Nicholas makes "positive progress"

Sat 27th Jul 2013, 15:51

St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey
(Healy Racing Photos)
St Nicholas Abbey is reported to have made "positive progress" following colic surgery on Friday.

The six-year-old had to have emergency surgery at Fethard Equine Hospital, just two days after he underwent a major leg operation.

The six-times Group One winner fractured a pastern on the gallops at Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stables on Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Coolmore tweeted: "St Nicholas Abbey has made positive progress and is in good form today following yesterday's colic surgery.

"The colic was caused by caecal shutdown (equivalent to the human appendix), which is an extremely painful condition.

"His treatment means he cannot have food for a prolonged period - this is difficult for a horse like St Nicholas Abbey who loves his food.

"He will get parenteral nutrition instead (intravenous nutrition) to fulfill his daily requirements.

"Dr Nathan Slovis, a medicine specialist from the Hagyard Institute in Kentucky, arrived today to oversee his ongoing recovery and treatments.

"All surgeons are pleased with the progress he is making with his pastern reconstruction and he is taking weight on the leg well."



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Rock & Hemingway entered in Goodwood Cup

Fri 26th Jul 2013, 15:01

Saddler's Rock
Saddler's Rock
(Healy Racing Photos)
Saddler's Rock, Askar Tau and Colour Vision, the first three home in last year's Artemis Goodwood Cup, are among 18 possibles for the two-mile Group Two on Thursday.

The John Oxx-trained Saddler's Rock has failed to get his head in front since then and was only eighth to Estimate in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on his latest start.

Aidan O'Brien's Ernest Hemingway is a second Irish entry.

Colour Vision, last year's Gold Cup hero, is one of four Godolphin possibles along with Ahzeemah, Cavalryman and Lost In The Moment.

There is continental interest in the shape of the Andreas Wohler-trained Altano from Germany and Gloomy Sunday, who won the Henry II Stakes at Sandown at the end of May, from Christophe Ferland's French yard.

Others in the mix include Brown Panther, Caucus, Glen's Diamond and Mount Athos.



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Prognosis guarded for Abbey

  • Last Updated: July 26 2013, 13:45 BST

St Nicholas Abbey has suffered a serious setback in his recovery from a major leg operation.

St Nicholas Abbey: Major setback following surgery

St Nicholas Abbey: Major setback following surgeryon racing

The six-year-old had a bad bout of colic on Thursday for which he has had to have emergency surgery.

Coolmore tweeted: "Unfortunately St Nicholas Abbey had a major setback in his recovery during the night, suffering from a bad colic.

"He underwent emergency colic surgery at Fethard Equine Hospital this morning and the prognosis is very guarded at the moment."

On Wednesday, St Nicholas Abbey had complex surgery on a career-ending injury to a pastern.

The six-times Group One winner fractured a leg on the gallops at Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stables on Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

A son of champion sire Montjeu, St Nicholas Abbey was champion two-year-old in 2009 when he crowned his season with a blistering display in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

He was a red-hot favourite for the 2000 Guineas the following year, but could only finish sixth behind Makfi, and was not seen again until the following April when he was beaten at the Curragh.

The six-year-old returned to something like his juvenile form when an easy scorer of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester and went on to further Group One glory in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, a race he went on to win two more times.

Arguably his two greatest successes came on the world stage, however.

He won the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2011, a victory which made his jockey Joseph O'Brien the youngest winner in Breeders' Cup history, and as recently as March he landed the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

St Nicholas Abbey amassed close to £5million in prize-money, having won nine of his 21 races.


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St Nic 'recuperating' after op

Thu 25th Jul 2013, 10:06

St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey
(Healy Racing Photos)
St Nicholas Abbey is recuperating in intensive care after undergoing complex surgery on a career-ending injury to a pastern.

The six-times Group One winner fractured a leg on the gallops at Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stables on Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

St Nicholas Abbey underwent an operation on Wednesday, but still has "many bridges to cross before he is considered out of danger", according to Coolmore Stud, who represent the colt's owners.

They tweeted: "After a lengthy surgery to fuse the pastern St Nicholas Abbey is recuperating in intensive care at John Halley's Fethard Equine Hospital.

"Surgery was carried out at Fethard Equine Hospital in consultation with Dr Dean Richardson, head of surgery at New Bolton Centre Pennsylvania, along with Ger Kelly and Tom O'Brien

"St Nicholas Abbey will remain in intensive care for some time and has many bridges to cross before he is considered out of danger.

"This morning he is well and comfortable and back enjoying his hay.

"We are lucky he is so fit and has a marvellous attitude and temperament which will be vital for his long recovery."

A son of champion sire Montjeu, St Nicholas Abbey was champion two-year-old in 2009 when he crowned his season with a blistering display in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

He was a red-hot favourite for the 2000 Guineas the following year, but could only finish sixth behind Makfi, and was not seen again until the following April when he was beaten at the Curragh.

The six-year-old returned to something like his juvenile form when an easy scorer of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester and went on to further Group One glory in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, a race he went on to win two more times.

Arguably his two greatest successes came on the world stage, however.

He won the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2011, a victory which made his jockey Joseph O'Brien the youngest winner in Breeders' Cup history, and as recently as March he landed the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

St Nicholas Abbey amassed close to £5million in prize-money, having won nine of his 21 races.


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St Nic Update & Statement

Coolmore announce that St Nicholas Abbey is recuperating after his lengthy surgery at Fethard Equine Hospital where hes enjoying some hay

Surgery was carried out at Fethard Equine Hospital in consultation with Dr Dean Richardson, Head of Surgery...

St Nicholas Abbey will remain in intensive care for some time and has many bridges to cross before he is considered out of danger

We are lucky he is so fit and has a marvellous attitude and temperament which will be vital for his long recovery


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Fortify makes all for cosy victory

 By Gary CarsonWed 24th Jul 2013, 20:06

Fortify scores under Joseph O'Brien
Fortify scores under Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)




Odds-on shot Fortify got the job done in good style when making all to claim the mile conditions race at Naas.

Joseph O'Brien bounced the 8/11 favourite out in front and asked him for an effort a furlong-and-a-half from home.

He kept on well in the closing stages to record a comprehensive three-and-a-quarter length success over Hot Bed.

The winner was putting to bed a sequence of four runner-up efforts. He was dropping back in trip today having run on late in a hot ten furlong handicap at Leopardstown last Thursday.

“He jumped out and bowled along. The ground is quick but he kept on well to the line. He was entitled to win another one,” said the winning rider afterwards.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)






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Aidan O'Brien's team tops Champion Stakes entry

Updated: Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 15:54 | 0 Comments


Ruler Of The World is among those who will go in the Irish Champion Stakes
Ruler Of The World is among those who will go in the Irish Champion Stakes

Aidan O'Brien has a strong hand in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes as he seeks an eighth success in the Group One at Leopardstown in September.

The Ballydoyle trainer's multiple entry includes Epsom Derby hero Ruler Of The World and exciting American import Darwin, who was an impressive winner of the Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh last Sunday.

"We will be supporting the race for sure. Darwin was impressive when he won at the weekend and he is still in the mix as is Declaration Of War and Kingsbarns," said O'Brien at the race's launch at the Ritz Carlton in Powerscourt.

Jim Bolger confirmed his intention to run Trading Leather, although the Irish Derby hero is set to take in Saturday's King George at Ascot and the Juddmonte International at York first.

"The plan for Trading Leather is for him to run in the Irish Champion Stakes. He'll go for the King George, then the Juddmonte and then back to Leopardstown," said Bolger.

The French-trained Cirrus Des Aigles is favourite for the King George, but he too is a possible for Leopardstown.

The seven-year-old's handler Corine Barande-Barbe said: "The horse runs on Saturday so we'll have to see how that goes.

"He has been left in the Irish Champion Stakes and has other race entries as well. However, it remains a possibility as he has no other option in September."

Al Kazeem is on a break after chalking up a hat-trick of Group One successes already this season and he may also go to Leopardstown.

"He is currently on a break, but we are considering the Irish Champion Stakes for Al Kazeem," said his trainer Roger Charlton.

Marco Botti has confirmed Dubai World Cup third Planteur a definite starter and said: "The plan for some time now has been to run Planteur in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes."

Last year's renewal was won by the recently-retired Snow Fairy and it was announced her owner Cristina Patino is to donate a statue of the mare to Leopardstown to acknowledge her course record in the race. It will stand inside the main gate at the Dublin venue.


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St Nicholas Abbey comfortable ahead of surgery

Updated: Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 10:20 | 0 Comments


St Nicholas Abbey will undergo surgery today
St Nicholas Abbey will undergo surgery today

St Nicholas Abbey is reported to have had "a comfortable night" ahead of surgery on a fractured pastern to be performed on Wednesday morning.

The six-times Group One winner suffered the injury during a routine gallop at Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stables on Tuesday morning as he was being prepared for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

With his racing career now over due to the seriousness of the injury, owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith are hopeful their vets can save him for a stud career.

Coolmore tweeted: "St Nicholas Abbey has had a comfortable night at Fethard Equine Hospital. He undergoes surgery this morning and today will be critical for him."



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St Nicholas Abbey will undergo surgery on a fractured pastern on Wednesday morning.


St Nic set for surgery on Wednesday morning

Tue 23rd Jul 2013, 16:36

St Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey
(Healy Racing Photos)
St Nicholas Abbey will undergo surgery on a fractured pastern on Wednesday morning.

The six-times Group One winner suffered the injury during a routine gallop at Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle stable on Tuesday morning as he continued his preparations for Saturday's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot.

With his racing career now over due to his serious injury, owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith are hopeful their vets can save him for a stud career.

Coolmore tweeted: "St Nicholas Abbey suffered a fractured pastern during a routine piece of work at Ballydoyle this morning.

"He is currently in a comfortable condition at Fethard Equine Hospital, where he is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning."

News of his injury broke just after 9am, when it was confirmed his racing days are over.

A tweet read: "St Nicholas Abbey suffered a serious career ending injury at Ballydoyle this morning, vets are currently attending to him. We hope to save him for a career at stud."

