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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Flag Of Honour secures a St Leger double for O'Brien and Moore

Flag Of Honour: brought up St Leger double for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore
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Flag Of Honour stormed to a game victory at the Curragh to secure a Leger double for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore just 24 hours after Kew Gardens won the British equivalent. 

The three-year-old led from the front early on under Ryan Moore and made every yard of the running, with Latrobe in second. 

O'Brien has now won at least one Irish Classic since 2005, but was winning just his second Irish Group 1 of the season. 

It was a first Group 1 win for the son of Galileo, who in turn became the 73rd horse to win at the top level for the superstar sire, equalling Sadler's Wells longstanding record.

Quorto a cut above National Stakes rivals

The decision made by connections to take on the battalion of Aidan O'Brien-trained runners was rewarded when Quorto won the Group 1 National Stakes under William Buick.

As has been customary in his races thus far, chief market rival Anthony Van Dyck was hard ridden from some way out but couldn't live with the class of Quorto who travelled much the better, with Christmas, who made the running, staying on to finish third.

Paddy Power reacted by cutting Quorto to 8-1 (from 14) for the 2,000 Guineas.

Quorto and William Buick run out convincing winners of the National Stakes

Brundtland forces his way into Arc picture with game Prix Niel win

Brundtland emerged as a surprise candidate for the Arc after making all under James Doyle in the Prix Niel at Longchamp. 

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt, who does not hold an entry for next month's showpiece back in Paris, held on well from Aidan O'Brien's Hunting Horn, having led early on.

The last horse to win this trial and go on to win the Arc was Rail Link in 2006 and after his win, Brundtland has been cut to as short as 16-1 (from 66) to follow suit.

Brundtland and James Doyle (far side) hold off hunting Horn in the Prix Niel at Longchamp

Skitter Scatter pulls off fairytale Moyglare victory

A fairytale unfolded in the Moyglare Stud Stakes as Skitter Scatter provided trainer Patrick Prendergast and jockey Ronan Whelan with a first Group 1 victory.

With a typically gutsy performance, the daughter of Scat Daddy saw off the strong-travelling Lady Kaya to win as the 7-2 favourite.

Approaching the final furlong Lady Kaya was still hard on the bridle with her rivals toiling behind but Skitter Scatter, not for the first time in her seven-race career, picked up smartly under pressure to run out a comfortable winner.

Jockey Ronan Whelan said: "I got to the line and she started to wander about as if she had plenty in the tank. She's unbelievable, she just seems to be winning with plenty in hand."

Skitter Scatter is now as short as 20-1 (from 33) for the 1,000 Guineas with Paddy Power.

Skitter Scatter and Ronan Whelan land the Moyglare Stud Stakes

Waldgeist passes Arc trial with flying colours for Fabre

All roads now lead to the Arc for Waldgeist after his convincing victory in the Group 2 Prix Foy at Longchamp. 

The Andre Fabre-trained four-year-old was given a patient ride by Pierre-Charles Boudot before striking in the latter stages to breeze past second-place Talismanic.

After passing his trial with flying colours, Waldgeist's price has now been slashed from 8-1 (from 16) for the Arc in October.  

Waldgiest and Pierre-Charles Boudot run out comfortable winners of the Prix Foy at Longchamp

Kitesurf lays down Arc gauntlet with Vermeille victory

Kitesurf showcased her Arc credentials with a game last-to-first victory in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp. 

Andre Fabre's four-year-old took a long time to make her move on the outside under Mickael Barzalona, but showed blistering pace when she did to just get in front of Aidan O'Brien's Magic Wand. 

Watch Kitesurf's impressive victory here

Four of the last ten winners of this race have gone on to win the Arc, most recently Treve in 2013 and Kitesurf is now available at 16-1, from 33s, to repeat the feat.

Kitesurf (near) gets up to catch Magic Wand in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp

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O'Brien has now won at least one Irish Classic since 2005, but was winning just his second Irish Group 1 of the season
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