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Ballydoyle Classic fancies head National Stakes field

THE pecking order among Aidan O'Brien's juveniles could become more evident after the Bank Of Scotland National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Ballydoyle have confirmed Mastercraftsman, Masterofthehorse and Rip Van Winkle, all of whom are prominent in the betting for next year's Classics.

Mastercraftsman is unbeaten inthree starts and has already won at the highest level, in the Phoenix Stakes, where he comfortably accounted for Art Connoisseur. Masterofthehorse is a brother to Alexandrova, while Rip Van Winkle beat Cuis Ghaire in the Tyros Stakes.

O'Brien has also left in ten others, including Westphalia and Hail Caesar.

A total of 20 horses have been left in the race with John Oxx's unbeaten Arazan and the Jim Bolger-trained Gan Amhras, who beat Masterofthehorse at Naas in July,standing their ground.

Dermot Weld has two horses entered in Broad Meaning and Dark Humour, while the sole British-trained possible is Mark Johnston's Gimcrack winner Shaweel.

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