Colt Is Sheer Poetry; Irish Racing August Festival
Byline: PETER O'HEHIR
WHILE Sea The Stars goes head-to-head with Mastercraftsman in an all-Irish renewal of the Juddmonte International at York, the domestic focus will be on the four-day August Festival at Killarney which opens tonight.
John Oxx's stable star, already winner of the Stan James 2,000 Guineas, Investec Derby and Coral Eclipse this season, will face just three rivals, all trained by Aidan O'Brien, following the withdrawal yesterday of Sir Michael Stoute's Tartan Bearer.
And, whether the 10-furlong test develops into a tactical affair or a truly-run race, I expect Sea The Stars to prove too strong for Mastercaftsman, winner of the Boylesports Irish 2,000 Guineas and St.James's Palace Stakes and expected to be suited by the step-up to 10 furlongs.
Meanwhile, for the first time in 37 years, the colours of Queen Elizabeth will be worn in Ireland when Four Winds, trained by Michael Bell, contests the Killarney feature, the listed Vincent O'Brien Ruby Stakes over an extended mile.
And Jamie Spencer's mount has obvious claims, on the evidence of his most recent fourth to Zacinto in the listed Blue Square Premier Thoroughreds Stakes at Goodwood, when he had Breeders Cup Juvenile victor Donativum back in fifth place.
But I prefer an each-way investment on the O'Brien-trained Poet, a lightly-raced colt making a quick reappearance after running third to impressive winner Famous Name in the Group 2 Desmond Stakes on Sunday.
With Shaun Levey in the saddle, Poet should figure prominently in a competitive contest, in which Four Winds and Fergus McIver look big dangers.
The rest of the all-flat Killarney card looks similarly difficult for punters, with the Jim Bolger-trained Faoileanda a hesitant nap selection to outpoint 93-rated Ballydoyle filly Chirkova in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Maiden over 11 furlongs. …