A son of champion sire Montjeu, St Nicholas Abbey was champion two-year-old in 2009 when he crowned his season with a blistering display in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

He was a red-hot favourite for the 2000 Guineas the following year, but could only finish sixth behind Makfi, and was not seen again until the following April when he was beaten at the Curragh.

He returned to something like his juvenile form when an easy winner of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester and went on to further Group One glory in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, a race he went on to win twice more.

Arguably his two greatest successes came on the world stage, however.

He won the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2011, a victory which made his jockey Joseph O'Brien the youngest winner in Breeders' Cup history, and as recently as March he landed the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

St Nicholas Abbey amassed close to £5million in win and place prize money having won nine of his 21 races.

 


Just heard from Ballydoyle they are very hopeful that 

ST Nic should be okay, Thanks to god


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Fantastic Picture of  St Nic by

on her visit to my mecca Ballydoyle


                        LEGEND

 

 



 

 

I was privileged 2 receive this gift a few days after he won breeders cup to me his best performance & will always be my best memory of him on the track lets hope & pray he makes it through



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St Nic's Career sadly over after Ballydoyle Injury

Terrible news from Ballydoyle this morning lets hope and pray they can save him He was one of my all time favorites.


terrible news from Coolmore

St Nicholas Abbey suffered a serious career ending injury at Ballydoyle this morning, vets are currently attending to him.
We hope to save him for a career at stud, a further update will be posted later.



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St Nicholas Abbey suffers career ending injury

Updated: Tuesday, 23 Jul 2013 09:44 | 0 Comments


St Nicholas Abbey won close to £5million in prize money
St Nicholas Abbey won close to £5million in prize money

St Nicholas Abbey's racing career is over after picking up a serious injury at Ballydoyle on Tuesday morning.

The six-times Group One winner was being prepared for a crack at the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot this weekend.

However, the Aidan O'Brien-trained six-year-old has now run his last race with his owners, John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith hopeful that the vets can save him for a stud career.

A statement posted on the Coolmore twitter feed read: "St Nicholas Abbey suffered a serious career ending injury at Ballydoyle this morning, vets are currently attending to him.

"We hope to save him for a career at stud, a further update will be posted later." 

A son of recently deceased champion sire Montjeu, St Nicholas Abbey was champion two-year-old in 2009 when he crowned his season with a blistering display in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

He was a red-hot favourite for the 2000 Guineas the following year, but could only finish sixth behind Makfi, and was not seen again until the following April when beaten at the Curragh.

He returned to something like his juvenile form when an easy winner of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester and went on to further Group One glory in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, a race he would win on a further two occasions.

Arguably his two greatest successes came on the world stage, however.

He won the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2011 from Sea Moon, a victory which made his jockey Joseph O'Brien the youngest winner in Breeders' Cup history, and as recently as March he landed the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

St Nicholas Abbey won close to £5million in win and place prize money having won nine of his 21 races. 


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St Nicholas Abbey career over

  • Last Updated: July 23 2013, 9:20 BST

St Nicholas Abbey's racing career is over after picking up a serious injury at Ballydoyle on Tuesday morning.

St Nicholas Abbey: Being attended to by vets

St Nicholas Abbey: Being attended to by vets

However, the Aidan O'Brien-trained six-year-old has now run his last race with his owners, John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith hopeful that the vets can save him for a stud career.The six-times Group One winner was being prepared for a crack at the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot this weekend.


A statement posted on the Coolmore twitter feed read: "St Nicholas Abbey suffered a serious career ending injury at Ballydoyle this morning, vets are currently attending to him.

"We hope to save him for a career at stud, a further update will be posted later."



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Tapestry could be aimed at the Debutante Stakes

Last Updated: July 21, 2013 6:25pm



Tapestry is set to have her sights raised after a winning debut
  Tapestry is set to have her sights raised after a winning debut   

The impeccably-bred Aidan O'Brien-trained Tapestry (7/1) came fast and late to make a winning debut in the Hanlon Concrete EBF Fillies Maiden at the Curragh.

The daughter of 2001 Derby hero Galileo out of dual Group One winner Rumplestiltskin produced a decisive foot in the final half-furlong to overhaul Chroussa.

Jockey Seamie Heffernan had bided his time on the reputed O'Brien second string as stablemate Snow, the mount of Joseph O'Brien, was to the fore along with Chroussa. But once Heffernan let Tapestry go, the response was impressive as she ran out a half-length winner.

"She's obviously a lovely filly and has a great pedigree," said the winning trainer. "She's still a baby and has not been asked to do too much at home. We'll probably look at something like the Debutante Stakes (Curragh, August 11)."

East Yorkshire trainer Declan Carroll secured a big prize when Whozthecat (8/1) claimed the Boylesports.com Rockingham Handicap. The six-year-old was always to the fore under 10lb claimer Luke Leadbitter, who kept Nafa at bay by a neck to go one better after finishing second in a similar contest over a furlong farther at his track three weeks earlier.

Carroll said: "I wasn't worried about coming back to five furlongs as he's done most of his winning over five furlongs. Most ground comes easily to him."

Italian Jessica Marcialis struck on Ado McGuinness' veteran Beau Michael (10/1) in the Ladies Qualified Riders Association Fegentri World Championship Handicap. David Wachman's Fly To The Moon (5/1) stepped up considerably on her three previous starts to land the Equisoftlive.com Nursery Handicap.

The Wayne Lordan-ridden filly had been well beaten in maidens, but benefited from her first run in a nursery.

"Wayne gave her a very good ride. It was a big drop in class from the maidens she was running in and it was probably an ordinary nursery," said Wachman.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained Coquette Noire (5/2) hung on grimly for Chris Hayes in the Goffs Fillies Maiden while Emmet McNamara steered the Ger Lyons-trained Toccata Blue (11/4 joint-favourite) to take the Irish Field Grey Horse Handicap by a length from Susiescot.

Lyons said: "He looks like a foal compared to the others, but he's done well to win three races and Emmet gets on well with him."

 


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Tapestry pulls rug from under Chroussa

 By Michael Graham


Sun 21st Jul 2013, 16:02

Seamie Heffernan
Seamie Heffernan
(Healy Racing Photos)
Another Aidan O’Brien second-string was seen to good effect as Tapestry came from off the pace to win the six furlong juvenile fillies maiden at the Curragh a tad snugly.

Chroussa (6/4jf) and Kevin Manning tried to burn off all the challengers from the front. The well-backed Snow (3/1 to 6/4 joint favourite this morning) sat in second under Joseph O’Brien, but when this one started to tread water a furlong out it looked like Chroussa on the rail would hang on.

However, Seamie Heffernan produced Tapestry with a withering run down the centre of the course to cut her down by half a length at 7/1.

Aidan O’Brien said: “She’s obviously a lovely filly and has a great pedigree. She’s still a baby and has not been asked to do too much at home. We’ll probably look at something like the Debutante Stakes.”

Boylesports introduced Tapestry into their 1,000 Guineas market at 14/1.

O’Brien added comments on some of his runners yesterday. On Venus De Milo he said: “She gets a mile and a half well. She might go for the race in Cork [the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes].”

Of Just Pretending he commented: “We’ll bring her back to the mile and a quarter race at Goodwood [Nassau Stakes]."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee





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I adore this fella he is a model of equine perfection really exciting end to the season with the Big Brown 3yo Colt DARWIN Beat some decent yardsticks easy



 




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Treble for O'Brien as Darwin takes the Minstrel

 By Donal MurphySat 20th Jul 2013, 18:08

Darwin is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat Gordon Lord Byron (red)
Darwin is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat Gordon Lord Byron (red)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Darwin made it two from two since arriving in Ireland, as he took the Group 3 Invesco Pension Consultants Minstrel Stakes, making it a treble on the card for trainer Aidan O’Brien and a double for Joseph.

The American import, won a conditions race on his Irish debut at Naas last month and he was sent off the 8/11 favourite (opened on-course at 4/5) to follow up this afternoon.

The three-year-old son of Big Brown raced in second for much of the race and he was niggled along from over two furlongs out.

He hit the front a furlong and a half from home, keeping on well from there to score by a length and three parts.

Gordon Lord Byron had to give twelve pounds to the winner, but he still managed to run a creditable race, finishing second under Wayne Lordan for Tom Hogan at 6/4.

Aidan O'Brien said afterwards: "He is not short of pace but he gets a mile well.

"He came to us with a massive reputation. He has got great cruising speed and he was doing good times in America.

"When he won his maiden in America, Todd Pletcher (his former trainer) was jumping around the place and it was obvious to see why he was. We were very lucky to get him.

"He only won a conditions race a few weeks ago and he is still a big baby. He has got options and he could go to Deauville now.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee



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Wilshire beats his better fancied stable mate

 By Donal MurphySat 20th Jul 2013, 17:14

Wilshire Boulevard is driven out by Seamie Heffernan to beat Oklahoma City (No 5)
Wilshire Boulevard is driven out by Seamie Heffernan to beat Oklahoma City (No 5)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Wilshire Boulevard (7/1) outshone his better fancied stable mate, as he took the Group 3 Jebel Ali Racecourse & Stables Anglesey Stakes.

Oklahoma City was sent off the even money favourite, with Joseph O’Brien opting to ride the son of Oasis Dream.

The ‘jolly’ attempted to make all but he couldn’t fend off the challenge of the Seamie Heffernan ridden winner, he got to the front a furlong from home and he stayed on well from there to score by three parts of a length.

Oklahoma City kept on to take second, while Mansion House was half a length back in third under Billy Lee for David Wachman.

UK raider, Jallota was sent off the 9/4 second favourite, but the Mick Channontrained colt could only manage fourth under Martin Harley.

Aidan O'Brien said of the runner-up afterwards: "He ran a great race and I was very pleased with him.

"He was a little bit slow away. He was wearing blinkers for the first time today and he had a visor on the last day. We will step him up to seven furlongs."

He went on to talk about the winner, saying: "We always liked this horse a lot. He is a nice horse and he wouldn’t mind going further.

"We left the hood off him today and he settled well.

