Irish and French options on the table for Al Riffa

Al Riffa has a choice of engagements for his next outing, with Joseph O’Brien sure “the best is yet come” from his lightly-raced colt.

Winner of the National Stakes last season, the son of Wootton Bassett did not make his three-year-old return until the Curragh in July, finishing second to Mashhoor in the International Stakes.

He went from there to Deauville for the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano – and gave unbeaten French Derby winner and Arc favourite Ace Impact a real race in going down by just three-quarters of a length.

“He’ll either go to the Irish Champion or the Prix Niel, I’d say,” said O’Brien.

“He came out of his last run well. It was a great run, the winner is one of the best three-year-olds in Europe and we were right in the mix with him.

“Hopefully the best is yet to come with him.”

O’Brien also had news on his high-class filly Above The Curve, who has been placed in Group One company three times so far this campaign, most recently in the Prix Jean Romanet.

He said: “She may go back to France for the Prix Vermeille. She’s come out of the Prix Jean Romanet well.”

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