Ballydoyle May Thwart Elliott Again

By Daithi Harvey

Three of the last five winners of the G1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National S. went on to win the following year’s G1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket so whichever of the 18 potential runners comes out on top at The Curragh on Sunday will be hot property. The highest among them with an official rating is the Gordon Elliott trained Beckford (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}) and his run in the G1 Keeneland Phoenix S. would make him a leading contender. Aidan O’Brien has won the race eight times this century and he can choose from a multitude of blue blooded colts with 11 of the 18 entrants hailing from Ballydoyle. They include ‘TDN Rising StarsGustav Klimt (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Delano Roosevelt (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy), a half-brother to Beholder (Henny Hughes) and Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) and a $3m purchase at Keeneland this time last year could also bid to add to his encouraging maiden win at The Curragh last month. O’Brien also has two sons of Frankel (GB) engaged. G2 Futurity S. winner Rostropovich (Ire) and impressive Leopardstown maiden winner Nelson (Ire) are in the mix while the inclusion of US Nay Flag (War Front), a six length winner of the G3 Round Tower S. could leave Ryan Moore with a tricky decision. Pathfork (Distorted Humor) gave Jessica Harrington a first Group 1 success when winning this race in 2010 and she could be represented by the 106 rated Brother Bear (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}).

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