09/10/2009 12:00AM

Yeats facing tough trio


Yeats will make his first start since winning his fourth Ascot Gold Cup when he faces seven rivals in the Group 1, $399,000 Irish St. Leger at the Curragh on Saturday. While the distance of 1 3/4 miles is six furlongs shorter than that of the Gold Cup, Yeats - an 8-year-old son of Sadler's Wells trained by Aidan O'Brien - won this race two years ago and has run well fresh in the past. Johnny Murtagh will be aboard.

The world's best stayer, he will be severely challenged by three dangerous foes, though.

Profound Beauty, a Dermot Weld-trained Danehill mare and current favorite for the Melbourne Cup, won the Group 3 Curragh Cup over the Irish St. Leger course and distance in June and took the 1 1/2-mile, Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes four weeks ago. Schiaparelli is one of the red-hot Godolphin barn's hottest at present, having won the two-mile, Group 2 Goodwood Cup and the 1 7/8-mile, Group 2 Prix Kergorlay in his last two starts. Alandi was an unlucky neck second in the Curragh Cup and has since won a 1 3/4-mile listed race at Fairyhouse for John Oxx.

* Alfred Nobel goes after his fourth victory in a row in the Group 1, $399,000 National Stakes. A son of Danehill trained by O'Brien, he is stepping up to seven furlongs after six-furlong scores in the Group 3 Railway Stakes and the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes.

Kingsfort, a War Chant half-brother to Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap winner Prince Arch, looms large for Kevin Prendergast after a two-length debut score in a seven-furlong Curragh maiden in June. Chabal, a Galileo-Zafonic cross trained by Jim Bolger, landed a seven-furlong maiden at Leopardstown in his first start on Sept. 5.