Trainer Aidan O’Brien has declared Monarch of Egypt in the opener at Naas on Saturday, making him the first American Pharoah juvenile to race. This is the same colt who appeared in last week’s preliminary entries for Dundalk April 5, under the former name of Horus Bird, but was withdrawn. He also popped up at the first entry stage for an April 17 maiden at Dundalk, but the declaration on Saturday with jockey Ryan Moore indicates Naas is the chosen option.
Now renamed Monarch of Egypt, the son of Group 2-winning Galileo mare Up is the lone O’Brien runner in the five-furlong turf dash. Post time for the 1ST at Naas Saturday is 8:50 a.m. (EDT).
Monarch of Egypt was bred by Ran Jan Racing in Kentucky and sold for $750,000 as a Keeneland September yearling to Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier and Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm. Brant is listed first in the ownership with the Coolmore principals, and the bay colt will wear his colors.
The projected favorite, Monarch of Egypt sports number 3 but will break from post 5. His seven rivals, all first-time starters, include a filly by fellow freshman Karakontie, In the Present, a Niarchos Family homebred trained by Jessica Harrington; Godolphin’s homebred Paso Doble, a Jim Bolger pupil by Dawn Approach and out of Group 1 vixen Baila Me; Ming Warrior, a No Nay Never colt representing Michael O’Callaghan; Joseph O’Brien’s Phase After Phase, a Siyouni colt produced by Group 2 scorer Pollyana who brought 200,000 guineas (approximately $274,000) as a Tattersalls October yearling; Kocasandra, a Kodiac filly from the Johnny Murtagh yard; the Paddy Twomey-trained Sunday Sovereign, by Equiano; and Made in Pimlico, a Dragon Pulse colt trained by Brendan Duke.
The €25,000 contest kicks off the Naas card highlighted by the Alleged (G3) pitting O’Brien’s Magical – last seen pressing Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) – against Hazapour, Latrobe, and Flag of Honour, and the Gladness (G3), where Le Brivido makes his debut for O’Brien against the likes of Romanised and Imaging.