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One trainer, one jockey, one horse and one race to watch on Sunday

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Trainer

All-conquering champion trainer Aidan O'Brien will likely play a central role in proceedings at the Curragh on Sunday, but his son Joseph has become a dab hand with a licence and could also enjoy a fruitful afternoon.

Thundering Nights could be his chief arrow in the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes (3.40) – a race he won with Iridessa in 2019 – while the solid Pondus has claims in the Comer Group International Curragh Cup (4.10).

Pondus: claims for Joseph O'Brien

O'Brien also introduces nicely bred Camelot colt Point Gellibrand (1.30) and once-raced maiden winner Velocidad promises to be a player in the Airlie Stud Stakes (2.00).

Jockey

Not many ride the Curragh better than dual champion jockey Colin Keane, whose mounts start with likely Wootton Bassett newcomer Atomic Jones for Ger Lyons (1.30).

He is on Jessica Harrington second string Oodnadatta in the Pretty Polly (3.40), but should enjoy a good spin aboard the consistent Bellagio Man in the Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes Handicap (2.30).

Aidan O'Brien uses Keane now and then and has snapped him up for the Curragh Cup (4.10) and Amhran Na Bhfiann, who might not be one to give up on yet despite flopping in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last week.

Horse

You could be forgiven for thinking Santa Barbara, who runs in the Pretty Polly (3.40), was the second coming given the way connections waxed lyrical over her in the spring.

Aidan O'Brien: trainer has loads of belief in Santa Barbara

"She works extra special, always has done," said Aidan O'Brien and perhaps those stylish gallops exercises explained her going off favourite for the 1,000 Guineas (finished fourth) and Oaks (fifth).

There was, however, promise in those efforts and O'Brien does not get things that wrong too often.

Race

The €100,000 Paddy Power Rockingham (3.05) looks bang up to scratch with 17 runners lining up including British raiders Zarzyni and Lord Riddiford.

Their connections have taken different approaches to jockeys with 5lb claimer Sam Ewing on the former and Ryan Moore – widely acknowledged as one of the world's best riders – partnering the latter.

Only Spoofing, in front of Lord Riddiford when second in the Dash at Epsom this month, appears a major contender for the home team and is ridden by Luke McAteer, who produced a fine effort to win the Apprentice Derby on Beyond Happy at the track on Friday.


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