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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Nap hand: Aidan O'Brien going for five in a row in Irish St Leger Trial

Flag of Honour is the mount of Donnacha O'Brien at the Curragh
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3.25 Curragh
Comer Group Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (Group 3) | 3yo+| 1m6f | ATR

With Order Of St George – winner of this event for the past three years – waiting in the wings for next month's Irish St Leger, Aidan O'Brien is represented by four three-year-olds as he attempts to land this race for the fifth year in a row.

Heading the Ballydoyle quartet is Flag Of Honour, winner of the Group 2 Curragh Cup over course and distance last month. The son of Galileo is entered for the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster and the all-age Curragh Classic backed by the same sponsor as behind this race.

O'Brien said: "Flag Of Honour seems in good form. We know he gets the trip well and good ground suits him."

Aidan O'Brien aims four at the race
Giuseppe Garibaldi, runner-up to his stablemate in the Curragh Cup before running third in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, is blinkered for the first time.

"He stays well but can race lazily and that's why we're trying blinkers," O'Brien said of another colt entered for the St Leger at Doncaster.

Southern France, twice a winner before finishing second to stablemate Kew Gardens in the Queen's Vase, is in both St Legers and O'Brien said: "We gave him a break after Royal Ascot and, while he seems in good form and has shown he stays well, he's just ready to start back."

Family Tree completes the O'Brien squad and steps up to this distance for the first time.

Thomas Hobson bids to bounce back from his Queen Alexandra Stakes defeat
Willie Mullins supplies three of the four rivals to Ballydoyle, with champion jockey Colin Keane on Thomas Hobson, last seen when finishing sixth in the Queen Alexandra Stakes and returning for an autumn campaign.

Mullins, who is also represented by Laws Of Spin and Renneti, said: "Thomas Hobson has had a break and seems in good form. Renneti was disappointing at Deauville last weekend but seems to have come out of the race well, while Laws Of Spin looks to be up against it on ratings but is in good form."

Completing the line-up is the Jim Bolger-trained Twilight Payment, winner of Her Majesty's Plate at Down Royal last time and who finished third in this event a year ago.

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Flag Of Honour seems in good form. We know he gets the trip well and good ground suits him
E.W. Terms
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