Marengo battles into Epsom thoughts


With this year's Classics now all in the formbook, the search is in full swing for the successors to such as Camelot. At The Curragh yesterday, the 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner's young stablemate Battle Of Marengo became the latest to push claims for consideration for Epsom next June, with a bloodless victory, as 4-9 favourite in a field of four, in the Beresford Stakes.

The Group Two mile contest is one with a rich history: recent winners include St Nicholas Abbey, Sea The Stars, Alamshar and Azamour and those in the more distant past Nijinsky and Sadler's Wells. But as with any race, there have been some on the roll of honour who subsequently prove nonentities. Whether Battle Of Marengo follows the hoofprints of St Nicholas Abbey, the best of Aidan O'Brien's 11 previous winners, or Lermontov, the worst, remains to be seen.

For the moment, the dark bay son of Galileo is around a 16-1 shot in the early Derby trading. Another Ballydoyle inmate, once-raced Mars, heads the lists at a general 10-1; followed by such as Toronado and Telescope, recent good winners at Doncaster and Newmarket respectively, and Dawn Approach, who is scheduled to put his reputation as the season's best juvenile to date on the line in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket 12 days hence.

Yesterday, Battle Of Marengo came clear of trailblazing Orgilgo Bay in the straight for a three-and-a-half-length victory in typical testing autumn conditions at the County Kildare track, winning with his ears pricked. "He did not like the ground," said rider Joseph O'Brien, "and I can't wait to get him on a bit of good ground. But he's tough, and he's going the right way. He has a great attitude and was actually able to quicken through the ground when I asked, and he came though the last 100 yards back on the bridle."

The Racing Post Trophy at the end of the month has been pencilled in as Battle Of Marengo's Group One test. There, he is likely to meet another upwardly mobile staying youngster in Steeler, winner of Saturday's Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket. "He's still quite immature and he'll be better next year," said trainer Mark Johnston, "but the plan is to go to Doncaster."

A decision over whether Camelot, who lost his unbeaten record and the Triple Crown to Encke in the St Leger last month, runs in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday is likely to be made tomorrow at the earliest. But should he turn out in Paris, it will be without O'Brien Jr, his partner in all six of his races. The reason is wholly practical, and no reflection of the tall teenager's performances; he simply cannot get down to the weight required.

"The Arc weight of 8st 11lb is not an option for him," said O'Brien Snr, "unless we cut off one of his arms." Battle of Marengo was the middle leg of a treble for the O'Briens, after the filly Magical Dream in the Group Three Park Stakes and before Declaration of War in the finale. O'Brien fils is now level with Pat Smullen in the jockeys' title race but his younger sister was unable to add to the family tally, riding Flower Bouquet into sixth place in the apprentices' handicap on her debut in the saddle.

Turf Account

CHRIS McGRATH'S NAP: Felix Fabulla (2.20 Bath)

After failing to cope with better, speedier company at Newmarket four days ago returns to the course, distance and class of a progressive-looking victory earlier this month..

NEXT BEST: Caterina (3.20 Bath)

Off the mark two weeks ago on her first step up to today's trip, beating one rival who won next time and another who failed to do so by inches.

ONE TO WATCH: Well-related juvenile Authorship (Mahmood Al Zarooni) is beginning to get the hang of things and will further flourish when presented with a test in excess of a mile.

WHERE THE MONEY'S GOING: Viztoria, a seven and a half-length winner at the Curragh yesterday, has been introduced into the 1,000 Guineas betting, now 16-1 with Ladbrokes.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
peopleActress tells men: 'It's your issue too'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam