Another US Target For Cape Blanco
Cox Plate withdrawal Cape Blanco is likely to bid for a hat-trick of G1 wins in the United States in the Joe Hirsch Memorial Turf Classic at Belmont Park on October 2.
Successful in the G1 Man o'War at Belmont and the G1 Arlington Million at his last two starts, Cape Blanco was entered for Australia's Cox Plate on October 22 but dropped out at the first declaration stage on Tuesday.
Trainer Aiden O'Brien said: “All the quarantine issues involved in going to Australia haven't been resolved and, while nothing has been finalised, we are looking at the Joe Hirsch Memorial as possibly Cape Blanco's next race.”
O'Brien said Await The Dawn is back in light work having finished a sick horse when beaten as the odds-on favourite for the Juddmonte International at York last month.
“Await The Dawn was very sick after the York race and we won't be making any plans for him until he resumes full work,” said O'Brien.
Together , runner-up in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent at the Curragh, split Emulous and stablemate Misty For Me in last Saturday's G1Matron Stakes at Leopardstown and may now race in Kentucky.
O'Brien said: “Together was coming back from a break and the decision we have to make is whether to step her up to a mile and a quarter or keep her to a mile.
“There are races to consider and it's possible that she could go for a race at Keeneland.”
A week of epic finishes at the Punchestown Festival continued with a brilliant battle for the Grade 1 €250,000 LADBROKES CHAMPION STAYERS HURDLE over three miles when Unowhatimeanharry (4/1) reversed Cheltenham form when prevailing in a photo-finish from Nichols Canyon (7/4 Fav).