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Mekong River (Seamie Heffernan) wins

Mekong River and Seamie Heffernan land the International Stakes

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Unstoppable O'Brien bags fantastic four-timer 

Report: Curragh, Sunday

Friarstown Stud International Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f, 3yo+

MEKONG RIVER outbattled Parish Hall as Aidan O'Brien continued his dominance on the card.

Beaten by stablemate Adelaide last time out in a course and distance Group 3, Mekong River was quickly into stride for Seamie Heffernan, with Parish Hall tracking in second.

At three out it appeared Mekong River was going to be easy prey for Kevin Manning on Parish Hall, but the three-year-old kept responding for Heffernan and rallied to claim victory at 5-1.

Ernest Hemingway (Joseph O'Brien) wins

Ernest Hemingway wins the Curragh Cup for a second year

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Also on Sunday

At The Races Curragh Cup (Group 3) 1m6f, 3yo+

ERNEST HEMINGWAY landed this race for the second year in a row, sweeping through from the rear to take the prize under jockey Joseph O'Brien.

Ernest Hemingway was ridden with confidence by O'Brien and charged to victory as the 6-4 favourite. Certerach was second for jockey Jamie Spencer and trainer Michael Halford.

I Am Beautiful (right)

I Am Beautiful (right) makes all the running at the Curragh

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Grangecon Stud Stakes (Group 3) 6f, 2yo fillies

I AM BEAUTIFUL made all of the running for rider Seamie Heffernan to land this contest in a three-way photo finish.

Jeanie Girl and Quinta Verde both threw down strong challenges to the Aidan O'Brien-trained winner but were unable to catch the winner. Jeanie Girl was beaten a short head into second with Quinta Verde a nose behind in third.

I Am Beautful was a second juvenile winner of the afternoon for O'Brien after Gleneagles captured the opening 7f maiden. He was introduced at 25-1 by Paddy Power for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.


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ADELAIDE & WONDERFULLY Both head to Belmont next weekend for The Belmont Derby & Oaks & Can Aidan O'Brien win his 1st German G1 as GEOFFREY CHAUCER supplemented for the German Derby Next Sunday.



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G3 Friarstownstud Int Stakes Mekong River

 


G3 Curragh Cup 2 Ernest Hemingway

 


G3 Grangecon Stud Stakes I Am Beautiful

 


 Curragh Maiden 2 Gleneagles



DDF Millenium Millionaire Stakes Giovanni Boldini

 


Australia Irish Derby

 


G3 Sapphire Stakes 7 Fountain Of Youth

 



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Mekong River Brings Up 4 Timer for Ballydoyle 

Sun 29th Jun 2014, 16:29
Mekong River (Seamie Heffernan) sees it out well from Parish Hall (Kevin Manning)
Mekong River (Seamie Heffernan) sees it out well from Parish Hall (Kevin Manning)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien continues to carry all before him at the Curragh and all four races thus far on Sunday's card have gone to Ballydoyle inmates. Seamie Heffernan has ridden two of them, I Am Beautiful in race two and now Mekong River in the Group 3 Friarstown Stud International Stakes.

Joseph O'Brien was on the other two, Gleneagles in the opener and Ernest Hemingway in the At The Races Curragh Cup.

In the ten furlong Friarstown, Mekong River's number looked up when the front-runner was headed by Parish Hall a furlong and a half out.

However the victorious Galileo colt (Gleneagles and Ernest Hemingway are by the super sire too) was soon back on terms and he found more close home to prevail by a neck.

Aidan O'Brien said: "He was tough and got a good ride. We weren't sure about the fast ground but on good to firm ground he seemed to step up.

"He had been running on soft and when a horse handles soft you're not sure.

"He could step up now. He looks like a horse that'll get a mile and a half." (GC & EM)

Photo


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Spiritjim wins the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud G1 to become Galileo's 80th G1 Winner and his 42nd Individual G1 Winner 

 



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Back to back in Curragh Cup for Ernest

Sun 29th Jun 2014, 15:53
Ernest Hemingway and Joseph O'Brien are followed home by Certerach and Jamie Spencer
Ernest Hemingway and Joseph O'Brien are followed home by Certerach and Jamie Spencer
(Healy Racing Photos)
Equipped with a first-time tongue-strap Ernest Hemingway repeated his win in the Group 3 At The Races Curragh Cup as Ballydoyle completed a hat-trick in the first three races on the card at headquarters.

Joseph O'Brien, aboard the first winner, Gleneagles, was back in the number one on Ernest Hemingway, as Seamie Heffernan rode the 'middle one' I Am Beautiful.

O'Brien gave Ernest Hemingway a patient ride. The five-year-old improved to lead a furlong and a half out and he stayed on well to beat the easy-to-back Meydan hero, Certerach (finished out his race well) by two lengths.

Aidan O'Brien stated: "He loves fast ground. The hard ground is the key to him. All his good form is on fast ground. He's able to quicken and put his toe out.

"He doesn't get it very often. His last run was in Dubai and he didn't get it since.

"He's very ground dependent and we won't go anywhere unless it's good fast ground.

