There's Group action at Leopardstown tonight in the form of the Ballyroan Stakes and one top-class jockey has crossed the Irish Sea for the contest.
In the build-up to Irish Champions Day, Aidan O'Brien will be hoping he can fire on all cylinders with JOHANNES VERMEER the mount of Ryan Moore. The horse, a son of Galileo tops BTO+ ratings by some margin and could make his presence felt. As a juvenile, Johannes Vermeer was highly regarded and very useful, and his two-year-old career culminated with a win in the Group One Criterium International Stakes at Saint-Cloud. Expected to pick up further big pots during his Classic season, injury struck for Johannes Vermeer last term and he ran just once last October. However, O'Brien has nurtured his charge back to fitness and the colt is starting to look like his former self. Johannes Vermeer claimed his first win since Saint-Cloud in the International Stakes at the Curragh last month and was staying on gamely at the line. There should be more to come from the four-year-old and Moore boasts a 31% strike rate at the circuit.
It might be last chance saloon for THE GREAT GATSBY. Three years ago the son of Mastercraftsman had his glorious day at Leopardstown when he took the scalp of the mighty Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes. Further bold efforts have been registered by The Great Gatsby when he was trained by Kevin Ryan, including a close second in the Prince Of Wales's Stake at Royal Ascot. However, after picking up an injury the horse's form tailed off and owner Frank Gilespie hoped a change of scenery would revive The Great Gatsby. That hasn't been the case and the six-year-old has recorded two poor efforts this term. He was thrashed by Johannes Vermeer in the International last time and must improve. Although Weld has a 43% better-than-expected win rate over 12 furlongs at Leopardstown, the trainer has been in desperately poor form of late.
GRANDEE is second-best rated by BTO+ ratings and has winning claims. Jessie Harrington's colt is getting age-for-weight being a three-year-old and is arguably still improving. Grandee hacked up by two-and-a-quarter lengths in the King George V Cup in June. Although the son of Lope De Vega failed to fire in the Irish Derby at the Curragh, it shows that connections rate the colt's ability. Last time out, Grandee could muster just a third-placed finish in the Her Majesty's Plate at Down Royal last time. However, that affair over one-mile-and-six-furlongs stretched the colt's stamina and a drop back in trip should suit. Colm O'Donoghue rides and he brags a 37% better-than-expected strike rate over 12 furlongs.
It's been over 12 months since STELLAR MASS won. Jim Bolger has highly tried his colt this term in races such as the Tattersalls Cup and the Hardwick Stakes at the Curragh and Royal Ascot respectively. The four-year-old was fourth in the Curragh Cup last month and needs to improve to be in with a shout.
O'Bien also saddles SPANISH STEPS and SANTA MONICA. Both horses scored two starts ago respectively, with Spanish Steps breaking his maiden by 10 lengths at Gowran before finishing down the field in the Grand Prix De Paris.
Meanwhile, Santa Monica scored in the Munster Oaks but was put to the sword in the Pretty Polly Stakes last time.
Act Of Valour has won just his maiden and often has fallen short at this level.
Article Posted on Thursday 10th August 2017 @ 08.27
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