"He is well-bred and he is a half-brother to Zoffany. The Holy Roman Emperor’s seem to improve."

"Credit to everyone at the Curragh. The ground is good to firm but it is very safe."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee



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Australia justifies odds-on favouritism

Sat 20th Jul 2013, 16:00

Australia is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat the grey Carla Bianca
Australia is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat the grey Carla Bianca
(Healy Racing Photos)
After finishing an unlucky runner-up on his debut over the course and distance last month, Australia got it right on the second time of asking as he took the opener at the Curragh this afternoon, the Darley EBF Maiden.

The bay colt, who is by Galileo and out of the brilliant Ouija Board, was very slow away on his debut but flew home in the closing stages to finish just a neck behind Renaissance Art.

Sent off the 3/10 favourite to make amends today, he was soon settled in second.

He was sent to the front by Joseph O’Brien at the two furlong pole and he was driven out from there to score by three parts of a length.

Newcomer Carla Bianca ran a cracker under Pat Smullen for Dermot Weld. The grey daughter of Dansili made the winner work all the way to the line, finishing a gallant second at 14/1.

The other Ballydoyle representative, Juniper Tree (who is a son of five time Group 1 winner Alexander Goldrun), kept on well to take third, five lengths back under Seamie Heffernan at 10/1.

Winning trainer Aidan O’Brien said afterwards: "He is still very babyish. He was slow away again and he seems to go asleep in the stalls.

"We will take our time with him. He could be anything as the penny hasn’t really dropped with him yet. He has a lot of talent."

Boylesports have introduced the winner at 20/1 in the betting for the 2014 Epsom Derby.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee






 





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Aidan O'Brien's dominance in the Silver Flash Stakes at

 

Leopardstown continues as he saddles first two home

Updated: Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 23:42 | 0 Comments

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien continued their superb recent run of form at Leopardstown
Aidan and Joseph O'Brien continued their superb recent run of form at Leopardstown

Wonderfully led home a one-two for Aidan O'Brien when making all in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.

Jumped out quickly by Joseph O'Brien, the pack never really got to the 13-8 favourite, who had last been seen finishing seventh in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot which is working out extremely well.

Sporting a visor for the first time, the daughter of Galileo had a length in hand over stablemate Perhaps, who came home strongly in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

O'Brien pointed towards the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh on 11 August for Wonderfully and said: "She is an improving filly, she's lazy in front and that's why she had the visor on.

"She's very idle and Joseph wanted to put it on. It helps.

"She stayed on well at Ascot. She's a nice filly and would have no problem getting a mile as a three-year-old."

He said of Perhaps: "She is a nice filly, she's still green looking and Seamie (Heffernan) said she was still very raw.

"It was a good education stepping her up into a stakes race and we're very happy with her.

"She'll have no problem with a mile next year."

Royal Diamond justified short-priced favouritism for trainer-jockey Johnny Murtagh in the Listed Challenge Stakes.

Last year's Irish St Leger winner, sent off at 5-4, soon opened up a big advantage in front, being well clear with a mile of the mile and three-quarters still to run.

Nothing ever seriously looked like narrowing the gap and Murtagh was able to ease his mount significantly close home, as Sir Ector ran on to take second.

O'Brien's Geoffrey Chaucer (2-7), a Montjeu half-brother to Shamardal, landed the odds from the front on his debut in the Irish Stallion Frams EBF Maiden, but he had to work a bit harder than expected and only held off the challenge of Tarfasha by a rapidly-diminishing neck.

O'Brien jnr tried to repeat the feat by leading on Il Palazzo and she looked the most likely winner of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show Maiden halfway down the straight, but she was thwarted by another Coolmore representative as the David Wachman-trained Goddess Of Love (7-1) swooped by to score by three-quarters of a length.

Not be outdone by her brother, Ana O'Brien got on the scoresheet as Fairylike (4-1) completed a treble on the night for the Ballydoyle operation in the "Hot House Flowers" Apprentice Handicap.

There was a big prize up for grabs in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF "Nasrullah" Handicap and it went the way of Dermot Weld's Tandem (6-1).



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Fairylike brings up O'Brien treble

 By Michael GrahamThu 18th Jul 2013, 20:35

Fairylike, orange, forges clear at Leopardstown
Fairylike, orange, forges clear at Leopardstown 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O’Brien saddled a treble at Leopardstown as his daughter Ana partneredFairylike to victory in the apprentice handicap over a mile and a quarter.

When Gearoid Brouder and Waterloo Sunrise got a dream run down the inside of pacesetting Charpoy in the home straight, it looked for all money that they would score.

However, Ana O’Brien and Fairylike switched wide and came with a powerful finish to grab the weakening Waterloo Sunrise with 150 yards to go and win going away by an impressive five and a half lengths.

Fairylike was returned at 4/1 (from 8/1 this morning). Aidan O’Brien said afterwards: “She’s a lazy little one, but once she got in amongst them she got interested.”

Little Arrows, who again was slowly away, secured another placed finish at Foxrock as he finished third, seven and a half lengths off runner-up Waterloo Sunrise.

This was the fifth win of Ana O’Brien’s career, three of which have come on Fairylikeincluding her first ever win. She said: “Last week she didn’t have a hard race. She was coming home well, but had nowhere to go.”

Fairylike was seventh in a mile handicap for apprentices here last week. She ran short of room and was snatched up under two furlongs from home.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson



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It all goes Wonderfully well for O'Briens

 By Michael GrahamThu 18th Jul 2013, 19:30

Wonderfully, right, winning at Leopardstown
Wonderfully, right, winning at Leopardstown
(Healy Racing Photos)
Wonderfully made every yard under Joseph O’Brien and led home a Ballydoyle one-two in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.

The daughter of Galileo, and half-sister to Mars, had opened her account on debut in a six furlong maiden at Fairyhouse before running seventh in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The 13/8 favourite got back on track this evening and when asked for more at the two furlong pole she kept on well along the rail to keep her five rivals in behind, on this step up to seven furlongs.

“She’s an improving filly. She’s lazy in front, that’s why she wears the visor. She’s very idle and Joseph wanted to put it on her,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.

“She stayed on well at Ascot last time. She’ll go for the Debutante Stakes now. She’s a nice filly and will have no problems getting a mile at three."

Perhaps, the Aidan O’Brien second-string, finished to good effect down the outside to be beaten by a length at 11/2.

On Perhaps, O’Brien commented: “She’s nice and still green. Seamie (Heffernan) said she was raw. It was a good education stepping her up to stakes company.

“We are very happy with her and it looks like she’ll have no problems getting a mile.”

Wonderfully gave Aidan and Joseph O'Brien a Leopardstown double on the evening after the success of Geoffrey Chaucer in the opener.

Paddy Power introduced Wonderfully at 25/1 for the 1,000 Guineas of 2014.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson




 




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Chaucer gets home in tactical opener

 By Gary CarsonThu 18th Jul 2013, 18:27

Geoffrey Chaucer (right) beats Tarfasha and Stirabout
Geoffrey Chaucer (right) beats Tarfasha and Stirabout 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Well-supported Ballydoyle newcomer Geoffrey Chaucer made a winning debut in the opening mile maiden at Leopardstown but had to work to get the job done.

Joseph O'Brien was a somewhat reluctant leader on the son of Montjeu as there was no pace on in the early stages.

The 2/7 shot (4/6 this morning) quickened up the tempo at the half-way stage and the race began in earnest in the straight.

Tarfasha kept on to press the eventual winner inside the final furlong and got within a neck at the line while the other runner, Stirabout, also stayed on well in the closing stages to be the same margin back in third.

The winner is set to be put away until the Autumn now.

“Obviously he was green. You have to be happy with that,” said Aidan O'Brien afterwards.

“Someone had to trot along as it looked like they were going to walk. He really only had to go about four-and-a-half furlongs today.

“He's a nice horse and we'll take our time with him. The plan was to come here then give him a rest and come back in the Autumn. He's a fine big fella.

“In an ideal world I would have preferred not to run him this early but he came (to hand) and wanted to run.”

The winner is a half-brother to champion miler Shamardal and his dam is an own-sister to Street Cry.




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8 declared for Darley Irish Oaks

Thu 18th Jul 2013, 10:40

The Investec Oaks winner Talent
The Investec Oaks winner Talent 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Eight horses will line up in the Darley Irish Oaks taking place at the Curragh this Saturday following this morning’s final declaration of runners.

The runners are headed by Epsom Oaks winner Talent trained in Britain by Ralph Beckett.

The Lady Cecil trained Ribblesdale Stakes winner Riposte and the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) runner-up Chicquita trained by Alain Royer Dupre are also declared.

Johnny Murtagh has been booked to ride the French challenger.

Other notable contenders in the €400,000 Group One Classic include the Aidan O’Brien trained pair of Just Pretending and Venus De Milo and Alive Alive Oh trained by Tommy Stack.

Riposte and Talent are the 5/2 joint-favourites with leading bookmakers Bet365 and Paddy Power.

The first race on Saturday is at 3.35pm, the Darley Irish Oaks is set to take place at 6.15pm.


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Easy win for Hussar as 'gamble' is landed

 By Donal MurphyWed 17th Jul 2013, 17:40

Royal Irish Hussar comes home a clear cut winner of the opener at Killarney
Royal Irish Hussar comes home a clear cut winner of the opener at Killarney
(Healy Racing Photos)



Royal Irish Hussar opened this morning at ridiculous odds, and he was a general 8/1 chance with most firms, Ladbrokes going the best price at 9s.

Not surprisingly those long odds were quickly gone, and he was a 5/2 chance by midday.

The Aidan O’Brien trained son of Galileo (fitted with cheek pieces for the first time) opened on-course the 5/4 favourite, the price which he went off at.

Ridden by Joseph O’Brien, the once raced three-year-old made all, before staying on strongly from over a furlong out, going clear to win the Sika Signs Maiden, by an easy eleven lengths.

Train Of Thought (5/2 to 7/4 on-course), briefly looked a threat to the winner two furlongs from home, but he had no answer when O’Brien kicked on, and the Dermot Weld trained gelding had to settle for second under Pat Smullen.

