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Globetrotting State Of Rest out to realise long-term Curragh plan

Joseph O’Brien’s well-travelled State Of Rest returns to home turf to take on a high-quality field in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on Sunday.

The four-year-old became a Group One winner in three different continents when landing the Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp by three-quarters of a length from Pretty Tiger earlier in the month.

Prior to that the colt triumphed in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in Australia and also took the Saratoga Derby in America.

A return to a more familiar setting now beckons at the Curragh, with the Group One feature having long been on O’Brien’s radar for the son of Starspangledbanner.

“We’re very pleased with State Of Rest winning the Ganay last time in France. He won really well, he’s got a tough, hardy attitude and he fought all the way to the line,” he said.

“The plan was always to start there and if that went well to look at the Tattersalls Gold Cup. All being well, he seems to have come through France in good shape, and we are looking forward to the weekend.

“I was lucky enough to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup as a jockey on So You Think and it would very satisfying if we could win it with State Of Rest.

“Ideal conditions are probably good or better, there is a bit of rain forecast but hopefully the ground doesn’t get too soft.”

Should all go to plan, it is likely that Royal Ascot will come under consideration alongside other engagements over a 10-furlong trip.

“We will take it one race at a time, but the Tattersalls Gold Cup has been his early season target for a little while. From there he has a lot of 10-furlong options, looking at Royal Ascot and further afield,” said O’Brien.

State Of Rest (yellow cap) in the bet365 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster
State Of Rest (yellow cap) in the bet365 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“We’ll see how we get on, how he comes through there, and then a plan will be made for later in the season.”

John and Thady Gosden’s Lord North also runs closer to home after taking on the Group One Dubai Turf at Meydan on his last start, where he dead-heated with Japanese ace Panthalassa.

Prior to that the Dubawi gelding finished second in the Winter Derby at Lingfield, beaten two and a half lengths by William Haggas’ Alenquer.

“It was a great performance to run as well as he did in Dubai. He has taken that well and had a little bit of time off after the journey,” Thady Gosden said.

“He’s been training well at home, it’s obviously a tough race with State Of Rest coming off the back of winning the Ganay.

John and Thady Gosden's Lord North
John and Thady Gosden’s Lord North (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

“He’s race fit whereas we’ve had a little bit of a break, but the track should suit him and so will the ground at the moment.

“He’s a six-year-old and he is still very much enjoying his training and his racing and behaving as he ever did.”

Lord North and Alenquer will cross paths once again, after the Haggas horse went to Meydan for the Dubai World Cup meeting after their Lingfield clash.

The four-year-old lined up for the Sheema Classic and came home sixth, with Haggas happy with his form at home since the excursion.

“We’ve been very happy with him since he ran in Dubai,” he said.

“The more it rains, the better his chance will be.”

Alenquer winning the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot
Alenquer winning the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

Another globetrotting runner preparing to line up at the Curragh is Aidan O’Brien’s Broome, who was second to Helvic Dream last season and has not run on Irish turf since as his international campaign has taken him to France, England, America and Japan.

The Ballydoyle team have a second runner in the shape of High Definition, who has run twice at the Curragh this season in the Alleged and Mooresbridge Stakes.

Helvic Dream is also entered and will look to retain his title, with the Noel Meade-trained gelding only seen once since last season’s victory when fifth behind stablemate Layfayette and the aforementioned High Definition in the Alleged Stakes last month.

Jim Bolger’s Mac Swiney will begin his domestic campaign, with Michael Halford’s Bear Story completing the field of eight.

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