Clemmie set to challenge Alpha Centauri in Matron Stakes

Wed 15 Aug 2018

One-time 1000 Guineas favourite Clemmie will have another crack at Alpha Centauri in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

A setback in the spring has hampered Clemmie’s season but Aidan O’Brien’s filly has been improving with each run.

“Clemmie is our main one for the Matron. She ran a nice race first time back and then improved to her next one,” said O’Brien.

“The plan is to go straight to Leopardstown with her. Hopefully the ground will be good and she’s in good form.”

Order Of St George is on course to bid for a third Comer Group International Irish St Leger.

“He’s in good form, he’s very well. Obviously he’s a year older,” the Ballydoyle handler said at the launch of Irish Champions Weekend.

“He ran in Ascot and he was a little bit laboured (fourth in the Gold Cup), maybe he was just minding himself on the fast ground a little bit.

“He seems to be in good form since and we’re looking forward to the race with him.

“We don’t like to ever lean on him too hard until the autumn and obviously we’re coming into now. He’s in good shape.”

Sergei Prokofiev ran keenly in the Phoenix Stakes on Sunday and now has the Middle Park at Newmarket as his aim.

“We’re going to go gentle with him now and see what happens with a view to maybe going for the Middle Park if he’s OK again at that time,” said O’Brien.

“If he was run again this year that would be where. Either that or he might not run anymore this year. We’ll see over the next few weeks.”

It has been a rare testing time for O’Brien, who has made no secret there has been a bug in the stable.

“It went through the whole yard and all the horses got it,” he said.

“We hadn’t leaned on any of the horses up until last weekend and we thought if we got through last weekend we might be able to start leaning on them a little bit more.

“A little bit of a problem is that when you do go chasing them you don’t want them to relapse because if they do the season is over.

“They seem to be in good form and the next big week for us will be York. That will be interesting and we’re happy with where they are at the moment and the horses that ran last weekend all seem to be fine.”

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