"There's lots of options and we could look at the two mile race at Goodwood." (GC & EM)

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A Beautiful day to shed the maiden tag

Sun 29th Jun 2014, 15:18
I Am Beautiful (Seamie Heffernan, pink) holds off Jeanne Girl (Niall McCullagh)
I Am Beautiful (Seamie Heffernan, pink) holds off Jeanne Girl (Niall McCullagh)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien brought up a double in race two at the Curragh when I Am Beautiful(12/1) benefited from a dashing Seamie Heffernan ride to land the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes (fillies) at the Curragh.

Breaking her maiden on start number three, I Am Beautiful, a daughter of first-season sire, Rip Van Winkle, made all, to add to the gains in the opener for Ballydoyle with Gleneagles.

Jeanne Girl and the well-backed Quinta Verde saw out their races well but they were still just a short head and a nose off I Am Beautiful at the line.

Joseph O'Brien rode the other Ballydoyle hope, As Good As Gold (10/1) but that one had to settle for eighth place.

"That was great and Seamus gave her a very good ride. She's probably had a tough enough race and now we wouldn't mind stepping her up in trip and taking our time with her especially after she's won her Group race.

"She's very well bred and those type of fillies tend to progress," stated O'Brien. (GC & EM)



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Gleneagles so much better on start two

Sun 29th Jun 2014, 14:51
Gleneagles and Joseph O'Brien
Gleneagles and Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
A productive weekend at the Curragh continued for the Ballydoyle team when theJoseph O'Brien ridden Gleneagles (evens) landed the opening Barronstown Stud European Breeders Fund (C & G) Maiden.

Never far away on this occasion, the Galileo colt came forward pleasingly from his debut fourth placing at Leopardstown.

Leading a furlong and a half out, Gleneagles stayed on well in the final furlong to convincingly defeat Stevie's Wonder (66/1 shot who ran a cracker on debut for John Hayden) by two and a half lengths.

Aidan O'Brien also supplied the third, Jamaica, who was a nose off Stevie's Wonder.

"He's very nice and he quickened up well. He came forward lovely from his first run and six furlongs up will be no problem to him.

"I think he'll get a mile but how much further we don't know at this stage.

"He looks quicker than the filly (a full brother to Marvellous). We'll step him up in the Tyros now or something like that," reported O'Brien. (GC & EM)

Gleneagles, a brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Marvellous, wins the Barronstown Stud EBF maiden at the 

Curragh in fine style. Previous winners of the Curragh maiden include Rip Van Winkle, Duke Of Marmalade and 

Roderic O'Connor.



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O'Brien's Eclipse plan

Sun 29th Jun 2014, 13:21
War Command
War Command
(Healy Racing Photos)
War Command is set to accompany stablemate Verrazano to Sandown Park on Saturday as trainer Aidan O'Brien seeks a sixth win in the Coral-Eclipse.

Though the colt has yet to run beyond a mile, he was putting in his best work at the finish when fourth to Kingman in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Verrazano was also in action over a mile at the Royal fixture, where he produced a solid performance to take second place behind Toronado in the Queen Anne Stakes.

The American import has yet to win over the Eclipse distance of a mile and a quarter, but he was successful several times over nine furlongs in his homeland.

"It's very possible War Command will go to the Eclipse with Verrazano on Saturday," O'Brien told At The Races.




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Ballydoyle on Fire Again great to see Giovanni Boldini Winning 

The Dubai Duty Free Millenium Millionaire Celebration Stakes





O'Brien completes Curragh treble

Sat 28th Jun 2014, 19:12
Giovanni Boldini leads the field to the line at the Curragh
Giovanni Boldini leads the field to the line at the Curragh
(Healy Racing Photos)
Australia's trainer Aidan O'Brien completed a treble at the Curragh today, when Giovanni Boldini landed the Listed Dubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes, thus also providing the Champion Trainer's son Joseph O'Brien with a personal double on the day.< Giovanni Boldini was the well supported 8/13 favourite to build on a promising third place finish in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last week and in the end had little difficulty winning, having quickened well in the closing stages to beat Paene Magnus by three parts of a length.

Aidan O'Brien senior (successful earlier with Fountain Of Youth and Australia, in the Irish Derby) stated “Joseph said he loves the fast ground and you have to hold on to him as he loves cover. When he pulled him out, Joseph thought he'd win four or five lengths but in the end he just won.”

Regarding the colt's runner-up defeat in last November's Breeders Cup, O'Brien added “he did the same thing with Ryan (Moore); he travelled and came to win his race and a normal horse would, but he curled up a bit.

“In Ascot he travelled great too but saw too much daylight but sometimes it takes a long time to work out the way to ride a horse and probably 'cover and wait' is the way to ride him.

“Seven (furlongs) or a mile is his trip and Derek (Smith, part owner) was talking about some races in America for him and talking to Joseph (O'Brien), he said he'd like going around a bend on fast ground. On a straight course it just opens up a bit early for him.”

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


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28 June 2014: Australia, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE


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       Australia becomes Galileos 17th Multiple G1 winner and his progeny have now won 79 G1 Races

 



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Australia's day in Irish Derby for more success 

for O'Brien 


28 June 2014: Australia, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

28 June 2014: Australia, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare. 

Winner of the Investec Derby at Epsom on his previous start, the colt followed in the hoofprints of his sire, Galileo, who took this prize in 2001 and his dam, Ouija Board, the Irish Oaks winner in 2004.

Joseph O'Brien, riding his second Irish Derby winner, sat in third place as stablemates Kingfisher and Orchestra made the running.

