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Punchestown News

Punchestown News: O'Brien sprinters out to earn place in Royal Ascot team

Posted: 29th May 2016

Washington DC

Washington DC: won at Royal Ascot last season

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)  

O'Brien sprinters out to earn place in Ascot team

THE feature event on Royal Ascot Trials day at Naas brings together the Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemates Washington DC and Waterloo Bridge, both of whom were successful at the royal meeting a year ago.

Both colts are entered for the Commonwealth Cup and the King's Stand Stakes next month and, while Waterloo Bridge has not won since landing the Norfolk Stakes, Washington DC, winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes, has scored twice from three attempts this season.

His most recent success came at Navan two weeks ago when he had Waterloo Bridge five and a half lengths behind him in seventh.

Speedy type

It is the third running of this event and O'Brien, who sent out Due Diligence to win two years ago, said: "Washington DC is all about speed. We haven't asked him to do a lot since his Navan win but he's in good form and we're happy with him.

"Waterloo Bridge hasn't quite got there this season but we think he's progressing. He's best coming from off a strong pace and hopefully he'll put up a good performance."

The Jim Bolger-trained Smash Williams, a Group 3 winner over the trip at the Curragh last season before running third in the Group 1 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte in October, makes his reappearance. He is entered for the Commonwealth Cup and the St James's Palace Stakes.

Meade makes the trip

British raider Aclaim, another Commonwealth Cup entry, has won both his starts to date and will be ridden by Pat Smullen.

The son of Acclamation represents Martyn Meade, who said on Saturday: "He had been entered in the Sandy Lane at Haydock but we thought that might be a step too far at this point.

"He definitely deserves his place in this race though. He's progressing at home, and he's unexposed, so I think he can put in a really good performance."

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