Ballybrit earlier this month.

Others of interest in the field are Aidan O’Brien’s Eye Of The Storm, second to Missunited last time and a subsequent Listed winner at Listowel.

Denis Hogan’s stable star Inis Meain was not beaten far on both occasions by Eye Of The Storm, while Certerach should improve from his comeback outing in the Irish Leger.

- My Titania, daughter of 2009 champion racehorse Sea The Stars, figures among 13 possibles for the C.L. Weld Park Stakes, also at the Curragh on Sunday.

The filly, who sports the same Christopher Tsui colours as her sire and is also trained by John Oxx, got off the mark at Leopardstown earlier this month after a promising debut at the same track.

The Group Three contest over seven furlongs is run in memory of Charlie Weld and his son Dermot is represented by Tarfasha. The Teofilo filly opened her account at the Galway Festival.

Aidan O’Brien has two hopefuls in Dazzling and Minorette as does Jim Bolger with Chroussa and Intense Debate.

The Charlie Hills-trained Queen Catrine, runner-up in the Lowther Stakes, and Stealth Missile, from Clive Brittain’s stable, are the two British entries.

Avenue Gabriel, Chicago Girl, Colour Blue, Diamond Stilettos and Witches Brew complete the list.

- Rizeena is to go for a second Group One success in the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on Friday rather than the Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes the following day.

The current warm dry spell has prompted trainer Clive Brittain to opt for the longer race for his Moyglare Stud Stakes winner.

“The Mile is the plan. The weather looks set fair for the week – we felt that if the ground was good, good to soft we would go for the Cheveley, but we are going to run her in the Mile as it’s going to suit her a lot better,” the Newmarket handler told At The Races.

“She will stay, that is not going to be a problem. She’s in great form at the moment, touch wood, and has done all the work I want her to do for the race.

“It was a matter of which race we went for and I felt she’d have a big chance in either.

“She’s put on 24 kilos since she had her first race. She is an exceptional filly and is thriving on what she’s doing.

“One of the reasons we are going for the Mile is that this will be her 1000 Guineas trial.

“We will let her down a little bit and we will look after her during the winter. Like Sayyedati, Pebbles and all my good fillies she will have a quiet training regime through the winter and then we will gather up speed for the April/May meeting.”

- Paul Mulrennan’s injuries are believed to be not as bad as first feared following a horror fall at Hamilton on Monday, although he remains in Wishaw General Hospital.

The jockey suffered concussion, broken ribs and a punctured lung when his mount Boxing Shadows clipped heels and came down in the Try A totetrifecta At totepool.com Handicap.

Hamilton clerk of the course Hazel Peplinski said: “We put out a statement yesterday about possible fractures that were suspected but that doesn’t seem to be the case, so that’s good.”

- Cue Card is set to have a similar programme to last season, kicking off with the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and culminating in the defence of his Ryanair Chase crown at the Cheltenham Festival.

Connections of the Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old are also keen on trying three miles again in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day in which he was a disappointing fifth to Long Run last Christmas.

“He’s been back in since the middle of July. He looks an absolute picture. He’s doing work similar to all of them,” Tizzard’s son and stable jockey Joe told At The Races.

“I think it’s quite possible we’ll go back to Exeter again. It’s a limited handicap. There’s no doubt we’ll have another go at Kempton (in the King George) as well.

“Trip-wise we think he’ll definitely get it, but first time out we don’t want him to be fresh and full of himself in over exuberance.

“After that there’s the obvious targets – Kempton, the Ascot race (Betfair Chase) and probably the Ryanair again.

“We are limited as to what races he can run in. He learnt as the year went on last season to race better, to settle better and I’m sure that’s going to improve now he’s grown up and he’s not an old horse now.

“We won’t be dropping back in trip (to two miles). We will be looking at further options. Now he has learnt to settle in his race, he will get further and further. He’s bred to stay and we’ve always said we thought he would stay.”

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