He made his move on Australia in the straight before leading a furlong out and going on to score as he liked.

The 1-8 favourite was eased down close home, while Kingfisher (25-1) was second and Orchestra third as the O'Brien team filled the first three places.

Australia was sent off at a highly prohibitive price after the race was reduced to just five runners with the late defections of Epsom runner-up Kingston Hill and the winner's stablemate, Geoffrey Chaucer.

However, the expectant crowd got the result they had hoped for as the Ballydoyle inmate completed the Derby double in championship style.

Aidan O'Brien said: "He's got a lot of speed and so much class, it's incredible.

"He just relaxes in his races. Pace is his big thing, he just travels.

"It's very strange that he gets a mile and a half, but I would say he will shorten right up after that. I imagine he'll go back to a mile and a quarter now."

Asked about the possibility of Australia running in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 13, O'Brien said: "I would say he was made for that race."

Australia has been rated a special horse from his early days, as co-owner John Magnier explained.

He said: "It was very easy to spot Australia at the sales, being by Galileo out of such a famous mare.

"It was a no-brainer once he looked the part and, medically, he was OK.

"I was confident before the Irish Derby because I'd been listening to Aidan since he (Australia) was a two-year-old.

"You know Aidan doesn't do that (describe Australia as the best horse he has trained) in an arrogant way.

"He genuinely believes that and he just wanted to share it with people.

"Some days there would be Press people down there (in Ballydoyle) for three and four hours at a time and I guess you wind up, you have to say something, so if he believed he was good, why not say it?

"It adds a bit of excitement and, of course, it puts 12st 7lb on the horse as it's a stick to beat yourself."



Australia, with Joseph O'Brien up, on his way to winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby



Australia completes Derby double

 By Thomas Weekes

Sat 28th Jun 2014, 17:54
Australia wins easily under Joseph O'Brien
Australia wins easily under Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Australia completed the Epsom and Irish Derby double at the Curragh today when justifying 1/8 favouritism in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, leading home trainer Aidan O'Brien's fifth career 1-2-3 cleansweep in the race and his 11th overall win in the race.

The race lost plenty its form value when ante-post second favourite and Epsom Derby runner-up Kingston Hill was taken out due to the drying, fast ground while Geoffrey Chaucer, stablemate of the winner, was also a non-runner, reported coughing.

In truth top classAustralia had little more than an exercise gallop in the Group 1 contest, readily seeing off just four rivals and leading home stablemates Kingfisher, by two and a half lengths, and Orchestra in third.

The win was O'Brien senior's 11th win in the race while winning jockey Joseph O'Brien was registering his second success, having steered his father's Camelot to win the 2012 renewal.

Following Australia's win, his adoring winning trainer stated “he is very unusual in that he has so much speed and class. He'd be very comfortable back at a mile but for him to get a mile and a half the way he does is incredible. He just relaxes, pace is a big thing and he is some traveller.

“A mile is no problem to him and that's what makes him very special.

“Very early on as a two year old, he did four 11 second furlongs working half speed and that's very hard to do but he was able to do it at a very early stage so obviously the class was in there.

“I'd love to go for the Irish Champion Stakes as he's made for it, and you'd love to go back to a mile and a quarter with him. The lads will decide that but maybe he'll have a little rest now.”

Quotes from Gary Carson


Joseph O'Brien onboard Australia comes home to win



Australia Parade Ring





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Fountain springs a surprise for Ballydoyle

Sat 28th Jun 2014, 16:38

Photo: Fountain of Youth


Fourteen to one outsider of the fieldFountain Of Youth caused a surprise to win the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh today, winning for trainer Aidan O'Brien and 'stand-in' rider Seamie Heffernan.

O'Brien's son Joseph O'Brien, stable jockey at Ballydoyle, had opted to ride British raider Monsieur Joe in the race but Heffernan made most of his opportunity, forcing the son of Oasis Dream, one of just two three year olds in the race, to the front in the closing stages for a head win over Extortionist.

Aidan O'Brien senior stated “I was running him over the wrong distances obviously when we were trying to get a mile with him. We tried to make him get a mile on heavy ground and that was probably like running over a mile and a quarter so it was a big disadvantage what we were trying to do.”

Regarding the application of first-time blinkers on Fountain Of Youth today, O'Brien added “coming back to that sort trip on that fast ground he needed every bit of help to keep him awake and Seamie gave him a great ride. We'll keep him to five or six (furlongs) now and he's in all the big sprints.”

Top class performer Maarek was an absentee in the race, officially reported to have a stone bruise.

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


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O'Brien - Curragh ground is beautiful, fast

Sat 28th Jun 2014, 16:31


(Healy Racing Photos)
Champion Trainer Aidan O'Brien is satisfied with the ground conditions at the Curragh ahead of his Australia's bid to win the Irish Derby at 5.30pm.

O'Brien stated “it is beautiful, fast ground and the kind we have been hoping for every year (for the Derby) but haven't got. A few years we've been running on National Hunt ground.

“Geoffrey Chaucer gave a few small coughs and while it's probably nothing, there was no point taking a chance.”

