O’Brien pulls clear in title race

Joseph O’Brien stretched his lead in the jockeys’ title race to four winners after enjoying a double at Dundalk on Friday evening.

Joseph O’Brien stretched his lead in the jockeys’ title race to four winners after enjoying a double at Dundalk on Friday evening.

O’Brien headed to County Louth on 79 winners for the campaign, two clear of main rival Pat Smullen.

The highlight of his brace was victory on Lines Of Battle, who claimed the Listed Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Star Appeal Stakes.

Trained by his father Aidan, the juvenile made a winning debut at the Curragh in late May before running with credit in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and subsequently in the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

He was a 9-4 shot dropped back to Listed level and got the job done in fine style, beating Tennessee Wildcat by two and a half lengths.

“Lines Of Battle ran well in a Group Three last time but we were slightly disappointed he didn’t win,” said O’Brien junior.

“He was quite green the last day but showed he is a better horse today. He is lazy and had the cheekpieces on but is still learning and is genuine.”

The jockey went on to further success by guiding the Charlie Swan-trained Prince Of Fire (9-2) to a head victory in division one of the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Handicap.

Swan said: “I don’t know whether we’ll give him another run or give him a rest but he might go for a chase at Cork next Friday if the ground is reasonable.”

Camelot pleasing veterinary team

Coolmore have issued a positive report on the exploratory colic surgery carried out on dual Derby hero Camelot.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt, who failed to become the first Triple Crown winner in over 40 years at Doncaster last month, was admitted to Fethard Veterinary Hospital on Thursday.

A tweet from Coolmore Stud read: “Camelot’s colic surgery went well and he is doing great. The veterinary team are delighted with his progress to date.”

Camelot ran in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp last Sunday, where he finished seventh in the very soft ground when ridden by Frankie Dettori.

Nicholls Making Plans

Paul Nicholls has pinpointed events this side of Christmas for several of his big-name horses like Silviniaco Conti and Sanctuaire.

The champion trainer says a decision is “still to be made” as to whether the multiple Grade One winner Kauto Star will stay in training this season, after being pulled up on his most recent start in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he cantered 123 horses on Tuesday and still has strength in his team.

“I think I have about 40 new horses in total, and a few babies in the pre-training and satellite yards ready to come in and replace the summer horses when they go for their break,” said Nicholls.

“As for the early-season targets for the big races I have Silviniaco Conti pencilled in for the Charlie Hall, Join Together and Cristal Bonus for Down Royal, and Sanctuaire for the Tingle Creek.

“I could name at least four possibles for the Betfair Chase, dependent on form, fitness and ground - Tidal Bay, Silviniaco Conti, Join Together and Cristal Bonus. Any of those could be aimed at Kempton on Boxing Day too, along with the likes of Kauto Stone and Al Ferof (who could start in the Peterborough Chase).”

Nicholls also told his Betfair column: “Don’t forget the likes of Tataniano (set to reappear in a fortnight in the Chepstow race he won last year), and the five-year-old Edgardo Sol.

“Pacha Du Polder is being considered for the Old Roan and he could be a big improver this season.

“And Harry The Viking is being aimed at a £100,000 handicap chase at Ascot on November 3.”

O’Brien mob handed for RP Trophy

Aidan O’Brien is responsible for over a third of the 35 acceptors for the Racing Post Trophy with Beresford Stakes winner Battle Of Marengo among the 13 Ballydoyle possibles for Doncaster.

A general 16-1 chance for next year’s Investec Derby, Battle Of Marengo is joined by the likes of stablemates Eye Of The Storm and Finn McCool for a race that also attracted Richard Hannon-trained duo Olympic Glory and Havana Gold.

Fellow Classic contenders Telescope, the impressive Newmarket maiden winner trained by Sir Michael Stoute, and Champagne Stakes runner-up Dundonnell also stand their ground for the Group 1 juvenile contest on October 27.