Flying the O'Brien flag in Manikato

3 min read

U S Navy Flag (US) (War Front {USA}) was all at sea in The Everest, but it might be a contrasting story at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

The three-time Group 1 winning sprinter was never a factor on a heavily rain-affected Randwick track in his Australia debut and he is certain to appreciate a dry surface in the G1 Labrokes Manikato S.

His European form is first class with elite level success in the Middle Park S., the Dewhurst S., and in the July Cup S., before he made the trip to Australia.

U S Navy Flag

Handy barrier

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt has drawn ideally in gate two and with Ryan Moore again jetting to Melbourne to take the mount, we may well see the very best of U S Navy Flag.

Out of the champion 2 and 3-year-old Misty For Me (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}), he is a brother to the two-time Group 1 winner Roly Poly and a half-brother to the Group 3 winner Cover Song (Fastnet Rock).

The stable will also be represented by three other sons of War Front (USA) in Spirit Of Valor (USA) Intelligence Cross and Fleet Review (USA).

Quality performer

The former is a G2 Minstrel S., winner and was an encouraging second in the G2 Schillaci S., and he should improve with the outing while Intelligence Cross is a Group 3 winner at The Curragh and the 4-year-old also finished fifth in last year’s G1 July Cup S., which is proof of his quality.

Fleet Review is a Listed winner of three races and he finished third behind U S Navy Flag in the July Cup. He has also had one Australian start when unplaced in the G2 Schillaci S., and the experience will have done the lightly-raced colt the world of good.

Among the leading local lights loom are Godolphin’s Kementari (Lonhro) and the Tony McEvoy-prepared filly Sunlight (Zoustar ).

Kementari was a strong second in the G1 Memsie S., and while his last-start fourth in the G1 Makybe Diva S., was solid enough, he did have every chance.

Tidy trial

He has been freshened and has trialled well at Randwick last month. There is sure to be plenty of pace on and that would suit last season’s G1 Randwick Guineas winner.

From an ideal barrier, Sunlight is one of the major speed factors as she showed when she crossed the field from a wide gate to lead all the way in the G3 Thoroughbred Club S.

Darren Weir’s Brave Smash (JPN) (Tosen Phantom {JPN}) was another who failed to act in the heavy ground when eighth in The Everest and his previous second in the G1 Moir around Moonee Valley is a more genuine guide to his prospects.