Point Lonsdale primed for National Stakes

Point Lonsdale will put his unbeaten record on the line in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend.

The Ballydoyle colt has completed a flawless sequence of four runs and four victories so far, taking a maiden at the Curragh in June and then going on to win the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

A graduation to Group Two level followed in the Futurity Stakes, again at the Curragh, where Point Lonsdale was a comfortable winner once more – by almost five lengths.

Group One company awaits the juvenile on Sunday week.

“He was very impressive the first day at the Curragh – then he went to Ascot, and every day after that he’s never done anything but please,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“He’s very straightforward, (and) everything has gone very well with him.

“He’s a lovely horse. He’s a good mover and he doesn’t mind making the running – we’re delighted to have him really.”

Point Lonsdale is by Australia – who won the Derby, the Irish Derby and the Juddmonte International for O’Brien – and the trainer has noticed a striking similarity between father and son in terms of temperament.

“He’s absolutely the very same as his dad – he was one of those very rare horses that didn’t have any fight or flight response,” he said.

“That’s very rare – and what that means is that when you put him in first gear, he stays in first gear and then goes into second gear if you want him to.

“He doesn’t decide to go into any gear by himself – he’s always waiting to be told what to do.

“It’s a trait that’s very unusual, and that sort of horse always saves (himself) for when you want. When they’re like that and they have the class that he has – and do those fractions – it’s a very serious weapon to have.”

Point Lonsdale’s placid nature means he does not necessarily need a stablemate to smooth him a path through the race – and he could therefore be Ballydole’s sole runner in the National Stakes.

“He’s a horse that’s very happy to stand alone – he’s happy to do his own thing,” added O’Brien.

“If someone is there to help him, fine – but if not, he’s happy to plough his own furrow.”

Elsewhere on the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, O’Brien has another juvenile Group One hope in the shape of Prettiest in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

The Dubawi filly was well beaten in the Phoenix Stakes last time out, but her trainer feels that speed test was not ideal and that a return to seven furlongs could see her at her best.

Amhran Na Bhfiann may be part of Aidan O'Brien's Irish St Leger contingen
Amhran Na Bhfiann may be part of Aidan O’Brien’s Irish St Leger contingent (Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA)

“We ran her in the Phoenix, and it probably wasn’t the right thing and wasn’t fair,” he said.

“The pace was strong early, and we went with the pace, but she’s probably a filly that wants seven furlongs or a mile.

“She’s in good form recently, (and) a strongly-run seven furlongs we think, and hope, will suit her. She seems to have come out of the last race well, and we hope she will leave it behind her.”

O’Brien is likely to have several contenders in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, with Galileo filly Passion leading the team.

Grand Prix de Paris runner-up Wordsworth may also take his chance alongside 2020 Derby winner Serpentine – while confirmed stayers Santiago and Amhran Na Bhfiann both hold entries.

“Passion has been going there for a good while – she’s had a few runs,” said O’Brien.

“Wordsworth could go back there, and Serpentine could go there. Santiago is a possible, and Amhran Na Bhfiann is a possible.

“We could have a few more than one or two in that, but Passion is the one that’s had her eye on it for a while – and Wordsworth. Serpentine won his maiden around there, so that would be interesting as well.”

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