Draw Swords

If visual impressions mean anything, Sunday’s G2 Juddmonte Beresford S. at Naas could be the first rallying cry for supporters of ‘TDN Rising Star’ Saxon Warrior (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), such was the impact he made on debut at The Curragh on Aug. 27. Coming through to take that mile maiden with considerable elan under Donnacha O’Brien, the son of the G1 Moyglare Stud S. heroine Maybe (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) had Classic quality written all over him but now it is crunch time.

It is remarkable that since 1996 only five renewals have not gone the way of Ballydoyle and three of the winners from “outside” turned out to be the stellar performers Alamshar (Ire), Azamour (Ire) and Sea the Stars (Ire), and with three representatives among the five this time it will be a surprise if Aidan O’Brien is not greeting a 17th winner. They also include another ‘TDN Rising Star’ in Delano Roosevelt (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who was well-backed in Leopardstown’s G3 Golden Fleece S. on Sept. 9 but far too green to do himself justice when third behind stablemates Nelson (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and Kew Gardens (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and ahead of the fourth Riyazan (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}). “Saxon Warrior won nicely at The Curragh last month and Donnacha was very happy with him that day,” O’Brien said. “The Beresford S. always looked a natural race for him, although he hasn’t run on this type of ground, so we’ll find out more about him on Sunday. He hasn’t done a lot since The Curragh, but he seems in good form. Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt ran well at Leopardstown. Both of them were probably a bit green early in the race but came home well. We think they’re in good form.”

Brendan Duke is unaccustomed to saddling runners with valid chances in this type of company, but in Jackie Bolger’s Galway, Curragh and Listowel winner Warm the Voice (Ire) (Vocalised) he has the right material. “The Beresford S. is a race woven into the tapestry of Irish racing. Some absolute champions have won it and I feel very honoured to have a horse good enough to grace the race,” he said. “Make no mistake, this horse is good enough. He’s in tremendous form and there’s absolutely no reason not to run him. If he wasn’t at this address, he would not be a 50-1 shot for the Guineas. I’ve spent a lot of my career in the desert. There’s been the odd oasis here and there, for sure, but I think, and hope, we’re about to arrive in the promised land.”

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