Luxembourg© Photo Healy Racing
Aidan O’Brien’s Luxembourg stars in a superb cast for the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh today.
The Camelot colt, winner of the Irish Champion Stakes last season, began this year’s campaign with an underwhelming fifth in the Mooresbridge Stakes earlier in the month.
That Group Two contest was at the Curragh and over a trip just half a furlong shorter than he will face on Sunday, and was won in fine style by Joseph O’Brien’s Visualisation.
“Joseph’s horse won very nicely at the Curragh and our horse was a little bit ring rusty,” said O’Brien of the run.
“It maybe wasn’t a strong pace and wasn’t to his liking or benefit. He’s come out of the race very well and has progressed well.
“We’re very happy with him and he’s made great progress since the Curragh.”
O’Brien’s youngest son Donnacha has a chance in the Group One in Piz Badile third in the Mooresbridge and second in last year’s Irish Derby.
“He’s in good form and everything has gone well since his last run,” the young trainer said.
“It looks to be a very hot race, but hopefully he will run well.”
Representing Sir Michael Stoute is Bay Bridge who landed the Champion Stakes at Ascot at the tail end of last season and was third in the Prix Ganay first time out this time around.
“He’s well, it’s obviously a very strong field so we have our fingers crossed,” said co-owner James Wigan.
“It was a good start to the season, the French horse, Vadeni is coming over, who won the Eclipse.
“Luxembourg is running, it’s a good race and we’ll see.”
The aforementioned Vadeni does indeed travel to Ireland for the race having been supplemented and will cross paths with Bay Bridge again after coming home a length and a half behind him in the Ganay.
Vadeni was second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last season and prior to that was an impressive Coral-Eclipse winner for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.
Georges Rimaud, French racing and breeding manager to owner the Aga Khan, said: “He has, in the past, liked this sort of fast-ish ground so he should be fine.
“The horse is doing well, he has improved from his last race. We are hoping for a good run from him, the ground should suit him.
“It should be a good race, it often is, but this is Vadeni and he is a Group One horse and should be campaigned at that level.”
Jessica Harrington will run Trevaunance in the contest, the sole filly in the field and another horse who started her year in the Mooresbridge when coming home in sixth place.
Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother, said: “Trevaunance made a good reappearance in the Mooresbridge when beaten only four lengths.
“She had a good blow that day and is going to come on a ton for it.
“It looks a very hot renewal of the Tattersalls Gold Cup but we’re very pleased with Trevaunance and it’s a good stepping stone towards dropping back into fillies’ company in the Pretty Polly on Derby weekend with her.”
The field is completed by Noel Meade’s Layfayette the Mooresbridge runner-up who was last seen finishing third in the Group Two Huxley Stakes at Chester during their May meeting.