Turf Triple: ‘Big Race’ On Tap For O’Brien-Trained Blenheim Palace; Coral Beach ‘Encouraging’

Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Turf Triple contingent trained over the Belmont main track on Friday morning, as Blenheim Palace once again led the quartet, followed by fellow Belmont Derby contender Cape of Good Hope and the fillies Coral Beach and Just Wonderful, who will start in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational.

“They jogged one lap just around to the mile pole and they turned around and went from the 7 1/2 just back past the winning post, just a little bit quicker than yesterday,” said O’Brien assistant T.J. Comerford. “They’re fit and ready. We’re just stretching their legs a little bit. They’re in good order.”

Cape of Good Hope, a full-brother to world-travelling multiple Group/Grade 1-winner Highland Reel, won the Investec Blue Riband Trial in April over 10 furlongs of good turf at Epsom. He finished fourth on June 2 in the Group 1 French Derby and last out was off-the-board in the Group 3 Hampton Court on soft turf at Ascot.

“His last run at Ascot was on soft and he didn’t like it, but it was particularly soft,” said Comerford. “His best run was in France in the French Derby when he finished fourth. He’s a top of the ground horse. Especially when he won at Espom, he took his time and just came past them. That was a listed race, but he did it well that day.”

Cape of Good Hope will leave from post 9 under Wayne Lordan.

Blenheim Palace, by Galileo and out of the Storm Cat dam Meow, is a full brother to stallion and four-time Group 1-winner Churchill. He will be piloted by Michael Hussey from post 11.

Blenheim Palace arrives at the Belmont Derby from a good second on June 29 in the Group 3 Full of Surprises International at the Curragh.

“We’re putting blinkers on Blenheim Palace. He seems to be stepping up. When you put him in good company, he seems to run well,” said Comerford. “He ran last weekend and finished second. He was second in the Derrinstown Derby Trial over a mile and a quarter and the horse that finished third [Sovereign] won the Irish Derby. There’s form there. If he can keep running like he’s running. He’ll run a big race.”

Just Wonderful, a bay daughter of Dansili out of the Montjeu mare Wading, won the Group 3 Flame of Tara Irish E.B.F. at the Curragh in September and two starts later was victorious in the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel at Newmarket.

She launched her sophomore season in the Group 1 English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, finishing sixth, defeated less than two lengths by Hermosa.

Just Wonderful, who comes from the same family as last year’s Belmont Oaks-winner Athena, was eighth on June 21 last out in the Coronation at Ascot.

“If she puts the right foot forward, the form is there,” said Comerford. “That run in the English Guineas was a very good run. If she could run back to that again, I’m sure she’ll be on the premises.”

Wayne Lordan will ride Just Wonderful from post 6.

Coral Beach, a bay daughter of Zoffany, graduated in October at Cork when sprinting six furlongs and came back to beat the boys ten days later in the Group 3 Killavullan at Leopardstown.

Coral Beach arrives at the Belmont Oaks from a good fourth in the Sandringham on June 21 at Ascot.

“She took on the colts [in the Killavulan] and she beat them well. It opened up on the rail for her and she beat our first string,” said Comerford. “Her run at Ascot was encouraging because she came home well and finished fourth. It looks like the step up in trip will help her. ”

Michael Hussey has the call on Coral Beach from post 3.

The post Turf Triple: ‘Big Race’ On Tap For O’Brien-Trained Blenheim Palace; Coral Beach ‘Encouraging’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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