The victorious bay colt made his debut at Gowran in April, where he finished a well-beaten eight of twelve behind We’ll Go Walking.

Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: “He bowled away nicely in front and he won nicely enough but it was an ordinary race."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes



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Just Pretending tops O'Brien's Kilboy five

Tue 16th Jul 2013, 15:27

Just Pretending
Just Pretending
(Healy Racing Photos)
Just Pretending heads five possibles from the Aidan O'Brien stable among 15 remaining in the Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Ballydoyle trainer is considering the Ribblesdale runner-up and Irish 1,000 Guineas third for the Group Two over nine furlongs along with Magical Dream, One True Love, Say and Snow Queen.

Fiesolana, Caponata and Mizzava are also among the home entries while Luca Cumani's Lancashire Oaks heroine Emirates Queen and Dank from Sir Michael Stoute's stable are the two British filles in the list.








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Kingdom sees off Zafarqand in the last

 By Donal MurphySun 14th Jul 2013, 17:59

Kingdom (left) is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat Zafarqand (centre) and Bensoon
Kingdom (left) is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat Zafarqand (centre) and Bensoon
(Healy Racing Photos)
The odds-on favourite Kingdom was given a real scare in the last, the Fairyhouse Sunday Market Handicap, but he pull out more close home to prevail, providing Aidan & Joseph O’Brien with a double on the card. Sent off 9/10 ‘jolly’, the son of Montjeu made all but the Oliver Brady trained Zafarqand threw down a big challenge in the closing stages, with the winner digging deep to see him off by half a length. The runner-up was returned at 13/2 (opened at 8/1 on-course) underConnor King while Bensoon was a length and three parts back in third. Fitted with blinkers for the first time, the successful bay was recording his second success today, following on from his maiden win at the Curragh last October. He finished second on his first two attempts in handicap company at Leopardstown and Tipperary respectively. Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: “I wouldn’t say it was comfortable, he is tough more than anything and that’s the way he races, from the front.” Additional reporting by Michael Graham






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Sea Siren takes the Belgrave Stakes

 By Donal MurphySun 14th Jul 2013, 16:13

Sea Siren is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to see of Russian Soul
Sea Siren is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to see of Russian Soul
(Healy Racing Photos)
Sea Siren made a successful debut for her new connections, as she took the feature race at Fairyhouse this afternoon, the Listed Belgrave Stakes.

The Australian import won three Group 1 contests in her native land and she ran a fine race at Royal Ascot on her last start for trainer John O’Shea, to finish eighth to Lethal Force in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Now trained by Aidan O’Brien, she was sent off the 5/4 favourite, the daughter of Fastnet Rock, chased the leaders in the early stages and she was travelling well in fourth on the outer, two furlongs from home.

Russian Soul (2/1), her main market rival, hit the front two furlongs out, but the winner came with her challenge a furlong from home, staying on best from there to score by a length and a half at the line.

The aforementioned Mick Halford trained second favourite had to settle for second under Shane Foley, while Boston Rocker (9/2) was two and a half lengths back in third under Declan McDonogh for Eddie Lynam.

Winning rider Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: “She is an exciting filly by an exciting stallion.

"She has loads of pace and a great attitude.

"She got a little bit idle in front so I gave her a smack and away she went.

"We’ve only had her since Ascot and she is very exciting for the big five and six furlong sprints this season."

Additional reporting by Michael Graham




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Marengo disappoints as Flintshire impresses

Sat 13th Jul 2013, 19:01

Battle Of Marengo beat just one home at Longchamp
Battle Of Marengo beat just one home at Longchamp 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Battle Of Marengo beat just one home as Flintshire ran out a highly impressive winner of the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Investec Derby fourth was sporting blinkers for the first time and proved hard to settle through the early stages.

Long-time leader Park Reel was wound up at the three-furlong marker as Battle Of Marengo was pulled wide by Joseph O'Brien but to little effect in the end.

The race was quickly over as a contest as the Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire, running in the colours of race sponsor Khalid Abdullah, moved effortlessly into contention two out and swept clear under Maxime Guyon before being heavily eased.

Manndawi ran a solid race in second with Fabre's Ocovango, who was a little tight for room in the straight, third.

Betfred go 8/1 about the winner for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and that's the best price on offer with some firms as short as 5/1.


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Illinois wins the opener at Tipperary

 By Donal MurphySat 13th Jul 2013, 14:48

Illinois is driven out by Seamie Heffernan to beat Warbird
Illinois is driven out by Seamie Heffernan to beat Warbird
(Healy Racing Photos)
Despite drifting in the market, the Aidan O’Brien trained Illinois made a successful debut in the opening race at Tipperary this afternoon, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The son of Galileo was the 10/11 favourite this morning with Paddy Power, but he drifted out to an opening show on-course of 2/1, the price he went off at.

The Mick Halford trained Warbird was the one for money. He was 6/4 this morning, but opened on track at 8/11, before going off the 4/7 favourite.

The Seamie Heffernan ridden victor, soon led after breaking from the stalls and he was ridden a furlong and a half from home, staying on well to assert inside the final furlong, winning comfortably by three and a quarter lengths.

Warbird couldn’t match the winner inside the final furlong and he had to settle for second under Shane Foley.

Silver Gauntlet finished three lengths back in third while St James Gate was another four lengths back in last.

Jason Walsh, Coolmore representative, said afterwards: “We were happy with what he had done. He goes well and he appreciated the trip.”

The winning chestnut colt is out of Chintz, who was Group 3 winner at the Curragh back in 2008 for David Wachman.

He also holds an entry in next year's Epsom Derby and his grand dam is half-sister to Solmeia who won the Arc last year.

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes


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Siren sounds for O'Brien debut

Last Updated: July 13, 2013 9:28am


Sea Siren: Back in action on Sunday

Sea Siren: Back in action on Sunday

Multiple Group One-winning mare Sea Siren has her sights lowered as she makes her first appearance for Aidan O'Brien at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

The five-year-old Sea Siren struck three times at the highest level for Australian trainer John O'Shea and was snapped up by the Coolmore triumvirate of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith prior to running at Royal Ascot last month.

She performed creditably at the summer showpiece meeting, finishing eighth in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and drops to Listed class as she makes her Irish debut in the Belgrave Stakes under the trainer's son, Joseph.

Sea Siren aims to give weight to seven opponents, with David Marnane saddling both Nocturnal Affair and Red Dubawi.

Marnane said: "Nocturnal Affair ran a very good race on his comeback run in the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh, we were very happy. But then he went to Haydock and for whatever reason he didn't show up at all, he was very disappointing.

"We don't know what happened that day, but his work has been good since and we're going to put the blinkers on him on Sunday and we're also putting a tongue-tie back on. Fingers crossed he can bounce back.

"Red Dubawi ran three very solid races on soft ground, but then disappointed on very fast ground at the Curragh last time. The ground should be lovely on Sunday. We're hoping the extra furlong will give him a bit more of a chance to get into it.

"If he doesn't perform, we'll probably give him a break and bring him back for something like the Ayr Gold Cup."

Eddie Lynam won the six-furlong contest 12 months ago with Slade Power and has another major contender this year inBoston Rocker.

Mick Halford saddles the ultra-consistent Russian Soul and the field is completed by Elusive Time, Lily's Star and Clancy Avenue.

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Punters cash in on Heirloom

 By Michael GrahamFri 12th Jul 2013, 18:39

In-form Joseph O'Brien
In-form Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
The market spoke in Heirloom’s favour in the closing maiden at Dundalk and the market proved right as he strode away from his rivals.

The three-year-old Dansili colt, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, made headway into the lead a furlong from home in this extended mile and a quarter contest. From there he picked up well to come in three and a half lengths to the good over Ebadani.

“He got a nice run through. He ran well in a maiden in his first run this season. He won nicely today, but it probably wasn’t the strongest maiden,” Joseph O’Brien said.

And on his sparkling recent form he added: “The horses are running well. Long may it last!”

Catchy Lass completed the placings in third at 16/1 for Anthony Mulholland and Ian Brennan.

Heirloom had been 11/4 in morning trading but this quickly contracted to even money. In the ring he went off 9/10 favourite.

While Heirloom was strong in the market, Wannabe Better drifted from 11/10 to 15/8 before racing and was returned at 2/1. She finished fourth.

This was Joseph O’Brien’s seventh winner in three days – four at Naas, two at Leopardstown and one at Dundalk. His father Aidan has also saddled seven winners in the same period.



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Breaking News  MOTH RETIRED more to follow


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Great Explorer navigates his way home

 By Michael GrahamThu 11th Jul 2013, 19:56

Great Explorer finds the winning post at Leopardstown
Great Explorer finds the winning post at Leopardstown
(Healy Racing Photos)
Great Explorer made every yard in the mile and a quarter handicap at Leopardstown and gamely answered Joseph O’Brien’s urgings to fend off Minister Of Mayhem.

The three-year-old son of Galileo, in the first-time blinkers, had to carry 10-2, but this didn’t deter punters in Foxrock who sent him off the 5/6 favourite to follow up on his Fairyhouse maiden success eight days ago.

Jim Bolger’s Midfield General, steeping up in trip, tried to make a race of it as he stalked the winner in second. However, he faded with two furlongs to go and it was left to Minister Of Mayhem (5/1) to pick up the challenge.

Colin Keane steered him out from the rail and in the final furlong he started to close on Great Explorer. O’Brien though had enough in the tank to win all out by half a length.

Aidan O’Brien trains Great Explorer and he commented: “He’s a tough hardy horse and he kept going. He’ll go for another one of those somewhere.”

In-form O’Brien has now trained 12 winners in the last two weeks. Joseph O’Brien has ridden nine winners in the same period.

“He toughed it out and hopefully he might get a bit further,” Joseph O’Brien added.

Blinkers were sported today and they replaced cheekpieces from his win at Fairyhouse.

