Can Breeders' Cup Mile winner Order Of Australia handle this tricky speed test?
Sunday: 2.10 Curragh
Romanised Minstrel Stakes (Group 2) | 7f | 3yo+ | RTV
The artist formerly known as the Irish Derby fourth has been reinvented as a miler and is now trying the shortest trip of his career, but the poser for punters is whether Order Of Australia will have the speed to cope with such a test.
He certainly didn't look slow when landing the Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland, that's for sure. Under Pierre-Charles Boudot, he travelled with real enthusiasm throughout and showed a good attitude to fend off the late surge of stablemate Circus Maximus.
Order Of Australia arrives on the back of a disappointing effort in the Queen Anne where the surprisingly sedate pace didn't suit, but these are much shallower waters and he is 10lb better than everything else on official ratings. Class could prevail.
You know what you are going to get with Njord. He's a battle-hardened five-year-old who is almost guaranteed to run somewhere close to his mark of 109 if he shows up.
That could be a big 'if', though, as fast ground is not his thing. He has won on good ground, but his other four victories either had soft or heavy in the going description.
In stark contrast, stablemate Ace Aussie will relish conditions. His second to Poetic Flare in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown back in April looks red-hot form now and the fifth home that day was last weekend's Prix Jean Prat winner Laws Of Indices. He looks a leading player.
Current Option can rarely be written off either. His Gladness effort over course and distance, when second to Lancaster House, puts him right in the mix.
The race revolves around Order Of Australia. If he is back in the sort of form that saw him dazzle at Keeneland, he will be hard to beat. If not, Ace Aussie could be the one to pick up the pieces.
What they say
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Order Of Australia and Military Style
Order Of Australia is in good form and this looked a nice race for him. Ascot was just a bit of a mess; they didn't go fast and the way the race panned out didn't suit him. We've been happy with everything he's done since Ascot and he seems to be in very good form. It's good to get Military Style back out. He's just ready to start back again.
Ado McGuinness, trainer of Current Option
The ground was just too soft for him at Haydock and he didn't handle it. He'll be much more at home on this surface and he's in great form. He's nice and fresh and he's been working very well.
Jessica Harrington, trainer of Njord and Ace Aussie
We've been waiting for a bit of nice ground for Ace Aussie and he gets that here which is great. You'd have to be delighted with his two runs this season and he's in great order at home. Njord is good too, but I'd like to make sure the ground is safe for him to run. It will depend on how much water they've put on it.
Ken Condon, trainer of Thunder Beauty
I think her Fairyhouse run is easily forgivable. She was drawn wide and she had a wide trip throughout. We're putting a visor on her for the first time here and it will be interesting to see how she goes with it. She's ran well at the Curragh a few times and seems to like the place.
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