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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

O'Brien: we've had our eye on the Beresford for Mount Everest for quite a while

Mount Everest and Donnacha O'Brien on the way to winning a maiden at the Curragh
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5.05 Naas 
Beresford Stakes | 1m | Group 2 | 2yo | ATR

No pressure, chaps, but this Group 2 has been a stepping stone to stardom and a whole host of household names are on the roll of honour. Something special is required to bag the Beresford. 

The greatest of them all is Sea The Stars, who was a workmanlike winner in 2008, although nothing he did from that point on was workmanlike. St Nicholas Abbey won it the following year, while the last two winners – Capri (2016) and Saxon Warrior (2017) – went on to win Classics.

Aidan O'Brien has won the last seven runnings and the odds of him making that eight on the trot are very skimpy indeed as he is responsible for the top three in the market.

Ryan Moore is on Mount Everest, the Curragh maiden winner who might need shoving along earlier than most but has a giant stride and keeps on rolling. He is only going to get better too according to his trainer.

O'Brien said: "We have had our eye on this race for Mount Everest for quite a while. He was very babyish the first day and babyish again the second day. He was still a bit babyish when he won at the Curragh but we think he is learning all the time and has come forward again. He is a lovely horse."

Sovereign won his maiden at Galway by 14 lengths, while Japan somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at Listowel so they provide solid back-up to Mount Everest.

Watch Sovereign win his maiden at Galway

O'Brien said of the pair: "Sovereign is a very straightforward horse who handles an ease in the ground, as he showed when winning easily at Galway. The ground helped him there. Japan was green first time out, and again at Listowel, but we think he has come forward again. He's in good form."

Perhaps the biggest threat to O'Brien's decade of dominance is the Michael O'Callaghan-trained Power Of Now who shed his maiden tag over this course and distance where he had to survive a stewards enquiry after Egrecio was hampered inside the final furlong. 

Power Of Now: shed his maiden tag over course and distance

O'Callaghan said: "He was sick after Galway so I think he will come on again for his maiden win. That maiden win was over this course and distance so we know he likes the track and the trip. I know there was a bit of drama in the final 100 yards but I actually thought he won with a bit in hand so I am hoping for a very good run from him. He's a horse we have always liked."

Ger Lyons always has a few exciting juveniles each season but he has never won the Beresford. This time around he relies upon Pythion who dead-heated with Howling Ridge in a mile maiden at Leopardstown in July. Could the son of Olympic Glory be the one to break his duck? 

Jim Bolger is another trainer yet to win this Group 2 and Guaranteed will have to bounce back from a below-par effort behind Anthony Van Dyck in the Futurity Stakes if that statistic is to change. 

The seven-runner field is completed by the maiden, Mackqeez, trained by Adrian Keatley.

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I know there was a bit of drama in the final 100 yards but I actually thought he won with a bit in hand
E.W. Terms
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