Race of The Day Sunday September 30
17:051 mile (1600m)

Beresford Stakes (Group 2)

Naas

  • Current Favourite  Mount Everest
  • Current Odds 5/6
Race Analysis Runners 7 Going Good Distance 1 mile (1600m)

Race Overview

This Group 2 mile event for two year old colts has been utterly dominated by the great Aidan O’Brien in the last few decades with the Ballydoyle handler winning it no less than 17 times since 1996, including for the last seven renewals. Saxon Warrior won it 12 months ago before going on to win the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy a few weeks later and the 2000 Guineas earlier this season.

With €110,000 in prize money this race really does give an indication as to the pecking order of the top juvenile colts in Ireland, and some great horses haeg won the Beresford Stakes since the turn of the century, including Azamour, Sea The Stars, St Nicholas Abbey and Capri, as well as Saxon Warrior.

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Former champion jockey Ryan Moore

Favourite Mount Everest

Mount Everest is expected to start favourite for Aidan O’Brien with Ryan Moore (pictured) having chosen to ride last month’s Curragh mile maiden winner in preference to stable companions Japan and Sovereign. This Galileo colt is out of the legendary three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Six Perfections and has an outstanding pedigree.

Irish jockey Colin Keane

Other Contenders

Both Japan and Sovereign are no slouches and a big display from either is not impossible as they bring decent form to the table, while the unbeaten colt Pythion, the mount of Colin Keane (pictured) is a potentially good horse. Michael O’Callaghan’s Power of Now won nicely over course and distance last time out so a bold show from him cannot be ruled out either.

Race Analysis

Aidan O’Brien’s stranglehold on this fine race will be tough to break and his Mount Everest, partnered by Ryan Moore, seems almost certain to head the market following his pleasing win last time out over a mile at the Curragh. He had been beaten in his previous two starts but seemed to have come forward nicely last time as the Ballydoyle horses well and truly emerged from the shadow of the virus that had placed the yard under a cloud for much of the summer.

By Galileo, out of a three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner, Mount Everest has one of the best pedigrees in the world, but is the bare form of his win last time enough to have him start a warm favourite for this fine race? I’m not sure, and there may be value to be had elsewhere as he steps up significantly in class. He could well win in good style, but at the expected odds you wouldn’t be missing much if he does justify his market position.

On jockey bookings it appears that JAPAN may be O’Brien’s third string in this event but he is no forlorn hope with the classy Seamie Heffernan on board. This £1.3 million colt by Galileo is a full brother to Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture as well as to Royal Ascot winner Sir Isaac Newton, and like the yard’s other runner here, Sovereign, he won a heavy ground maiden last time out when ridden by Donnacha O’Brien.

In post-race comments after the two respective victories, Donnacha seemed more enthusiastic about Japan’s three-quarters-of-a-length Listowel heavy ground win than the 14-length Galway success of Sovereign, and given that Japan won over a possibly inadequate trip on a track almost certainly too sharp for him, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that he will do much better over the extra furlong here on better ground. At the likely odds he appears a sporting bet to surprise his two stable companions.

Sovereign, another beautifully bred son of Galileo, couldn’t do more than win as he pleased last time in what was probably a modest event, having been beaten eight lengths when unplaced behind Mount Everest the time before. He is a very nice prospect and is not out of place in this line-up.

The only unbeaten colt in the field is Ger Lyons’ Pythion who managed to force a dead-heat on his racecourse bow at Leopardstown in July, keeping on well to join Howling Ridge on the line. The form hasn’t really been tested since then so it’s hard to know quite how good that race was, but there was plenty to like about the attitude of this son of Olympic Glory and it will be interesting to see how he fares taking on much better horses this time.

Michael O’Callaghan’s Power Of Now showed ability when running well on each of his first two outings before hitting the target last time when staying on over course and distance to beat Ger Lyons’ Doumoriez with a bit to spare (the pair pulling clear). That in itself doesn’t look strong enough form, but this son of Camacho is going the right way and a bold show is not out of the question.

Jim Bolger’s Curragh maiden winner Guaranteed was very disappointing when beaten a long way in this grade last time out on a return to visit to his local track and it’s hard to see him proving good enough to score here, while Adrian Keatley’s Mackqeez shaped with promise when fifth of 14 on debut at Down Royal earlier this month, but that form looks some way below the required standard at this level.

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Betting.net Selection

Japan
13/2
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Betting.net Danger

Mount Everest
5/6

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.