Opportunity Knocks

The Curragh’s G1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National S. lost a major player and a large slice of intrigue when Expert Eye (GB) (Acclamation {GB}) was sidelined this week, but ‘TDN Rising Star’ Gustav Klimt (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) also carries a deal of anticipation on his shoulders and he has the chance to show off his own peacock feathers on Sunday. While he has improvement to find to capture this on the bare form of his head defeat of Nebo (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in Newmarket’s G2 Superlative S. over this trip July 15, Susan Magnier’s bay overcame significant trouble in running there and is held in high esteem. Aidan O’Brien, who is on 11 wins and just four off Vincent O’Brien’s record, also saddles the Aug. 20 G2 Futurity S. one-two-three Rostropovich (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), Coat of Arms (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Berkeley Square (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). “It’s a while since Gustav Klimt ran, but he seems to be in good form,” he said. “The better the ground, the better it will suit him.”

Chief opponent to Gustav Klimt is Newtown Anner Stud Farm Ltd’s Beckford (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}), who beat ‘TDN Rising Star’ Verbal Dexterity (Ire) (Vocalised) in the July 1 G2 Railway S. here before finishing runner-up to Sioux Nation (Scat Daddy) in the G1 Phoenix S. over the same six-furlong trip Aug. 13. Both him and Verbal Dexterity look likely to appreciate this extra furlong, while it is an unknown for the May 27 Listed Marble Hill S. winner Brother Bear (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) who was last seen finishing third to Actress (Ire) (Declaration of War) in the G3 Anglesey S. over an extended six at this venue July 15. “I think if he’d kept straight at [Royal] Ascot he’d have won the Coventry,” jockey Colm O’Donoghue said. “That’s how good he is and I’m looking forward to it. Of course he’s stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time and I think he’ll get it fine, it’s just he probably wouldn’t want a lot of rain to make it really testing.”

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