Street Party put in his best race yet when coming in third of the six runners, beaten two lengths in total.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson



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O'Briens clean up at Naas

  • Last Updated: July 11 2013, 9:09 BST

The all-conquering O'Brien family teamed up for five winners at Naas on Wednesday evening, highlighted by the victory of Oklahoma City.


Joseph O'Brien: First four-timer
Joseph O'Brien: First four-timer

Trainer Aidan provided his son Joseph with four winners while his daughter, Ana, rode Waver (11/4 joint-favourite) to victory in the Follow Naas On Facebook Apprentice Handicap in the colours of her mother Anne-Marie.

Oklahoma City could make a swift reappearance next week after running out an easy winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden, coming home a 13-length winner.

Sent off the 1/2 favourite in a first-time visor, Oklahoma City was building on a satisfactory debut effort when sixth behind subsequent Railway Stakes winner Sudirman at Leopardstown last month.

"The visor must have woken him up and obviously he came forward well from his first run," said the trainer

"We'll probably look to step him up in grade now. We could look for a Listed race or the Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh (July 20) could be a possibility as well."

Minorette (5/4 favourite) then won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden on her debut by a length and three-quarters before Rain God (15/8) won the one mile handicap.to defy a 5lb penalty having won at Leopardstown six days ago.

The five-timer was completed by The Vatican (11/4) in the Tipper Road Race who will now step up in class.

Joseph O'Brien said: "That's my first four-timer although I did ride four winners on the same day last year at Dundalk and Killarney."

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Vatican makes it fabulous five for O'Brien

 By Gary CarsonWed 10th Jul 2013, 21:24

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien celebrate the five-timer
Aidan and Joseph O'Brien celebrate the five-timer
(Healy Racing Photos)
Joseph O'Brien drove home The Vatican in the concluding Tipper Road Race at Naas this evening to make it four on the night for the champion jockey and a fabulous five-timer for his father Aidan.

Morning With Ivan took them along in the ten furlong conditions event but gave way to Dr Funkenstein with two to run.

He was soon pressed by The Vatican Aidan O'Brien junior got his mount to the front at the furlong pole.

He stuck on well in the closing stages to record a length verdict.

Levanto was sent off 5/4 favourite but trailed home last after being eased over a furlong out.

The 11/4 winner, who has been used as the lead horse for Battle Of Marengo, was following up on a maiden success at the Curragh late last month.

“They went a good gallop and he's a horse we always thought would get further than 1m2f,” said Aidan O'Brien. “He'll go for a stakes race now.”

Three of O'Brien's winners wore headgear tonight, Oklahoma City (visor), Minorette(hood), Rain God (blinkers) and he explained:- “Different aids help horses that get a bit lazy.”

Joseph O'Brien added:- “That's my first four-timer although I did ride four winners on the same day last year at Dundalk and Killarney.”

The day had started well for the Ballydoyle handler as he landed the opening two juvenile events with Oklahoma City and Minorette.

Rain God made it a treble in the mile handicap while his daughter Ana also got in on the act when partnering Waver to success in the ten furlong apprentice handicap.

The five-timer was returned at almost 191/1.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)


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Ana makes it four for the O'Briens

 By Gary CarsonWed 10th Jul 2013, 20:45

Ana O'Brien and Waver pose for pictures
Ana O'Brien and Waver pose for pictures 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Ana O'Brien got in on the act as she partnered the fourth winner of her career, aboard Waver, at Naas tonight, giving her father Aidan a four-timer on the card.

Waver, owned by her mother Anne-Marie, was soon sent to the lead in the ten furlong apprentice handicap and stuck on well in the closing stages to land the spoils.

Ana O'Brien asked her mount for an effort two furlongs from home and it was 11/4 joint-favourite Hes Our Music who came through to give chase in the closing stages.

He couldn't get on terms with the well-bred Galileo colt, however, and eventually gave way close home to Lady Geronimo, who got within three-parts-of-a-length of the winner at the line.

The 10/3 winner had shown ability in three maiden starts and was dropping back to ten furlongs here for the first time.

“He just kept galloping,” said Ana O'Brien afterwards.

“He's entered again at Leopardstown tomorrow evening. He's a hardy horse and we'll see how he is in the morning. The owner doesn't believe in not running them!”

Rockabilly Riot, the other 11/4 joint-favourite in the race, could only finish fifth.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)


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Treble up for Ballydoyle at Naas

 By Gary CarsonWed 10th Jul 2013, 19:44

Rain God completes Ballydoyle treble
Rain God completes Ballydoyle treble 
Rain God completed a treble for Ballydoyle at Naas this evening when making all for a game success in the mile handicap.

Joseph O'Brien cut out the running on the son of Henrythenavigator and asked his mount to kick for home with two furlongs to run.

He soon skipped a few lengths clear and kept on well in the closing stages asMordanmijobsworth ran on to get within a length-and-a-quarter at the line.

The winner was completing a quick double, under a 5lb penalty, having scored under Ana O'Brien at Leopardstown six days ago.

“He loves the fast ground. We'll look for another handicap for him. He probably got an easy enough lead but kept going well,” said Ana O'Brien.

Rain God (opened 2/1 into 15/8) was sent off 5/2 joint favourite with General Brook, who could only finish fifth.

The O'Briens also landed the two opening juvenile maidens with Oklahoma City andMinorette.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)


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Minorette doubles up for Ballydoyle

 By Gary CarsonWed 10th Jul 2013, 19:01

Minorette makes winning debut
Minorette makes winning debut
(Healy Racing Photos)
It was a quick double for Ballydoyle in the two-year-old fillies maiden at Naas asMinorette made a winning debut.

The American-bred daughter of Smart Strike raced on the outer as the field spread out in the six furlong contest.

She contested the lead with front-runner Touch Of Snow from the two pole and was asked to quicken into the lead over a furlong from home.

Despite running a touch greenly she kept on in the closing stages, under Joseph O'Brien, to post a length-and-three-quarter winning margin.

“She's a nice filly. Joseph felt she loved the ground and she'd appreciate going seven furlongs,” said Aidan O'Brien.

Minorette had been backed from 11/8 into 10/11 before racing but was easier to back on track and returned 5/4 favourite.

The winner is a half-sister to former Ballydoyle in-mate Master Of Hounds, who went on to score in Group One company in Dubai for Mike De Kock.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)


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Oklahoma too hot for rivals

 By Gary CarsonWed 10th Jul 2013, 18:29

Oklahoma City clear in the opener
Oklahoma City clear in the opener
(Healy Racing Photos)
Oklahoma City blazed a trail in the opening six-furlong juvenile maiden at Naas to run out a convincing winner.

Joseph O'Brien bounced out in front on the Oasis Dream colt and he was soon a few lengths clear of his rivals.

The others never looked likely to peg back the front-runner, who was asked for an effort under two furlongs out.

He stayed on strongly, as he was ridden from over a furlong out, and eventually posted a 13-length verdict over newcomer Bonjour Bob.

The winner was a strongly supported 1/2 favourite in the four-runner event having been available at even-money this morning.

The Ballydoyle charge had shaped with promise, having been hampered at the start, when sixth on his Leopardstown debut behind subsequent Railway Stakes winner Sudirman.

“The visor must have woken him up and obviously he came forward well from his first run,” said Aidan O'Brien afterwards.

“We'll probably look to step him up in grade now. We could look for a Listed race or the Group 3 Anglesey at the Curragh (on July 20th) could be a possibility as well.”

The winning rider added:- "He won better than I expected and I probably should have had a look!

"The ground is very quick and that probably exaggerated it a bit but he is a nice horse."

The winner is from a classy family as his unraced dam is a half-sister to Kayf Tara and Opera House.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)


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Birdie lines up in Cambridge

Wed 10th Jul 2013, 11:06

Bye Bye Birdie winning at Curragh
Bye Bye Birdie winning at Curragh
(Healy Racing Photos)
Bye Bye Birdie will represent Aidan O'Brien in the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (formerly the Cherry Hinton) at Newmarket on Friday.

The Oasis Dream filly bounced back to form with an all-the-way victory in the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh recently.

She had failed to fire in the Queen Mary previously and will again face Clive Brittain's Rizeena who was an impressive winner at at Royal Ascot.

Tim Pitt's One Chance, who ran a big race when third at 66-1 in the Queen Mary, renews rivalry, as does the fourth that day, Fig Roll.

The latter has since gone on to take the Empress Stakes at Newmarket for trainer Richard Hannon.

Godolphin's Fire Blaze is another Queen Mary also-ran hoping for a better effort this time over an extra furlong.

Lucky Kristale and Princess Noor, who were sixth and ninth respectively to Kiyoshi in the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting, also line-up.

The list is filled by easy Ayr maiden scorer Queen Catrine from the Kiyoshi stable of Charlie Hills.


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Magician taken out of Sussex

Wed 10th Jul 2013, 12:18

Magician winning Irish 2000 Guineas
Magician winning Irish 2000 Guineas
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's Magician won't bid to bounce back in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood after he was taken out of the race at the latest acceptance stage.

The Irish 2000 Guineas winner was hampered in the St James's Palace Stakes, before being eased home in last place as Dawn Approach edged out Toronado to the prize.

As short as 8/1 for the Sussex Stakes with Paddy Power, Magician isn't among the 26 horses left in the Group One contest.

However, a thrilling third clash between Dawn Approach and Toronado, the top two European three-year-old milers, remains likely on July 31.

Seamus Buckley, clerk of the course at Goodwood Racecourse, said: "It would be great to get Dawn Approach and Toronado among the runners for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes - a second "Duel on the Downs" following on from Frankel and Canford Cliffs two years ago.

"We have started watering because it has been extremely hot. We are watering at night to maximise the effect.

"I am happy with the way the course has recovered from the early-season racing."

Buckley commenced watering on Monday (July 8) to keep some moisture in the ground and maintain grass growth.

Dominic Gardiner-Hill, the British Horseracing Authority handicapper responsible for milers, is eagerly looking forward to another Dawn Approach/Toronado clash.

He asked: "Is anybody else getting a slight sense of "déjà vu" with the personal duel that is starting to develop between this year's top three-year-old milers Dawn Approach and Toronado?

