National Stakes preview: Gustav Klimt a late absentee

Sun 10 Sep 2017

By Racinguk.com staff

Gustav Klimt was on Sunday morning ruled out of the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Galileo, not been seen in public since he got up in the shadow of the post to claim the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July, had been odds-on favourite but misses the contest because of a stone bruise.

O'Brien still has three contenders in the now seven-strong field – Rostropovich, Coat Of Arms and Berkeley Square. They filled the first three places in the Group Two Futurity Stakes over the course and distance three weeks ago.

"Obviously it's not long since that race, but they seem to be in good form," said the Ballydoyle trainer.

Gordon Elliott feels the step up in trip will suit Beckford, the 6-4 favourite in the absence of Gustav Klimt.

The son of Bated Breath may have lost his 100 per cent record when beaten half a length by Sioux Nation in the Phoenix Stakes last month but he was putting in his best work at the end of the six-furlong Group One.

Beckford already has a Group Two success on his CV when he won the Railway Stakes at this track on his second start.

An extra furlong could bring out further improvement and give Elliott, who is used to winning major prizes over jumps, a big race on the Flat.

"He's in good form and we're looking forward to running him," said the County Meath handler. It's a competitive race but he's in good order. We think the step up in trip will suit him."

Brother Bear was third to the O'Brien-trained Actress in the Anglesey Stakes over a slightly shorter trip on this course on his latest outing.

The Jessica Harrington-trained colt had finished fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on his previous start.

He will be ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, whose confidence in Brother Bear remains high.

The jockey said: "I think if he'd kept straight at Ascot he'd have won the Coventry. That's how good he is, and I'm looking forward to it.

"Of course he's stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time and I think he'll get it fine, it's just he probably wouldn't want a lot of rain to make it really testing."

Jim Bolger's Verbal Dexterity takes on Beckford again after running him to a length in the Railway, while the Ger Lyons-trained Lethal Steps make up the eight-runner field.

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