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson



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ITS AUSTRALIA DAY VERSION 2


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Table Rock brings up Ballydoyle double

Fri 27th Jun 2014, 19:38
Table Rock (Joseph O'Brien) stays on well from Bold Thady Quill (nearside)
Table Rock (Joseph O'Brien) stays on well from Bold Thady Quill (nearside)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Ahead of the appearance of their star, Australia, in the Derby tomorrow, Aidan andJoseph O'Brien have taken two of the four races at the Curragh so far with Table Rock victorious in the premier handicap – backed by Done Deal.

Another winner in an all-aged handicap, for a member of the classic generation, after Kernoff in the preceding event, Table Rock came here with a 'naught' to his name but that didn't disguise the fact that he'd been in mid-field at Royal Ascot last time when 'drawn wrong.'

Earlier a winner on Words in the first, Joseph got there on Table Rock a furlong out having given him a patient steer. The 11/2 shot went on to beat Bold Thady Quill by a length and a half.

"He got caught on the wrong side at Ascot and he had to commit too early to try and make the ground up.

"He travels and he quickens but when he gets there he pulls up.

"These Fastnet Rocks are tough horses. We'll keep him busy and see – we won't be leaving him in his box," said Aidan. (GC & EM)



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Words makes a perfect start

 27th Jun 2014, 17:55
Words (Joseph O'Brien, centre) proves best from Curlylocks (white face) and Raydara (noseband)
Words (Joseph O'Brien, centre) proves best from Curlylocks (white face) and Raydara (noseband)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Words, in the same colours as the favourite, Curlylocks, made a pleasing debut to take the opening Tom Crean's Irish Lager European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at the Curragh.

The well-bred Dansili filly was delivered down the outer by Joseph O'Brien and she went on to beat another noteworthy first-timer, Raydara, by a length.

The aforementioned Curlylocks probably didn't enjoy as straightforward a run towards the inner, as Words did, and she ended up another length off them in third.

Ones for the notebook in behind are probably too numerous to mention but suffice as to say that the seven furlong event is likely one to watch more than once again.

Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "She's a nice filly and we're very happy with her. The mammy was good (Moonstone, won the 2008 Irish Oaks).

"She came from a nice bit back and you'd have to be delighted with the run.

"We'll probably look for a Listed or Group race now – probably the Debutante Stakes." (GC & EM)



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Words, a Dansili half-sister to Listed-winning juvenile Stubbs out of Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, wins on her debut at the Curragh



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Joseph & Aidan O'Brien at The Curragh tonight 

and what a start for the lads as WORDS wins the opener



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Hopes building for Australia's Derby bid

Fri 27th Jun 2014, 09:54
Australia wins the Epsom Derby from Kingston Hill (right)
Australia wins the Epsom Derby from Kingston Hill (right)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien is likely to take some encouragement from the latest ground and weather update at the Curragh ahead of Australia's bid for a Classic double in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Saturday.

The regally-bred Galileo colt lived up to the hype when beating Kingston Hill in the Investec Derby at Epsom, but the Ballydoyle trainer has been keen to stress he would not want conditions to turn unsuitably soft at the County Kildare venue.

Speaking at Tipperary last night, O'Brien said: "We all know he wants fast ground. There's a lot of rain forecast for Saturday morning. A lot can change. We want to run him, but he doesn't want soft ground."

Some rain fell overnight, but Curragh manager Paul Hensey tweeted on Friday morning: " 5mm rain overnight @curraghrace. The ground remains good to firm. There is a risk of showers today but mostly dry thereafter."


 



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Granddukeoftuscany's change of tactics

 By Michael Graham


Thu 26th Jun 2014, 20:48
Granddukeoftuscany approaches the line in Tipperary
Granddukeoftuscany approaches the line in Tipperary
(Healy Racing Photos)
Granddukeoftuscany had a facile success in the extended mile and a half maiden in Tipperary as he galloped his rivals into the rain-sodden turf.

On his debut run at the Curragh he was held up in rear and stayed on into sixth, but today the 13/8 favourite was soon sent into the lead by Joseph O’Brien. The pair went clear approaching the straight and tanked towards the line in putting 19 lengths on runner-up Gambling Girl (20/1).

This was a turnaround in form with Wrap Star who was third in that race in the Curragh, but who could only manage fourth today.

Aidan O’Brien said: “He ran very well the first day and he kept galloping. He has taken time to mature and he’s been there a long time. He’s from a good mature staying pedigree.

“We’ll train him for the Great Voltigeur and he’ll get a rest after this. The soft ground didn’t seem to stop him there.”

And on Irish Derby favourite Australia who runs in the big race at the Curragh on Saturday O’Brien added: “We all know he wants fast ground. There’s a lot of rain forecast for Saturday morning. A lot can change. We want to run him, but he doesn’t want soft ground.”

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes


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Magnificent Seven for Curragh Showpiece

Thu 26th Jun 2014, 10:36
Australia beating Kingston Hill at Epsom
Australia beating Kingston Hill at Epsom
(Healy Racing Photos)
Seven horses are set to contest Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Derby at the Curragh following this morning's final declaration stage.

As expected Epsom Derby winner Australia heads the list and will once again do battle with Kingston Hill.

The Roger Varian trained sole British challenger Kingston Hill was runner-up to Australia at Epsom three weeks ago.

Australia's trainer Aidan O'Brien is attempting to win the Irish Derby for a record eleventh time and will run a total of four horses in the race this year. His other three runners are Geoffrey Chaucer, Kingfisher and Orchestra.

