Gustav Klimt, U S Navy Flag and The Pentagon are some of the key names entered by Aidan O'Brien for Saturday's Classic trials at Leopardstown.
Gustav Klimt and U S Navy Flag are both prominent in the market for the Qipco 2000 Guineas, with the first-named off the track since winning the Superlative Stakes last July, while the latter was crowned champion juvenile after claiming the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes. The pair both feature in the Listed Ballylinch 2,000 Guineas Trial, along with stablemates Murillo and Kenya in a possible field of nine. Jessica Harrington could be double-handed through Landshark and Brother Bear, while Imaging, Bobby Boy and Quizical are also in the mix.
The Ballylinch 1,000 Guineas Trial, which boasts Group Three status, has twice as many entries but is still dominated by O'Brien. The champion trainer has entered six fillies, including Magical, who was a Group Two winner last year. Actress, Butterscotch, Dramatically, I Can Fly and Sarrocchi are others to feature for Ballydoyle. Harrington has a strong contender in Triple G 1,000 Guineas ante-post punt Alpha Centauri, and Jim Bolger has multiple options in Gasta, Scriobh Nua and Sometimesadiamond. Dermot Weld has entered Yulong Gold Fairy.
The PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes has drawn a total of 12 entries, but O'Brien holds the whip hand with seven possibles headed by Derby second-favourite The Pentagon. James Cook, my ante-post St Leger bet Kew Gardens, Flag Of Honour, Delano Roosevelt, Royal Lodge Stakes winner Nelson and Rostropovich are also under consideration for O'Brien. Bolger's Theobald is another well-regarded contender. Lethal Steps, Escamillo, Iiex Excelsa and Burgundy Boy complete the entries.