Point Lonsdale is the star attraction at the Curragh on Saturday as he puts his unbeaten record and tall reputation on the line in the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes.
Impressive when making a winning start to his career at the Curragh in early June, the Australia colt has since completed his hat-trick victories in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.
Aidan O’Brien’s exciting youngster tops ante-post lists for both next season’s 2000 Guineas and the Derby and will be a warm order to make it four from four this weekend in a Group Two contest his trainer has already won on 13 occasions.
O’Brien said: “He’s been very professional in everything he’s done so far.
“We’ve been happy with him since the last day and this is the next step up the ladder.
“We’ve just been taking it one step at a time with him, Listed, Group Three and this is a Group Two and he’s shown gradual improvement every time.”
Point Lonsdale will be ridden by Ryan Moore, who told Betfair: “A brother to Broome, Point Lonsdale, is a very exciting prospect.
“He showed tenacity when overcoming greenness and toughing it out to beat Reach For The Moon in the Chesham at Royal Ascot. That form is working out well with Reach For The Moon, Sweeping and Masekela having all won races of various standards since.
“He followed that up with a very nice three-length defeat of Maritime Wings in the Group Three Tyros at Leopardstown on good ground.
“In terms of form he has the edge here, seems versatile in terms of ground and is progressing nicely.
“This is another step in the right direction for him and I’m looking forward to riding him.”
O’Brien also saddles The Acropolis and The Entertainer, while son Joseph runs Tyros runner-up Maritime Wings and Point Gellibrand.
Jim Bolger’s Leopardstown maiden winner Manu Et Corde completes the six-strong field.
The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the preceding Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes, which also carries Group Two status.
Jessica Harrington, who trained multiple Group One winner Alpha Centauri and landed this prize with her half-sister Alpine Star in 2019, is this year represented by Alpha Centauri’s full-sister Discoveries.
The daughter of Mastercraftsman improved from her debut fourth at Leopardstown to open her account over this course and distance on her second start and further improvement can be expected.
Alan Cooper, racing manager for her owner-breeders the Niarchos family, said: “Hopefully it will be a good race.
“Alpha Centauri didn’t actually run in the Debutante, but we thought we’d name the race after her.
“Discoveries improved from her first run to her second and I think Mrs Harrington is hoping she can step forward again.
“Let’s hope it all comes together.”
Aidan O’Brien fires a twin assault, with course and distance scorer Concert Hall joined by Galway Festival-winning stablemate Twinkle.
O’Brien said of Concert Hall: “We’ve been very happy with her since her last run.
“She obviously progressed from her first run to her second and we think she’s progressed again.”
Moore has sided with the former, and said: “Concert Hall showed the benefit of a run in Fairyhouse when winning the same maiden as Snowfall did a year earlier over course and distance last time out.
“As you would expect, being out of Oaks winner Was, she finished off her race very well and showed guts to come back at them after being headed.
“Like her mother, she seems to have plenty of ability and a good attitude to go with it. Aidan has won this race with some very talented fillies over the years and hopefully this filly can take another step forward and go well.”
Joseph O’Brien also saddles a couple of previous winners in Agartha and Seisai, with the Johnny Murtagh-trained Hapipi Go Lucky and Mise Le Meas also in the mix for what promises to be an informative contest.