Horse Talk with Simon Jackson: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
INTELLIGENCE CROSS is fancied to secure another big prize for Aidan O’Brien by winning the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
O’Brien has been in superb form this season, bagging a hatful of Group 1s highlighted by Minding’s victories in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Investec Oaks where she was forced to overcome significant trouble in running to secure the high-profile double.
O’Brien appears to have a great chance of adding to his Group 1 haul with Intelligence Cross. The son of War Front at his last start won a Group 3 at the Curragh by four and a quarter lengths. The colt impressed with the manner of his victory in Ireland over the six furlongs of Saturday’s contest that carries total prize money of £180,000.
The two-year-olds win at the Curragh followed second and third placed finishes in Group 2 races at Newmarket and Goodwood. Intelligence Cross is taken to secure another Group 1 prize for O’Brien who is also set to be represented by Peace Envoy in the valuable sprint – but will not run the unbeaten Caravaggio whose preparation for the race was hampered after meeting with a setback.
“Caravaggio tweaked a muscle in his ribcage and was on the easy list for a while,” O’Brien revealed ahead of Saturday Group 1 contest that will be televised live on Channel 4 at 3.30pm on Saturday.
“He’s fine now but we’ve run out of time with him and we’ve decided against running him again this season. We are looking to run both Intelligence Cross and Peace Envoy in the Middle Park,” O’Brien told the Racing Post.
Earlier on the same card, Queen Kindly can justify the high of opinion of which she is held by Richard Fahey and win the Group 1 Connolly’s Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes (2.55pm Channel 4).
The daughter of Frankel impressed her experienced handler when winning the Lowther Stakes at York last month and Fahey is pleased with her progress.
“She’s got natural speed and a good mind,” the trainer said. “She always looked like a colt – strong, with a big backside – and is getting stronger and more professional. Everything is going well, we’ve had no issues and we’re happy.”
Horse Talk with Simon Jackson. Showcasing horse racing in London and the south east.