Aidan O'Brien bids to tighten his Gallinule grip with ninth success in 11 years
Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes | 1m2f | Group 3 | RTE1/ATR
It is quite simply really. Aidan O'Brien has cracked the code to Gallinule glory.
Since 2008, the master of Ballydoyle has won the race eight times, with only Curvy (2015) and Speaking Of Which (2012) breaking a decade of dominance.
Hebridean (2008), Grand Ducal (2009), Jan Vermeer (2010), the renamed Packing Tycoon (2011), Leading Light (2013), Adelaide (2014), Beacon Rock (2016) and Homesman (2017) have ensured this Group 3 has been an O'Brien benefit.
There are three Ballydoyle representatives this time and, while Conclusion has yet to win, he is the chosen one of Ryan Moore following his nose defeat in a Leopardstown maiden. Sizzling and Sarrocchi complete O'Brien's team.
The trainer said: "We think the step up in trip will suit Conclusion, and the same comments apply to Sarrocchi, who might be one for the Ribblesdale.
"Sizzling should get the trip well too. All three are in good form and should run well."
Perhaps the biggest threat comes from O'Brien's son Joseph, who is also triple-handed via Latrobe, Ming and Irish Minister.
Latrobe has yet to shed his maiden tag but there was definite promise on both outings in maidens at Leopardstown and Naas when chasing home a pair of his father's string, James Cook and Hunting Horn.
O'Brien said: "Latrobe is a nice horse, one we've always liked. We think this track will suit him, as will the trip, and he seems in great form at home so we're hopeful of a good showing.
"Ming won really nicely at Dundalk and seems to have progressed nicely since then. Irish Minister showed a really good attitude to win a maiden at Gowran Park last time and we feel he's earned his right to take his chance."
Boho won first time out at Roscommon for Jessica Harrington but that was on heavy ground, so the son of Big Bad Bob has contrasting conditions to contend with this time.
Similarly, the Jim Bolger-trained Cimeara has won two of her three starts, both on heavy ground at Gowran Park and Leopardstown.
Two-year-old Cardini, who makes his debut for Ballydoyle in the Tally Ho Stud Irish EBF Maiden (1.50), is thought to be a prime reason for his sire Magician’s switch from Coolmore’s Kentucky base to Castlehyde Stud in Ireland.
Expectation surrounding Ryan Moore’s mount in the opener at the Curragh is summed up by Coolmore having taking the unprecedented step of featuring the unraced juvenile in advertisements for Magician. No pressure then. . .
The colt's trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "Cardini's a very nice colt and has been working like a very good one. He'll probably be quite green but we like him a lot."
Monster winner returns
Allegio, who became the widest-margin winner of a Flat handicap in Ireland or Britain for at least 20 years when scoring by an incredible 33 lengths at Cork last month, returns to action after escaping with ‘only’ a 13lb rise.
Trainer Denis Hogan said of the handicapper’s reaction: "I suppose a 13lb rise isn't too harsh for such a wide-margin win as the ground was borderline unraceable.
"When he won at Cork the time before he was raised 10lb, and now he's gone up to a rating of 101. That means we'll probably look at running him in a Listed race or maybe a big-money handicap."
It's the big-money handicap option connections have plumped for, in the shape of the €50,000 K Club Handicap (3.35).
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