Henry Longfellow will return to the Curragh attempting to follow in the footsteps of some of Ballydoyle’s best in the Coolmore Stud Wootton Bassett Irish EBF Futurity Stakes on Sunday.
Aidan O’Brien’s son of Dubawi is out of the stable’s 1000 Guineas and Oaks heroine Minding and created a taking impression when making his debut at the Kildare track, looking the consummate professional when running on powerfully to beat Mythology.
That form was given a timely boost when Mythology finished second in a Deauville Group Three recently and confidence will be high that Henry Longfellow – who is as short as 8-1 for the 2000 Guineas no bigger than 16-1 for the Derby – can add to O’Brien’s impressive record in the Group Two contest.
O’Brien has won eight of the last 10 runnings of the seven-furlong event and has won it 14 times in total with the likes of Hawk Wing, Gleneagles and Churchill just some of the leading names to taste Futurity glory and then progress to further big-race riches.
“He’s good and everything seems well with him since the last day. We’re looking forward to seeing him out again,” said O’Brien.
“His work has been loved, P-C (Boudot) is riding him all the time and he’s very happy with him.”
On the potential for rain he added: “He won’t mind that, Minding handled soft ground and I don’t think that will be a problem to him.”
O’Brien will also be represented by Portland who is another son of Dubawi and opened his account at the third attempt when scoring in heavy ground during the Galway Festival.
He will be the mount of Seamie Heffernan, while prior to his Galway success he finished three lengths behind Ger Lyons’ Spanish Flame at Tipperary and the Phoenix Of Spain colt now searches for a hat-trick in his first run in Group company.
Joseph O’Brien’s track and trip scorer Islandsinthestream and Adrian Murray’s Courageous Strike complete the line-up with Henry Longfellow having just the four other rivals to try and provide a stern examination.