Battle of Marengo Set for Juddmonte Beresford

By Myra Lewyn

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has dominated the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Ire-II) for 2-year-olds in recent years, winning 11 times previously. He sends out two runners in a compact field on five for this year’s edition Sept. 30 at the Curragh, including pre-race favorite Battle of Marengo, in seeking to add a 12th win.


The winner of the Beresford will receive and automatic starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park. O’Brien won last year’s Juvenile Turf with Wrote.


Battle of Marengo, a Galileo colt, has two wins and a third from three lifetime starts and stamped himself as a horse to watch for next season’s classics following his 1¾- length triumph in the one-mile Icon Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Trial early last month in his stakes debut at Leopardstown. In his start prior to that, he romped to an eye-widening 11-length win to break his maiden on yielding ground at Gowran Park. Turf conditions for the one-mile Beresford are expected to be soft to heavy.


O’Brien also sends out group III-placed Kingston Jamaica, another son of Coolmore’s elite sire Galileo, who is expected to set the pace.


Sheikh Hamdan’s Muaanid, a Kheleyf colt looks to make a big class jump to group competition after winning his debut Aug. 3 at Galway for trainer Dermot Weld.


Trainer David Wachman will saddle Coolmore and partners’ Probably, who will try to snap a two-race winless stretch. Winner of the Dubai Duty Free Full of Surprises Railway Stakes (Ire-II), the Danehill Dancer colt subsequently posted fourth-place finishes at the top level at the Curragh in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) Aug. 12 and Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Ire-I) Sept. 15.


Rounding out the field is OrgilgoBay, runner-up in the Coolmore Canford Cliffs El Gran Senor Stakes in August at Tipperary for trainer John McConnell. He comes into the race off a third-place finish in a one-mile race on heavy turf at Listowel after leading early before he was overhauled in the straight.

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