Royal Diamond is set to shine again for Johnny Murtagh in the Irish St Leger this afternoon at the Curragh
The trainer jockey has been in unstoppable form this summer picking up big race wins almost every weekend. Yesterday Murtagh landed the Blandford Stakes on a horse from his yard and looks poised to take the Irish St Leger (3.50) with Royal Diamond.
Throughout the season last year’s winner Royal Diamond has done battle with the favourite Ernest Hemingway. In the last clash Murtagh’s contender outshone his rival. In what is an open betting affair Murtagh’s ride is quoted at 11/2 with the O’Brien horse priced at 9/2 joint favourite with the in-form globe-trotting Red Cadeaux. Royal Diamond has been targeted at this for sometime and is certain to make a bold show of a repeat victory with his trainer on board. If John Oxx’s Saddler’s Rock can regain his form his price looks attractive for each way backers at 18/1.
Earlier on the card in the Group Three Solonaway Stakes (3.15) all eyes will be on the impressive Darwin, who will look to extend his unbeaten record for the Ballydoyle team.
The National Stakes at (4.25) will be a mouthwatering clash in which O’Brien is represented by three with his leading contender being the highly regarded Dundalk winner Giovanni Boldini. Hannon’s Toormore is likely to test him the most especially given the fact that his Glorious Goodwood form was so emphatically franked by Outstrip in the Champagne Stakes yesterday.
(Featured Photograph – Johnny Murtagh after 2012 Goodwood Cup by Stuart Rice)