/ Racing

Curragh preview: Dermot Weld's Olympiad eyes Irish Cesarewitch

Updated: Sunday, 13 Oct 2013 10:43 | Comments

Dermot Weld's gelding Olympiad  heads for the Curragh
Dermot Weld's gelding Olympiad heads for the Curragh

This time last year Olympiad was in the English Cesarewitch as a leading contender but times have changed as Dermot Weld's gelding heads for the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Sunday.

Seen just seven times to date, the Robert Ogden-owned four-year-old finished mid-division at Newmarket and has made only one start this term, trailing in last in the Chester Cup.

Barry Simpson, Ogden's racing manager, said: "We'll just have to see how he gets on, I'd like to think he'd run well but he's been a little bit disappointing, he's had a truncated season."

The Irish Cesarewitch, sponsored by Tote Super Trifecta, sees the top names from the Flat and National Hunt season clashing.

Noel Meade saddles Maxim Gorky, who has not raced on the Flat for the three years since he left Michael Stoute's care but shaped well in a hurdle at Listowel last month after a considerable break.

"I think he'd have gone close in Listowel the last day but for making a mistake at the second-last," said Meade.

"This is a different kind of race and probably a better race, but he's in good form and the ground will suit him, so we'll hope for the best."

Aidan O'Brien runs three, with his daughter Ana riding Egyptian Warrior, record-breaking son Joseph aboard Marchese Marconi and Seamie Heffernan on Victory Song.

"I'd like to think he'd run well but he's been a little bit disappointing" - Barry Simpson

There is British interest too, with Brian Ellison booking useful apprentice Robert Tart for Montefeltro, who has made rapid improvement since joining the yard and is chasing a hat-trick.

Stablemate Becausewecan has sneaked in bottom of the weight, while Weld's other runner, Truthwillsetufree, and Spacious Sky for Tony Martin and Johnny Murtagh, will surely be of interest.

Peter Fahey has managed a cracking job with six-year-old mare Crystal Earth this summer, as she was second twice before notching victories at Ballinrobe and Tramore.

Last time in the Ulster Cesarewitch, she failed by a head to catch the aggressively-ridden Fisher Bridge.

"She's in great form and has improved and improved all year," said locally-based Fahey.

"The race just wasn't run to suit us last time, she was a little unlucky, and hopefully she can run well in a competitive race. She's versatile, and the ground should be fine."

Meanwhile, there are three Listed races on the card, kicking off with the Staffordstown Stud Stakes.

Dazzling represents O'Brien and was not far away in a similar grade last time, but Weld could hold the key with Flying Jib, a hugely impressive winner at Dundalk in August.

Sprinting seems to be the game for Cristoforo Colombo these days and the Ballydoyle colt seeks to follow up a Dundalk success in the Johnny O'Sullivan Lifetime In Racing Achievement Waterford Testimonial Stakes.

The 2000 Guineas fifth will have to be on his mettle to fend off the likes of Arctic and Leitir Mor and land this Listed prize.

O'Brien holds a strong hand in the final Listed contest, the Join Go Racing In Kildare 2014 Finale Stakes, with a team led by Heirloom.

The three-year-old steps up in grade after faring well in handicaps, but this looks an open affair, with Zand, Cyclone and Carraiglawn all holding claims.

The meeting kicks off at 1.55 with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, with Century and Lone Star representing Ballydoyle, though Weld's Bush Pilot acquitted himself well here on his only previous start.

Fulminata and Kentra bid to follow up recent victories in the Stephen Quirke Memorial Apprentice Handicap, while the Irish Field EBF Fillies Maiden could go the way of Al Fahidi.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip