Tag Archive for: Glounthaune

O’Brien relies on Aikhal in Criterium International

Aidan O’Brien will rely on just Aikhal in his bid for a record sixth victory in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud with Glounthaune non a non-runner.

Mount Nelson was the Ballydoyle handler’s first winner of the French Group One in 2006 – and he has since added to his tally with Jan Vermeer (2009), Roderic O’Connor (2010), Johannes Vermeer (2015) and last year’s winner Van Gogh.

Glounthaune was set to have his third run in three weeks having had an outing in the Dewhurst and won the Killavullan last week but he was taken out on Saturday morning.

Ioritz Mendizabal takes the ride on Aikhal – who was fourth in Newmarket’s Autumn Stakes on his latest appearance.

Ralph Beckett’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Angel Bleu and George Boughey’s tough-as-teak filly Oscula also feature in a seven-strong field.

Top-level honours are also up for grabs on the same card in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, in which the Charlie Appleby-trained Goldspur will be expected to play a starring role.

So impressive on his introduction at Sandown, the Dubawi colt followed up with a narrow victory in the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket – proving his stamina for the 10 furlongs he faces again.

“We were pleased with how Goldspur won his race at Newmarket, when his stamina came to the fore,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“He broke his maiden on soft ground, so conditions in France shouldn’t be an issue.

“This is another step up, but it looks the right race for him, and he brings a nice profile into it.”

O’Brien, who has won the race on four occasions, is this year represented by Stone Age.

The Galileo colt appears to have his work cut out as a four-race maiden, most recently finishing sixth behind Angel Bleu on Arc day at ParisLongchamp.

O’Brien said: “He stayed on nicely on his last run on Arc weekend, and that was only over seven furlongs.

“We always thought he was going to be a horse who would stay further. He seems to have been in good form since the last day.

“Hopefully the ground won’t be as heavy as it was in Longchamp.”

Unconquerable (Donnacha O’Brien), Dillian (Michael Bell), El Bodegon (James Ferguson) and Buckaroo (Joseph O’Brien) complete a strong British and Irish challenge.

Glounthaune gives immediate boost to Dewhurst form

Glounthaune showed great resilience to win the Group Three Richmond Homes Killavullen Stakes at Leopardstown just seven days after running in the Dewhurst Stakes.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained youngster chased the leaders in the early stages and was delivered by Seamie Heffernan to hit the front in the final furlong.

The 5-1 winner took the spoils by half a length from Pennine Hills, with I Am Magic the same distance away in third.

Glounthaune was not disgraced in sixth place in the Newmarket Group One last weekend, on his first start since making a winning debut at the Curragh in April, and connections were delighted with his performance.

Heffernan said: “He’s a very big colt by Kodiac who was an impressive winner but then went a bit weak and missed a lot of time.

“His work was nice going to the Dewhurst and he ran well without being placed. He came out of it fresh and Aidan was happy enough to let him take his chance today. He said that he’d improved and I was delighted to put on these colours which have been very lucky for me.

“I’ve been a little bit disappointed with some of ours lately so I’d say this fella has loads to come and probably did well to win today. He showed a strong will and won well at the line.

“He has a bit of class and I think a mile is his trip.”

Georgeville won for the first time since joining the Ger Lyons stable when taking the Listed honours in the Manguard Plus Trigo Stakes.

The four-year-old was slowly out of the stalls and was towards the rear in the early stages. He then made headway entering the straight, and soon moved into contention in the hands of Colin Keane.

Georgeville is expected to win plenty of races
Georgeville is expected to win plenty of races (Niall Carson/PA)

Ridden to lead a furlong out, Georgeville (4-1 joint-favourite) stayed on strongly to score by two and a half lengths from Wuqood, with Leo De Fury a neck away in third.

“He’s never run a bad race for us over a mile or a mile and two. Colin has the key to him and rides him cold. He said he just loved it sitting in behind waiting for a gap, said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother.

“He’s going to be a real fun horse for us next year in that grade. He reminds us a lot of Brendan Bracken.

“He’s done us proud all year and next year is a big year for him.”

Keane completed a double on Lunar Power (4-1) for Noel Meade in the Carmanhall Handicap.