Local Curragh trainers Dermot Weld and John Oxx complete the line-up with their respective representatives Fascinating Rock and Ponfeigh.

Paddy Power bookmakers make Australia the 1/3 Favourite with Kingston Hill at 7/2. The other runners are priced 14/1 Fascinating Rock, 20/1 Geoffrey Chaucer, 20/1 Ponfeigh, 33/1 Orchestra and 66/1 Kingfisher.


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Cougar pounces at Naas

  • Last Updated: June 25 2014, 19:57 BST

Aidan O'Brien's Cougar Mountain made an impressive start to his career with victory in the six-furlong New BBQ Format At Naas Maiden.


Aidan O'Brien: Naas winner

Aidan O'Brien: Naas winner

The Fastnet Rock colt holds a number of big-race entries, including the Darley July Cup, Qipco Sussex Stakes and Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, and was given a no-nonsense ride by Joseph O'Brien, taking over at the head of affairs just before the two-furlong pole after Edamame had cut out the early fractions.

Sent off the 8-11 favourite, the highly-regarded newcomer responded takingly, quickening smartly and powering away from the 87-rated Monsieur Power in the final furlong to score by five and a half lengths.

The winner had been due to make his racecourse bow in the opening race of the 2013 Flat season at the Curragh, but was withdrawn with a stone bruise.

O'Brien senior was absent, but the winning rider said: "He's a horse we've always really liked for fast ground.

"We always thought he'd have no problem with five, six or seven (furlongs) and he might get a mile.

"We thought last year he was our best two-year-old and he has a chance of being a Group One horse.

"He was quite green. I gave him a slap down the shoulder and got there too soon so I had to stay going and pushed him out hands and heels.

"It's always frustrating when you have a good one at home standing in a box. He never had any major problems, but when he got near a run he had little setbacks.

"He was coughing for a while and had a stone bruise as a two-year-old that took him a while to get over.

"In the second half of last year we said we'd have him for next year and we hoped to have him out earlier than we did.

"I think he could be a very good horse, whether that's as a sprinter or a miler, I don't know.

"He's going to improve an awful lot from here. He's only been outside Ballydoyle once when he went to the Curragh two weeks ago for a canter."




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O'Brien's double up with Shell House

 By Donal Murphy

Wed 25th Jun 2014, 21:35
Shell House and Joseph O'Brien (inside) just get the better of Sea Coast and Shane Foley
Shell House and Joseph O'Brien (inside) just get the better of Sea Coast and Shane Foley
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan and Joseph O’Brien completed a double on the card at Naas as they took the last, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, with the odds-on favourite Shell House (earlier won the second with Cougar Mountain).

This daughter of Galileo (second winner of the evening for the sire) ran a cracker on her debut at the Curragh last September when finishing second to stable mate Dazzling.

She then finished sixth on her next start at Leopardstown when sent off favourite, while she was beaten into fourth on her first start as a three-year-old at Navan earlier this month when again sent off favourite.

Her last effort came over a mile and two and dropped back to a mile this evening she was sent off at 9/10 having opened at evens on-course (was available at 11/8 this morning).

Having broke smartly she made all and while she was strongly pressed by Sea Coast inside the final furlong she battled gamely to see off that rival by a short head.

The aforementioned Sea Coast was returned a 5/2 chance under Shane Foley forMick Halford, while the Dermot Weld trained newcomer Sarafiyla was a further two and a half lengths back in third.

Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: "She ran well the last day and the step down in trip probably wasn't ideal as I think she'll get a mile-and-a-half. It would be nice to get some black-type for her."

The winner cost €260,000 as a yearling at Arqana and she is a half-sister to What A Name, who won two Group Three contests in France, and the classy nine time winner Diabolical.

STEWARDS REPORTS

The Stewards fined Garrett James Power, trainer, €350 for lodging a passport in respect of Annadiamond, in which the vaccinations did not conform with the provisions of Rule 91.

The Stewards allowed the horse to run on receipt of the trainer's written assurance that the vaccinations were in order.

The Stewards informed Albert Moriarty, trainer that Sea Adventure (withdrawn), would have to be recertified before being declared to run from stalls again.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Cougar Mountain Destroys Rivals on Debut 

Photo: Cougar Mountain



"We thought last year he was our best 2-year-old but he had a few little setbacks. We're a bit excited by him," J O'Brien - Cougar Mountain.

COUGAR MOUNTAIN 1m 9.23s My word that is very fast

Cougar Mountain, for Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, got off the mark on his debut as he ran out an easy winner of the New BBQ Format At Naas 3yo Maiden over six furlongs.

The son of Fastnet Rock was due to make his debut at the Curragh in March of 2013 but was taken out due to a stone bruise.

Sent off the 8/11 favourite this evening he raced on the outer and was settled in fourth.

He was pushed along over two furlongs out but once Joseph O’Brien got serious he hit the front a furlong and a half from home, soon going clear to score easily by five and a half lengths.

Monsieur Power finished second at 5/2 under Colm O’Donoghue for Eddie Lynam, while the Dermot Weld trained newcomer Intisaab was a further four and a half lengths back in third.

Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: "He's a horse we've always really liked for fast ground.

"We always thought he'd have no problem with five, six or seven and he might get a mile.

"We thought last year he was our best two-year-old and he has a chance of being a Group One horse.