"Remember 2008 when Henrythenavigator beat Raven's Pass in the 2000 Guineas, the St James's Palace Stakes and again in the Sussex Stakes - on each occasion by a smaller margin than the previous run - only for John Gosden's colt to finally wrench away the miling crown from his old adversary in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.

"I wonder if a similar scenario is due to be played out in front of us this summer. Back to mile after the Derby debacle, Dawn Approach (124 ) landed the St James's Palace by a short-head from Richard Hannon's colt (123 ) to take the personal score between them to 2-0 but boy did Toronado make the winner work hard and many felt he was an unlucky loser.

"Both suffered interference when Glory Awaits ducked left two furlongs out but some felt Toronado got the worst of it.

"A performance figure of 124 for Dawn Approach was the second highest posted in the Royal Ascot race since the turn of the century with only Shamardal's 125 when winning the race at York in 2005 being higher, while Toronado's figure of 123 would have been good enough to win eight of the previous 10 runnings of the race.

"They are two high class colts and will hopefully both turn up fit and well for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood for Round Three!"

Despite no Magician, O'Brien is responsible for six left in the Sussex Stakes, led by Declaration Of War, winner of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and second to Al Kazeem in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park last weekend.

O'Brien's other hopefuls are 2012 Group One St James's Palace Stakes victor Most Improved, 2013 Coral-Eclipse fourth Mars, Jersey Stakes winner Gale Force Ten, Reply and lightly-raced Darwin.

Just The Judge, successful in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and the consistent six year-old Red Jazz could represent trainer Charlie Hills.

Roger Varian's Aljamaaheer and the John Gosden-trainedpair of Gregorian and Elusive Kate finished second, third and fourth respectively in the Queen Anne Stakes, with Trade Storm (David Simcock) fifth on his European reappearance.

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Hemingway gets Ebor entry

Wed 10th Jul 2013, 13:54

Ernest Hemmingway
Ernest Hemmingway
(Healy Racing Photos)
Curragh Cup winner Ernest Hemingway heads several entries made by Aidan O'Brien for the Betfred Ebor at York on August 24.

96 entries have been made for one of the richest handicaps in Europe.

Ernest Hemmingway could be joined by stable-mates Chamonix, Justification, Kingdom and Marchesi Marconi.

Dermot Weld has put in the smart dual-purpose mare Unaccompanied, Pale Mimosa, Notable Graduate and Olympiad.

Jessica Harrington has entered Steps To Freedom while Tony Martin could run Cheltenham winner Ted Veale.

Well Sharp, a revelation this season since having his attentions switched back to the Flat, looks a leading contender.

Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, he did not look a natural over hurdles but hacked up at York and followed that up by winning just as easily at Royal Ascot.

Behind him at Ascot was Lady Cecil's Tiger Cliff and he is another possible along with William Haggas' Stencive. Sun Central and David Simcock's Montaser are also engaged.

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Sir John Hawkins the one for O'Brien

Tue 9th Jul 2013, 13:29

Sir John Hawkins, left
Sir John Hawkins, left
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien relies on Sir John Hawkins from five possibles to give him success in the Portland Place Properties July Stakes on Thursday.

O'Brien withdrew his other Newmarket entries - Coach House, Fountain Of Youth, Stubbs and Wilshire Boulevard - at the 48-hour final declaration stage to give the son of Henrythenavigator chance of a Pattern-race success.

Sir John Hawkins, among a field of 11 for the six-furlong Group Two, landed a Curragh maiden on his debut before finishing third to stablemate War Command in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Richard Hannon is double-handed with Anjaal and Brown Sugar, both good winners of maidens, as he seeks a sixth success in this race.

Richard Fahey looks to Canyari, who created a favourable impression when winning a Doncaster maiden by five lengths on his racecourse bow in May.

Fellow North Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan also saddles a promising type in Astaire, who got off the mark first time at York while Saeed bin Suroor has an interesting contender in Figure Of Speech. The Invincible Spirit colt won over the course and distance at the first time of asking last month.


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O'Brien four among Grand Prix de Paris 18

Mon 8th Jul 2013, 14:16

Festive Cheer, who finished third in the Irish Derby, could travel over to France
Festive Cheer, who finished third in the Irish Derby, could travel over to France
(Healy Racing Photos)
Battle Of Marengo and Mars are among four Aidan O'Brien representatives remaining in Saturday evening's Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.

O'Brien said last week that Derby fourth Battle Of Marengo, who finished runner-up in Royal Ascot's King Edward VII Stakes, was being aimed at the three-year-old Group One over a mile and half.

Mars, who was fourth in last weekend's Coral-Eclipse, Irish Derby third Festive Cheer and possible pacemaker Flying The Flag are also among the 18 left in at Monday's latest forfeit stage.

Andre Fabre is seeking his 12th victory and he has three possible runners at the moment.

They are the sponsors' unexposed Flintshire, OTI Racing's recent Listed winner Au Revoir and his Epsom hope Ocovango.

Ocovango lost his unbeaten record when fifth to Ruler Of The World in the Derby and Ted Voute, racing manager for owner Prince Faisal, said: "Andre's very happy with the horse. I saw him at Saint-Cloud recently.

"Andre is a man of few words and he just said that the horse would be going for the Grand Prix de Paris, just as he said a few weeks earlier that he would be going for the Derby."

Juddmonte also have the John Gosden-trained Excess Knowledge, a close third to Mandour on his reappearance at Sandown last week, while Ann Duffield still has stable star Willie The Whipper engaged.


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Irish Eyes has an ante-post selection for the 

King George VI

By Irish Eyes.   Last Updated: July 7, 2013 3:37pm


St Nicholas Abbey: A strong ante-post selection

St Nicholas Abbey: A strong ante-post selection



It's time to look further ahead to one of the highlights of the summer Flat season, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

It is the Aidan O'Brien trained St. Nicholas Abbey that really catches the eye in the historic contest.

He looked really well at the Curragh last Sunday when he galloped after racing and reportedly went very well again during the week at Ballydoyle.

The King George is likely to throw up a small field again this year and although St. Nicholas Abbey is 2/1 with skybet.com, there are doubts about plenty of the other horses in the field none more so than Cirrus Des Aigles.

He is trading at 3/1 second favourite for the race despite disappointing on his reappearance last week where he only finished fifth, despite going off the Even money favourite.

The German-trained Novellist won that race and is next in the betting at 5/1, despite the fact that he will almost certainly not act on the likely ground.


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Battle Of Marengo is set to tackle the Grand Prix de Paris

Last Updated: July 4, 2013 7:17pm


Battle Of Marengo: Set for Longchamp

Battle Of Marengo: Set for Longchamp


Battle Of Marengo is set to tackle the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on Saturday week.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt finished fourth behind stablemate Ruler Of The World in the Derby at Epsom but could finish only second when dropped to Group Two company for the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, O'Brien will give the son of Galileo another try at the highest level in Paris on July 13, when he tries to follow in the hoofprints of fellow Ballydoyle runner Imperial Monarch, who won the 12-furlong heat last term.

"It looks like he will go there at the moment," O'Brien said.

The trainer also reported Gale Force Ten a possible runner in next week's Darley July Cup at Newmarket while Coventry Stakes third Sir John Hawkins could also run at Headquarters.


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BREAKING NEWS

Two Australian Fillies have been imported to Ballydoyle to be trained By APO'Brien


Nechita (Fastnet Rock x Artistique) in Derrick Smith colours.

Sea Siren (Fastnet Rock x Express A Smile) in Michael Tabor colours.



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Ana O'Brien rides her third winner

Thu 4th Jul 2013, 19:57

Rain God and Ana O'Brien
Rain God and Ana O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Champion Trainer Aidan O'Brien doubled up at Leopardstown today when supplying his daughter

Aidan O'Brien with her third career winner, steering Rain God to win the Bulmers Original Summer Music Night Apprentice Handicap.

O'Brien Jnr, who partnered her first winner on Fairylike at Dundalk on February 15, moved Rain God to lead under two furlongs out before the son of Henrythenavigator stayed on for a three parts of a length win over Little Arrows.

O'Brien Snr later stated “the second horse (Little Arrows) was closing him down and he might have got up in another few strides but I'm delighted he won and will go for another handicap next.”

Perhaps provided trainer O'Brien with his earlier winner in the juvenile fillies' maiden.

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson.

 

 

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Perhaps the latest Ballydoyle 'adverb winner'

Thu 4th Jul 2013, 19:19

Perhaps (right) defeats Chroussa
Perhaps (right) defeats Chroussa
(Healy Racing Photos)
The Aidan O'Brien trained Perhaps was made work hard to justify her 2/5 favourite's tag to win the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at Leopardstown today for the trainer's son Joseph O'Brien.

The sister to Battle Of Marengo looked on course for a comfortable win when looming alongside leader Tahaany entering the straight. However eventual runner-up and newcomer Chroussa made the winner work all the way to the line, with just a neck separating the pair at the line.

Aidan O'Brien stated “she was still green enough in front but I'm delighted with her. She needs to come on but I think she will as she's still only a baby.

She has the makings of a nice filly and we'll step her up slowly; she might go for something like the Silver Flash Stakes next.”

The over-worked crew responsible for naming the Ballydoyle horses are well and truly in their 'grammer phase' at present and Perhaps follows a long line of adverbs, adjectives, nouns and verbs to have run for Aidan O'Brien in recent seasons namely: After, Order, Where, Wrote, Along, Hail, Learn, Soon, Reply, Was, Say, Power, Kissed, Maybe, Though, Hasten, Offer, Exact, Along, Drops, Spin, Know, Up and Why.

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


 

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War Command heads 66 entries for the Gimcrack Stakes at York


War Command: Entered in the Gimcrack Stakes

War Command: Entered in the Gimcrack Stakes


Impressive Royal Ascot winner War Command heads 66 entries for the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York on August 24.


The winner of the Coventry Stakes by a staggering six lengths, the War Front colt is one of 13 entries from the powerful Ballydoyle Stables of Aidan O'Brien although the trainer hasn't saddled the winner of this Group Two contest since Rock Of Gibraltar carried all before him in 2001.

