Oliver dreaming of Glory Daze in Derby Trial

Friday, May 06, 2022

Glory Daze and Gary Carroll winning the TRI Equestrian Irish EBF Maiden at The Curragh: Photo: Racing Post

“Chris Hayes rode him in work during the week though and said that he wasn’t slow and had plenty of speed. So the ten furlongs around the bend in Leopardstown might suit him. I think we will certainly see an improved run and it will tell us a lot more about him and what might actually suit him best into the future.”

- Michael O'Callaghan on Great Max

Andy Oliver is refusing to make any bold claims but is looking forward to how the improving Glory Daze fares as one of seven to line up in the Group 3 Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday. On paper, the Cotai Glory colt is up against it as the lowest-rated competitor on 98, but he was a very easy winner of his maiden at The Curragh last month.

Prior to that, he had been seriously impeded in the final outing of his juvenile campaign in the Eyrefield Stakes at this track last October, a race won by the Dermot Weld-trained Duke De Sessa, who reopposes.

Duke De Sessa is only headed on official ratings by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Stone Age. The Galileo colt will need to reverse Longines Irish Champions Weekend form with the Ger Lyons-trained Atomic Jones who will put his two-run unbeaten record on the line here.

The seven-runner field is full of quality with the Paddy Twomey-trained French Claim hoping to stake a claim for a Derby confirmation. 

 “Glory Daze won his maiden well so this was the next viable option for him,” said Oliver. “There are no conditions races suitable so while it’s a big step up, it’s where he has to go next. He has done well since and is in good form.
“I wouldn’t be making any predictions about what he might do. He won his maiden so this is the next target. The Gallinule might be the next engagement to consider but he will run here and if he runs well, we’ll sit down and consider what other options there might be after that.

“So that’s the way we’re playing it. We’re not making any statements or trying to predict anything. This is the next logical step after winning his maiden and whatever happens here will tell us where we go.”

Michael O’Callaghan welcomed the 105-rated Great Max to his stable over the winter months and the son of Wootton Bassett carries the Amo Racing colours who are becoming increasingly familiar in Irish racing. 
O’Callaghan said: “We are still learning about Great Max and this will be another opportunity to continue that process. It is exciting to have Amo Racing as owners at Crotanstown this year and we have been lucky to enough that two of the two-year-olds have already won and ran well again during the week but Great Max was also sent to us and he needed a lot of time off after the Breeders’ Cup.

“He was heavily tried after winning his maiden on debut and was placed twice at group level and also ran well in the National Stakes before going to Del Mar.”

O’Callaghan is expecting a step forward from his charge after his seasonal debut last month.
“He needed the run badly at Cork three weeks ago and is continuing to improve. He did his best bit of work since joining us during the week,” O’Callaghan added. 

“He does have an entry in the Irish Derby and being out of a Youmzain mare – remembering that Youmzain finished second in three Arcs – you’d think he’d have a good chance of staying. They have always thought of him as that profile of horse.

“Chris Hayes rode him in work during the week though and said that he wasn’t slow and had plenty of speed. So the ten furlongs around the bend in Leopardstown might suit him. I think we will certainly see an improved run and it will tell us a lot more about him and what might actually suit him best into the future.”
The Group 3 Derby Trial Stakes field is completed by the Jim Bolger-trained Manu Et Corde. 
Elsewhere on the card, more Classic clues could be on show earlier in the Cornelscourt Stakes for fillies. 

The Joseph O’Brien-trained Agartha heads the field of 12 runners declared with some bright prospects also included. The Adrian Murray-trained Princess Olly and Darren Bunyan’s Suwappu both won on debut this season, while the Dermot Weld-trained Suwayra was a course and distance winner on her only outing last year. 

Aidan O’Brien runs both History and course and distance winner Lullaby, while Longines Irish Champions Weekend winner Panama Red returns to the scene of her Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes win for Ger Lyons and champion jockey Colin Keane. 

Paddy Twomey may try and snare a big race double at Leopardstown this weekend as he is responsible for Show Of Stars in the first Group 3 of the day, while the Henry de Bromhead-trained Honey Girl is a maiden being thrown in at a high level. 

Joseph O’Brien said of Agartha earlier in the week: “She’s come out of her first run of the year well. 
“We were delighted with her run in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown at the beginning of April, when she was only headed late on and was a close second. “This race has been the plan since then and we’re looking forward to it.”

Six runners will go to post for the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes, headed by another Longines Irish Champions Weekend winner in Real Appeal. The Jessica Harrington-trained five-year-old won the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes last September before running in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar.

Real Appeal must concede weight to all rivals who include the Joseph O’Brien-trained Patrick Sarsfield, and the Ger Lyons-trained Georgeville. Ado McGuiness had enjoyed some global success travelling horses in recent times and could have another candidate for that in Pretreville.

The progressive three-year-old colt Ivy League represents Aidan O’Brien, while Paddy Twomey’s Fantasy Lady will have her first start since finishing just over a length-and-a-half behind Empress Josephine in the Irish 1,000 Guineas last season. 

Recent winners Ghasham, Hymn Book Too and Global Energy all line up in the Fund A New Home For Festina Lente Race. Andy Oliver saddles Chaos Control in the mile and a half contest. 

“He’s not ground-dependent but he wouldn’t want it too soft. He’s in good form. He needed it first time out and was better the next day and we’re happy with him,” said Oliver. 

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