"He was quite green. I gave him a slap down the shoulder and got there too soon so I had to stay going and pushed him out hands and heels.

"It's always frustrating when you have a good one at home standing in a box. He never had any major problems but when he got near a run he had little setbacks.

"He was coughing for a while and had a stone-bruise as a two-year-old that took him a while to get over.

"In the second half of last year we said we'd have him for next year and we hoped to have him out earlier than we did.

"I think he could be a very good horse, whether that's a sprinter or a miler I don't know.

"He's going to improve an awful lot from here. He's only been outside Ballydoyle once when he went to the Curragh two weeks ago for a canter."

The winner holds entries in the both the July Cup and the Sussex Stakes (both Group 1’s) while he is also entered in the Minstrel Stakes and the Meld Stakes (both Group 3’s and both at the Curragh next month).

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Stellar cast in International

  • Last Updated: June 25 2014, 13:03 BST

Derby hero Australia and Hardwicke Stakes winner Telescope are eyecatching names to feature amongst 37 entries for the Juddmonte International at York on August 20.


Australia has been given an entry in the Juddmonte International at York.

Australia has been given an entry in the Juddmonte International at York.

Australia is one of a clutch of possibles for Aidan O'Brien, with Ruler Of The World, Magician, Leading Light, Verrazano and Kingsbarns among his older challengers.

O'Brien's three-year-old legion also features Royal Ascot winner Bracelet and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Telescope demolished his rivals in Berkshire, beating fellow Sir Michael Stoute inmate Hillstar in the process, and that pair are both entered for the 10-furlong feature, which is worth a record £800,000 this term.

Stoute has another interesting string to his bow in Arab Spring, who triumphed at handicap level at Ascot.

Noble Mission could try to emulate his brother, Frankel, who won the race in 2012, while Richard Hannon has entered Night Of Thunder and Shifting Power.

Al Kazeem, third in the race last year and only recently back in training with Roger Charlton, is also in contention.

Derby second Kingston Hill, Prince of Wales's Stakes winner The Fugue and French Derby scorer The Grey Gatsby are also possible runners.


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Chic & Fugue among Yorkshire Oaks entries

Wed 25th Jun 2014, 13:25
Chicquita pictured on her way to victory in the Oaks at the Curragh last year
Chicquita pictured on her way to victory in the Oaks at the Curragh last year
(Healy Racing Photos)
Defending champion The Fugue and Aidan O'Brien's interesting recruit Chicquita are among the 34 entries for the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on August 21st.

As well as The Fugue, last seen producing a career-best in winning last week's Prince of Wales's Stakes, trainer John Gosden has the Investec Oaks winner Taghrooda, Sultanina, Pomology and Freedom's Light to choose from in this prestigious Group One.

Aidan O'Brien has yet to give a start to Chicquita, last seen landing last year's Irish Oaks for Alain de Royer-Dupre before she was snapped up by Coolmore at the sales. The Ballydoyle trainer also has Peace Burg, Venus De Milo, Bracelet, Tapestry, Marvellous and Dazzling in his squad.

Royer-Dupre picked up the Yorkshire Oaks two years ago with Shareta, and the Aga Khan's little-known Dolniya is his potential representative this time around.

Adding a further touch of overseas interest is the presence of two German-trained fillies, Markus Klug's pair of Hey Little Gorl and Weltmacht.

 

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Australia heads O'Brien's Irish Derby team


Tue 24th Jun 2014, 15:02
Australia
Australia
(Healy Racing Photos)
Australia is one of seven possibles for Aidan O'Brien in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The impressive Epsom winner is likely to be a very warm order to emulate his former stablemate Camelot, who completed the Classic double two years ago.

Whereas O'Brien wants the rain to stay away for his new star, connections of Derby runner-up Kingston Hill will be hoping that the clouds open, although he will take his chance as long as the ground is not too fast.

"We're looking at the weather. They are saying they could get up to 15 millimetres of rain and if that was the case, we'd love to run if we got good ground or easier," said David Eustace, assistant to trainer Roger Varian.

As well as Australia, O'Brien could run Geoffrey Chaucer, who went wrong at Epsom, Kingfisher, Mekong River, Orchestra, Table Rock and War Command, who was a fast-finishing fourth over a mile in the St James's Palace Stakes last week.

Dermot Weld's Fascinating Rock, eighth at Epsom and Godolphin's True Story, one place in front of him, could renew rivalry. John Oxx's Ponfeigh, winner of his last two races, is the unknown quantity in the race.

Among those taken out were Derby fourth Arod, Ebanoran and Hydrogen.

 


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Leon justifies favouritism under Power

 By Donal Murphy


Mon 23rd Jun 2014, 20:00
King Leon (left) is driven out by Robbie Power to see off Wandering Aengus
King Leon (left) is driven out by Robbie Power to see off Wandering Aengus 
(Healy Racing Photos)
King Leon followed up on his maiden hurdle win at Ballinrobe last month as he took the T & V Novice Hurdle under Robbie Power for Aidan O’Brien.

The JP McManus owned five-year-old son of Mountain High failed to win a bumper in six attempts but he has taken to hurdling well and is now two from three over flights.

Having won his maiden over two and a half he was stepped up to three miles for the first time this evening and he was sent to post the 11/8 favourite.

Settled in mid-division he was niggled along in sixth before the three out, improving into third soon after that flight.

