City Of Troy puts his Classic credentials on the line in Sunday’s Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt is favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas following a scintillating display in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket and is a red-hot market leader to remain unbeaten.
He will face a colt who has achieved more to date, however, in the shape of Adrian Murray’s Bucanero Fuerte, a four-length winner of the Group One Phoenix Stakes.
His only defeat in four outings came at Royal Ascot when third to River Tiber in the Coventry Stakes.
Jessica Harrington’s Givemethebeatboys is also one of 12 entries.
Hamish, Eldar Eldarov and Kyprios are on course to meet in a strong renewal of the Comer Group Irish St Leger.
William Haggas’ Hamish is unbeaten in three this term but would prefer to see an end to the current heatwave, while Roger Varian’s Elder Eldarov needs to return to the form which saw him win the St Leger at Doncaster last season.
All eyes will be on Kyprios, though, with last year’s champion stayer due to make his first outing of the season for O’Brien following injury.
John Quinn’s admirable Highfield Princess heads the betting to repeat her victory of last year in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes.
While she headed there off the back of winning the Nunthorpe 12 months ago, this year she was second at York but she appears to be running up to the same level.
Archie Watson’s Bradsell, third at York but winner of the King’s Stand, is also one of 16 entries, along with Curragh specialist Art Power.
The fourth Group One on the card is the Moyglare Stud Stakes for the fillies for which O’Brien’s unbeaten Ylang Ylang appears to hold all the aces among 18 possibles.