09/09/2016 11:26AM

Ireland: Two Breeders' Cup berths up for grabs


The group stakes winners Brave Anna and Rhododendron are part of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s four-runner team in Sunday’s Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at The Curragh in Ireland, a race that could have implications for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

The $392,400 Moyglare Stud Stakes is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid berth to the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Brave Anna won the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot in England in June but was sixth behind Rhododendron in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at The Curragh on Aug. 21. Rhododendron was favored in that race and finished a head in front of Hydrangea, another O’Brien-trained filly in the Moyglare Stud. The stable also runs Promise to be True, a Group 3 winner at Leopardstown on July 21.

There are three other Group 1 or Group 2 races on Sunday’s eight-race program at The Curragh.

The $280,300 Flying Five Stakes at five furlongs on turf drew a competitive field of 14. The winner receives a fees-paid berth to the BC Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

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Take Cover, who won the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse in England on July 29, is one of four 9-year-olds in the field. Trained by David Griffiths, Take Cover was third in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York in England on Aug. 19. Of the younger set, Toscanini, 4, can improve on his win in the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes at The Curragh on Aug. 7.

O’Brien has the favorite in two other Group 1 races – the $392,400 National Stakes for 2-year-old colts and fillies at seven furlongs and the $448,400 Irish St. Leger Stakes at 1 3/4 miles.

Churchill can win his fourth consecutive stakes in the National. O’Brien trains three of the seven runners but faces a threat from Mehmas, a winner of two Group 2 races in England for trainer Richard Hannon.

O’Brien’s horse Order of St George will be a heavy favorite to win his seventh consecutive race in the Irish St. Leger, which drew six runners.