He was under strong pressure on the approach to the second last, improving into second after that obstacle.

He jumped the last alongside Wandering Aengus and he kept on best on the run-in to see off that rival by two and a half lengths. < Wandering Aengus was sent off a well-backed 7/2 chance (6/1 this morning and from 9/2 on-course) under Shane Shortall for Patrick Prendergast, while War Of The Pennys completed the placings a further fourteen lengths back in third under Eddie Keating for Michael Cullen at 7/1.

Bless N'ject, who was the even money favourite this morning, drifted out to 9/4 at the off and he finished a disappointing fifth under Patrick Mullins for his father Willie.

Frank Berry, racing manager for JP Manus, said afterwards: "It was workmanlike but he kept jumping and he kept going.

"He appreciated the trip and the ground was nice which was a big help. We will try and find another one like that for him somewhere.

"He might have one more run over hurdles and then he’ll probably go chasing."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Royal Ascot Winners 2014



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Red Rocks pointed to 2nd win in as many runs

Sun 22nd Jun 2014, 17:51
Red Rocks Point and Colm O'Donoghue are too strong for Ebeyina and Pat Smullen
Red Rocks Point and Colm O'Donoghue are too strong for Ebeyina and Pat Smullen
(Healy Racing Photos)
Original 'second in,' Red Rocks Point was demoted to outsider of the three for the concluding Here's To Another Centenary Race at Gowran but the Fastnet Rock colt knows nothing about betting and he prevailed under Colm O'Donoghue.

Odds-on favourite Ebeyina was racing on much different ground than she'd encountered when so impressive on her sole start at Cork. She also had a tongue-strap on coming back a little in trip and dual course winner Warbird was the one they liked against her.

Front-runner Red Rocks Point (4/1) went even longer in-running as O'Donoghue didn't appear happy approaching the straight.

However the Ballydoyle runner was tough in the final quarter mile and Ebeyinacouldn't find a way past as Warbird found disappointingly little.

A length and a quarter and seven and a half lengths separated the trio at the line.< Red Rocks Point was sporting blinkers on start number two having won a Dundalk maiden back in September.

Joseph O'Brien, who rode him then, was suspended today for a whip ban he picked up when dead-heating on Gypsy King at the Curragh.

Meanwhile O'Donoghue explained: "He loved the ground and he is tough and hardy. It is great to see him improving from last season.

"The boss (Aidan O'Brien) said he would be very hard to beat and he was proved right. I was never headed but when Pat (Smullen on Ebeyina) came to challenge he actually helped as my fella is still a bit raw. Hopefully there is plenty of improvement in him." (DM & EM)




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A Day of Near Misses At Royal Ascot Day 5


El Salvador Runs a Cracker in the Queen Alexandra to finish 2nd 

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El Salvador made considerable headway late in the day to finish second,but could not pick up the winner.


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Due Diligence ran a brilliant race to finish 2nd in the Diamond Jubilee 

so close to winning 


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Slade Power won as the 7/2 favourite under Wayne Lordan, with fellow Irish challenger Due Diligence finishing second.

Aljamaaheer was an honourable third for trainer Roger Varian and jockey Paul Hanagan.

Lordan said: "He travelled real well, I got there a little bit soon and he rolled around with me, but I had plenty left and I'm delighted.

"From early in his career he gets a little bit warm (before a race). If he wasn't doing it I'd be worried.

"It feels great. We don't come across these horses too often that can come and compete and when they win it's even better."

The 14-runner field split into two groups, but it soon became evident that the quintet on the near side were always chasing the game.

Due Diligence's jockey, Ryan Moore, was aware of this and nudged towards the middle of the track with three furlongs to run.

The War Front colt was snatched up by the winner very late in the piece, but it made little difference to the outcome - even though the stewards held a brief inquiry.

Slade Power was always handy towards the far side, where Astaire made the running before he grew a little weary inside the final furlong.

Lynam's five-year-old entire had already taken the lead by then, and was kept honestly up to his work to score by a length and a half.

Aljamaaheer was another head away in third..


Joesph steps out ready for the ride on Darwin in the 

feature race The Diamond Jubilee





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DICK WHITTINGTON 3rd in the opening race the Listed Chesham Stakes




Dick Whittington ran well in 3rd he has been busy and may get a break ready for the late summer & AUtumn Group races. 




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Aidan & Coolmore Partner Derrick Smith at Royal Ascot Day 5

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It was a day of near misses as Dick Whittington Due Diligence & El Salvador make the placings for Trainer Aidan O'Brien

But could not add to his 43 Royal Ascot winners.



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Marconi gets it right in the Limerick finale

 By Donal Murphy

Fri 20th Jun 2014, 21:33
Marchese Marconi strides to victory under Sarah O'Brien
Marchese Marconi strides to victory under Sarah O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Marchese Marconi, who has finished second seven times, recorded his fourth career success as he justified favouritism in the last at Limerick, the Derek Ryan 24th July Qualified Riders Race.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by his daughter Sarah, the five-year-old entire son of Galileo (a second winner at the meeting for him) raced in second for the majority of the contest.

He improved to dispute the lead with Mourad over three furlongs out, hitting the front just over two furlongs from home.

He was challenge by Gusty Rocky from the furlong pole but he kept on best under pressure, going on to score by three lengths at the line.