Kevin Ryan and William Haggas have both lifted this prize twice in the intervening years and the former has entered Astaire, Sleeper King, Morning Post and The Grey Gatsby while the latter has a three-strong entry comprising Zaraee, Jacob's Pillow and Ertijaal.

Richard Fahey has a team of five to choose from in the prestigious six furlong contest while Paul Cole could rely on impressive Kempton winner Grecian.




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Ballydoyle hint at Eclipse plans

Declaration Of War: Eclipse possible

Declaration Of War: Eclipse possible


Aidan O'Brien has stripped his potential runners in Saturday's Coral-Eclipse down to two with Mars and maybe Declaration Of War in the shake-up.

Three-year-old Mars, who was a career-best third to Dawn Approach in the St James's Palace Stakes, is the only guaranteed starter at this stage but Declaration Of War could yet step up to a mile and a quarter after his Queen Anne victory.

Camelot, beaten twice by Eclipse favourite Al Kazeem this season, is the only one of the trio left in the race to miss out.

An update on Coolmore's website said: "Currently Mars is a probable runner in the Eclipse Stakes on Saturday, Declaration Of War is also a possible for the race.

"At the moment Camelot is unlikely to run, he hasn't really been himself this season and is going on the easy list for the rest of the month."



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Ian Ogg examines the claims of Mars in Saturday's Coral-Eclipse



Mars: Could fly the flag for the Classic generation on Saturday

Mars: Could fly the flag for the Classic generation on Saturday

The clash of the generations.

It is not the be all and end all of the Coral-Eclipse but the presence of a smart three year old or two certainly adds spice to the mix of a race that was established in 1886.

Since 1980, 11 runners from the Classic generation have won the 10 furlong contest but seven of those came before the turn of the century; just two trainers account for the other four winners with John Oxx's Sea The Stars joining the Aidan O'Brien-trained trio of Hawk Wing, Oratorio and Giant's Causeway on the roll of honour.

Hawk Wing, second at Epsom on his preceding start, had three older rivals in opposition but none of the trio had won above Group Three level while only one of the five older horses to line up against Oratorio and Motivator started at shorter than 16/1.

All four of O'Brien's Epsom Derby winners since 2000 have gone on to the Curragh rather than line up here so, although in addition to his two winners, he has run eight three year olds here in the last 10 years only Rip Van Winkle could be termed a top-class performer and his gallant second to Sea The Stars provided one of the highlights of a memorable season.

The lost generation

Epsom form has been poorly represented in the three intervening years with only Bonfire lining up - he finished sixth in both contests.

Mars also finished sixth on the Surrey Downs but the similarities between the now gelded son of Manduro and this season's sole representative of the Classic generation could end there.

Mars' career has been something of a slow burner to date but it would be no surprise to see his career ignite in the second half of this season.

The subject of glowing reports prior to making his debut in a Dundalk maiden over seven furlongs, he was sent off the 4/7 favourite and duly scored by a comfortable four and three quarter lengths causing the layers to slash his odds for the following season's Derby.

He remained towards the head of the market for the Epsom Classic despite not being seen again in 2012 (the ground never 'came right') and despite only two stablemates (second and ninth of 11; the other eight haven't managed to garner as much as a maiden between them) boosting the form.

Passed over by Joseph O'Brien, he was entitled to need his reappearance in the 2000 Guineas and ran as if that was the case in finishing a never nearer sixth over a trip that was deemed to be inadequate.

Travelling well until the quarter mile pole, he looked ill at ease running into the dip and green under pressure before staying on at just the one pace.

He duly improved on that form in the Derby despite being held-up in last and having an awful run in the straight.

A work in progress

So far so good for a colt that had looked very much a work in progress but then connections sprung a surprise in announcing that he would represent the yard in the St James's Palace Stakes alongside Magician.

It's not always easy to shake ideas once we have them fixed in our minds; this is a son of Galileo who had long been talked about as a Derby contender and his Guineas run had been analysed in that light.

Mars is out of a Danehill mare who won over six furlongs and is from the family of smart sprinters Kodiac and Invincible Spirit.

Galileo's top-performing son Frankel is also out of a Danehill mare who was successful at Listed level over five and six furlongs and, as we know, he was never tried beyond 10 furlongs.

Intello, this year's brilliant French Derby winner, is another bred along similar lines (his dam was a miler and related to sprinters) and both Andre Fabre and Olivier Peslier expressed reservations about the suitability of stepping up in trip for the Arc following his Chantilly romp.

Perhaps, therefore, it shouldn't have been quite so surprising to see Mars fare as well as he did in the St James's Palace Stakes where he closed the gap on Dawn Approach to three lengths (from eight and three quarters at Newmarket).

Once again, he looked a little green (when challenging on the inside of Glory Awaits), he again found trouble in running (when initially asked to challenge on the outside only to find no way through) and again finished off his race as well as anything.

He certainly wasn't an unlucky loser as he lacked the acceleration of the two colts that finished in front of him but he's certainly not short of speed and may not be the stamina-laden performer that his prominence in the ante-post market for the Derby had led many to accept.

Conclusion

The step up to 10 furlongs appears to be the logical step on the back of that run which represented yet another step forwards in his career but will he have the necessary mettle to add to his maiden success?

It may be stating the obvious but key to his claims are the opposition and he does face some top-class older horses.

The Fugue is a Group One winner over the trip and is entitled to come on for her reappearance in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes where she was only beaten three and a half lengths into third.

The first, second and fifth from Royal Ascot are also on track to line up on Saturday along with last year's German Derby winner Pastorius who has added a further Group One to his haul this season with his defeat of Maxios (sixth in the Prince Of Wales's) in the Prix Ganay.

Mars has already achieved a level of form that's comparable with several previous winners but he is not (yet) in the class of Sea The Stars and nor does he face relatively modest older opposition unlike Hawk Wing and Oratorio.

He has been talked about and campaigned like a top-class horse and has shown enough in his races to believe that his latent ability may yet manifest itself.

Even allowing for the fact that he may have been brought along steadily, this is a third relatively quick run and, arguably, potentially his toughest task to date and it's surely too much to expect him to prove up to the task.




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Great - JPO'B wins on two favs at Fairyhouse

Wed 3rd Jul 2013, 21:26

Great Explorer sees it out from Arch Pearl and Cin Cin at Fairyhouse
Great Explorer sees it out from Arch Pearl and Cin Cin at Fairyhouse
(Healy Racing Photos)
He certainly gave the impression that he wasn't over exerting himself but what 11/8 favourite Great Explorer did find for Joseph O'Brien (doubling his score having won on Three Bells earlier), was enough to take the finale at Fairyhouse, the Blanchardstown Maiden.

Great Explorer's rival Arch Pearl probably did too much too early, on the pace, forEmmet McNamara. He travelled best into the straight but Great Explorer was soon making the best of his way home.

Try as they might, the opposition just couldn't find a way past the market-leader in the closing stages and he eventually accounted for Arch Pearl and Magnolia Ridgeby half a length and the same. Less than three lengths covered the first six home.

O'Brien said of the Galileo colt, trained by his father Aidan: "He's still very green and hopefully will improve with racing." (AM & EM)







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Maharaja enters Classic frame with debut win

Tue 2nd Jul 2013, 19:54

Indian Maharaja and Joseph O'Brien
Indian Maharaja and Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Ballydoyle's regally bred Indian Maharaja earned ante-post quotes for next year's 2,000 Guineas and Derby with an impressive winning debut, followed by his heart-stopping 'victory lap', in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden at Gowran today.

Connections of Indian Maharaja, a son of Galileo and out of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Again, had more anxious moments after the mile maiden than before or during the contest.

The winner stormed to an easy six and a half lengths win but, through greeness, then failed to negotiate the bend away from the stands, dumping his rider Joseph O'Brien to the ground as he skidded into the perimeter railing. The colt then galloped loose and after failing to gain entry, over a plastic railing, into the nearby Golf Course was eventually caught and remounted, unscathed.

Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien was completing a double as was his son Joseph who later stated “we thought he (Indian Maharaja) would be very green and he was even green coming down the hill. He was all over the place looking at everything and then just didn't turn.

“The ground is quick and he quickened well and was nearly going too quick and started to skid. He's a lovely horse though.”

Paddy Power later introduced Indian Maharaja at 25/1 for both the 2014 2,000 Guineas and Derby.

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson.



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Ballydoyle 'bridesmaid' finally gets her day

Tue 2nd Jul 2013, 18:33

One True Love (centre) defeats Harpist (left)
One True Love (centre) defeats Harpist (left)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's One True Love broke her maiden tag on her 11th attempt when landing the Centenary Year 2014 Maiden at Gowran today under the trainer's sonJoseph O'Brien.

One True Love had previously finished second four times and third once from her five starts under O'Brien Jnr but the jockey was wise to her quirky ways for much of today's race.

Drawn widest of all in 15, O'Brien kept the filly to the outer before producing her with a challenge early in the straight. The pair moved past heavily backed 11/10 favourite Harpist with a furlong to race and, despite O'Brien dropping his whip and the filly racing with her own Paula Radcliffe styled head-carriage, kept going to record a neck win.

Aidan O'Brien was absent but the winning jockey later stated “I kept her out (for better ground) and the ground is very quick. In fairness she has been running consistently and its nice she's won; hopefully she'll get the hang of it now!”

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson.


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23 Colts have been named this week are:
Ablazing, Adjusted, Agena, Albert The Bold, Annus Mirabills, Belisarius, Blackstone, Century, Down House, Dynamo, Fair Wind, Falkirk, Five Star General, Folk Hero, Granddukeoftuscany, Guerre, Gypsy King, Horseguardsparade, Illusive, Kingfisher, Masai, Quartz and Tigris River   



4 fillies have been named are: 

Just Gorgeous, Meandering, Memorable and Tapestry


All updated on 2yo Page not many left to be named now.

