Battle of Marengo Set for Juddmonte Beresford

Battle of Marengo is favored for the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes on Sept. 30.

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.