Huge thank you to Jason Doyle for the hard work put into this 



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Camelot among Coral-Eclipse eight

Mon 1st Jul 2013, 13:24

Al Kazeem & Camelot could renew rivalries in the Group 1 contest
Al Kazeem & Camelot could renew rivalries in the Group 1 contest 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Retirement plans for Camelot could be put on hold as he remains in the mix for Saturday's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Connections had considered retiring last year's dual Derby winner following defeats in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot but they have left the four year old in the Group One contest at the latest confirmation stage.

The Montjeu colt is one of three possible runners for Aidan O'Brien with impressive Queen Anne Stakes winner Declaration Of War joined by the promising St James's Palace Stakes third Mars.

The latter is the only three year old in the eight strong entry which is headed by Al Kazeem, conqueror of Camelot on the pair's last two starts.

Mukhadram, second at Royal Ascot, could re-oppose Roger Charlton's five year old with Miblish, Pastorius and The Fugue completing the potential runners.



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            Ballydoyle Horse of the Month (May) Magician Irish 2000 Guineas 67% 

                                    Thanks for voting June Vote open

 

 




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Sarah O'Brien off the mark - in Ladies Derby

Sun 30th Jun 2013, 16:37

A delighted Sarah O'Brien on Beach Of Falesa
A delighted Sarah O'Brien on Beach Of Falesa
(Healy Racing Photos)
For a girl partnering their first winner, Sarah O'Brien gave Beach Of Falesa a great ride to land the Boylesports.com Ladies Derby Handicap for her mother Annmarie and father Aidan (a double after Bye Bye Birdie earlier).

She's competed at the highest level as a teenager in the eventing sphere and here Sarah covered Beach Of Falesa up at the back.

Basically the Dylan Thomas filly didn't even know she was in a race until getting into the clear from the quarter mile pole.

From some way out Jane Mangan had been making the best of her way home onJim Bolger's Eighteen Summers but Beach Of Falesa was soon in hot pursuit.

She came with an irresistible run to sweep past Eighteen Summers to score by two lengths with the same distance back to the Katie Walsh-ridden favourite Manuka.

Aidan O'Brien commented: "That's great, I'm delighted – that's a special one.

"It's a great day and it's a great track to do it on.

"She's a filly that likes being waited with and she couldn't have waited much longer."

Sarah O'Brien herself explained: "She did it very well. Ana (her sister) rode her a few times and told me what she's like.

"My one had plenty up her sleeve turning in, she was still going fairly well. I was happy – she doesn't like to get to the front too early so it suited me well.

"I'll keep riding away and hopefully I might go to college next year." (GC & EM)


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Ernest lights up the Curragh in the Cup

Sun 30th Jun 2013, 17:44

He's certainly photogenic - Ernest Hemingway, with Seamie Heffernan up, at the Curragh
He's certainly photogenic - Ernest Hemingway, with Seamie Heffernan up, at the Curragh
We all remember the devastating eighteen length maiden success at Dundalk of Duntle. Well Ernest Hemingway landed his first start, on the polytrack, by all of ten lengths and he joined the aforementioned filly today as a Group winner as he flew home under Seamie Heffernan to take the At The Races Curragh Cup.

In this Group 3 fourteen furlong event, it looked like it might be more joy for Johnny Murtagh when he led on his own Royal Diamond from before the straight.

Favourite, Voleuse De Coeurs laid down her challenge in the final quarter mile but the longer-priced Ballydoyle runner (a treble for them following on from Bye Bye Birdie and Beach Of Falesa earlier), Ernest Hemingway (12/1, the Joseph O’Brien-ridden El Salvador went off at 7/1) simply sprouted wings from over furlong out, eventually landing the prize by five lengths.

Aidan O'Brien explained: "He ran over a mile and a half before when we used him (as a pacemaker) in the Arc but that wasn't a fair trial (of his staying power).

"When he ran over a mile and two Joseph said he was crying out for a mile and a half.

"It suited to run today and to take our time with him.

"He's a very good mover and probably loved that ground.

"He showed good acceleration today and I'm delighted with him.

"Obviously that's the first time that he's stepped up in distance.

"He's a beautiful horse – a big imposing type." (GC & EM)


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Visor has Birdie humming

Sun 30th Jun 2013, 15:06

Bye Bye Birdie has her rivals well beaten off at the Curragh
Bye Bye Birdie has her rivals well beaten off at the Curragh
A pair of cheek-pieces may have helped Bye Bye Birdie to 'get home' in her maiden at Cork in the middle of the month but the addition of a visor seems to have brought her to a different level as she landed the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh under Joseph O'Brien.

Her strength in the market on occasions and a trip to Royal Ascot for the Queen Mary (12th there) showed that Bye Bye Birdie has always been well-regarded at Ballydoyle and it all came together nicely for the Oasis Dream filly today.

Only third market choice behind Heart Focus and ClenorBye Bye Birdie made a mockery of her place in the betting, breaking well and making all, staying on strongly in the final quarter mile to triumph by three lengths.

Aidan O'Brien disclosed: "She had the head-gear on today as Joseph thought she was keeping plenty to herself.

"She came back from Ascot 4 kilos heavier so that's usually a sign that one's not over-doing it.

"She can go anywhere now. She has loads of ability."

Boylesports go 16/1 Bye Bye Birdie for the next year's Guineas.

A steward's enquiry not involving the winner saw no alteration to the judge's placings. (GC & EM)



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Art holds off unlucky Australia

Sun 30th Jun 2013, 14:32

Renaissance Art (centre) won the 1st at the Curragh
Renaissance Art (centre) won the 1st at the Curragh
If Australia hadn't missed the break badly in the opening Barronstown Stud European Breeders Fund (C & G) Maiden he'd surely have won at the Curragh. He did 'blow the start' though and despite coming home strongly it wasn't enough to catch the neck winner, Renaissance Art.

Renaissance Art represented Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning in this newcomer's heat. The American-bred races in the familiar Mrs Jim Ryan silks and he sported a hood. Easy-to-back at 10/1, the victorious More Than Ready colt travelled with ease through the seven furlongs.

The question was what he'd find when Manning asked for more and the answer was plenty as he stayed on well in the final furlong to hold off the very promising, beautifully bred Australia.

Ger Flynn, representing Bolger, said: "Kevin was delighted with him and said he'll improve bundles. He's still a baby and he's still learning.

"We're very happy with him and he's a very nice colt. Kevin said it rode like a very good race."

Given that Aidan O'Brien trains Australia, it was a bit of a coincidence that Bolger himself was at Croke Park cheering on human Aidan O'Brien-trained performers.

In this case the O'Brien in question is the Westmeath-native in charge of the Wexford senior football team. They're currently battling with Meath for a place in the Leinster Final.

Boylesports go 33/1 Renaissance Art for next year's Guineas whilt they go 20/1Australia. Paddy Power make the pair 25/1 chances. (GC & EM)



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Limonade takes Listed honours

 By Donal MurphySat 29th Jun 2013, 16:15

Count Of Limonade is driven out to score by Joseph O'Brien
Count Of Limonade is driven out to score by Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
After finishing second in a Listed contest on his last start at Leopardstown, Count Of Limonade went one place better this afternoon, as he took the Dubai Duty Free Millenium Millionaire Celebration Stakes under Joseph O’Brien (a pound overweight) for his father Aidan.

The three-year-old son of Duke Of Marmalade won a handicap at Dundalk in April over today’s trip of a mile but he was stepped up in distance on his last two outings.

Dropped back to a mile this afternoon he raced in second behind the front-runningScintillula (5/1), edging ahead two furlongs out and keeping on best from there to hold off the aforementioned Jim Bolger trained runner by half a length.

Captain Joy (8/1) finished best of all, half a length back in third under Ronan Whelan for Tracey Collins, while the 2/1 favourite Caponata could only manage a disappointing fourth under Pat Smullen for Dermot Weld.

The winner was well-supported on track, going from 9/2 to his starting price of 7/2.

Aidan O’Brien said afterwards: "He is tough and very like his daddy. He is getting better with age. He likes fast ground and a mile and a quarter is no problem for him. We will look for a Group race for him now."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee




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Retirement possible for Camelot

Sat 29th Jun 2013, 16:48

Camelot pictured on his way to victory at the Curragh in May
Camelot pictured on his way to victory at the Curragh in May
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien has revealed last year's 2000 Guineas and dual Derby hero Camelot could be retired after failing to recapture his best form this season.

The son of Montjeu kicked off his Classic campaign with a last-gasp victory at Newmarket, before running out a hugely-impressive winner of the Epsom Derby under the trainer's son, Joseph.

Claiming the Irish Derby along the way, the stage was set for Camelot to become the first Triple Crown hero since Nijinsky in 1970 as he was given the green light for the St Leger at Doncaster, but he was narrowly denied on Town Moor by Godolphin's Encke.

A disappointing run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe followed, after which he suffered a severe bout of colic, and although he was brought back for a much-anticipated four-year-old campaign, he has looked a shadow of his former self.

Since managing a workmanlike victory on his return, Camelot has been beaten by Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and finished fourth behind the same opponent in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

While a tilt at the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 6 will be considered, O'Brien is unsure whether to persevere with a horse who remains of significant value to his connections as a potential stallion.

O'Brien said: "He's a very important horse to us and he's not one we want to take any risks with.

"The last day at Royal Ascot, he obviously hadn't come back to his best and while the Eclipse is still an option, retirement is something we might have to consider as well.

"The spark was never there after his run in the Irish Derby last year. He had a tough race there on testing ground and then had that problem over the winter."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee


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Ruler to be given a break

 By Donal MurphySat 29th Jun 2013, 19:42

Ruler Of The World is set for a break
Ruler Of The World is set for a break
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O’Brien has indicated Ruler Of The World will now been given a break, following his fifth place finish in the Irish Derby.

O’Brien said: "He's had three quick enough runs and he got a bit warmer than he did at Epsom.

"I don’t want to make excuses as the winner did it well. We may give him a break now as he deserves it."

O’Brien also ran Festive Cheer in the third Irish Classic of the season, and he kept on well to finish a good third.

He said of him; "I’m delighted with the way he ran. He ran better than he did at Epsom and Ruler Of The World didn’t but that is racing I suppose."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee





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