Fire Fighter, who raced well off the pace, flew home to take second at 6/1 underFinian Maguire for his father Adrian while Gusty Rocky (drifted from 11/4 to 4/1 on-course) was a further half a length back in third.

The winner was available at 11/8 this morning, opening on-course at 4/5, the price which he went off at.

Sarah O’Brien said afterwards: “He was very good and relaxed. He is a lovely uncomplicated horse. That is my fifth winner and my second on him.”

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes



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Toscanelli gets the job done

 By Donal Murphy

Fri 20th Jun 2014, 18:50
Toscanelli is ridden out close home by Seamie Heffernan
Toscanelli is ridden out close home by Seamie Heffernan
(Healy Racing Photos)
Toscanelli, who is a full-brother to stable mate Wonderfully, made it two from two for favourite backers at Limerick as he took the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2yo Maiden.

The well-bred Aidan O’Brien trained colt finished sixth on his debut at Leopardstown earlier this month behind Convergence, and having opened at 4/5 on-course he went off the clear 8/13 favourite.

After breaking smartly the son of Galileo was settled in second by Seamie Heffernan.

He made progress to lead over a furlong out and kept on well inside the final furlong when ridden to score comfortably by two and three parts of a length.

Soebroto finished second, after attempting to make all, under Wayne Lordan forDavid Wachman at 9/2, while the Dermot Weld trained newcomer Innish Man (7/2) was a further three and three parts of a length back in third under Pat Smullen.

Seamie Heffernan said afterwards: "He improved a fair bit from his first run. He is very well bred and hopefully he’ll keep improving."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes


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Century 2nd in The Queens Vase and i think he was robbed 


Hartnell (left) holds off Century - but has to survive a stewards' inquiry to keep the Queen's Vase



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ADELAIDE Finishes 2nd In King Edward Stakes


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Adelaide In The Parade Ring 

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HALL OF MIRRORS Finished 5th In The Wolferton Handicap


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Adelaide Arrives at Royal Ascot for the Ascot Derby





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Bracelet Ribblesdale Stakes

 

 



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Leading Light WINS THE GOLD CUP

 

 


 


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Battle of Marathon & Colm O'Donoghue,1st in 5.55 pm Leopardstown

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Battle Of Marathon quickens up to win nicely

 By Michael Graham

Thu 19th Jun 2014, 18:29
Battle Of Marathon surges towards the line
Battle Of Marathon surges towards the line
(Healy Racing Photos)
Despite drifting in the betting market, Battle Of Marathon showed plenty of dash in winning the juvenile maiden over six furlongs at Leopardstown.

Having opened at 11/2 Aidan O’Brien’s colt was relatively friendless in being returned at 7s. This was a step up on his debut performance when seventh of eight in a five furlong Tipperary maiden won by subsequent Queen Mary heroine Anthem Alexander.

In today’s encounter he tracked stablemate Rule The Waves in the final furlong before powering clear with 200 yards to race. He had two and three quarter lengths in hand of the staying on I Will Excel (9/4 favourite).< Rule The Waves was two and a quarter lengths further back in third at 6/1. The gamble of the race wasJust A Penny from 12s this morning down to an SP of 9/2. He came home sixth.

Successful jockey Colm O’Donoghue said: “The step up to six furlongs helped him compared to the five in Tipperary in what turned out to be a very good maiden with the Queen Mary winner in it. He’ll improve a lot for racing. It’s good to firm, but it is beautiful ground.”

Battle Of Marathon, a son of War Front, holds Group 1 entries in the Phoenix and National Stakes and a Group 2 entry in the Railway Stakes.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee


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Leading Light WINS THE GOLD CUP


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Leading Light heads back to the Stable a Gold Cup Winner Following in the Footsteps of Yeats & Fame And Glory


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Leading Light provided Aidan O'Brien with a record sixth 

Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in a thrilling finish to the Group One.


Leading Light edges out Estimate to win a thrilling Gold Cup

Leading Light edges out Estimate to win a thrilling Gold Cup


The St Leger winner was backed as though defeat was out of the question but he was made to scrap for every inch of the two and a half mile contest by the two gallant mares that filled the places.


Jim Crowley wound it up on board the leader turning into the straight as Ryan Moore had to bide his time for a run on last year's winner Estimate who was having her first run of the season.
Fellow Irish raider Missunited had made almost all of the running with Royal Diamond and Brown Panther in her slipstream with Estimate buried in the pack and Leading Light on the outside in midfield.

The Queen's mare had brought the house down at the Berkshire track when prevailing 12 months ago, the first winner of the Royal Ascot feature to be owned by a reigning monarch in the history of the great race, but her preparation hadn't gone smoothly.

As Moore looked for a run, the eventual winner and Joseph O'Brien refused to allow him out forcing Estimate to switch to the inside.

She then came outside Missunited and inside Brown Panther who edged right into Leading Light who momentarily looked as though he would hang across the track.

O'Brien soon had him back on a straight line and he ran on gamely under strong pressure to win by a neck from Estimate with Missunited a short-head away in third.


Photo: Leading Light Pre race



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Bracelet Wins Ribblesdale Stakes


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Bracelet sparkles at Royal Ascot

 19th Jun 2014, 16:24
Bracelet and Joseph O'Brien
Bracelet and Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Bracelet bounced back from her disappointing display in last month's Qipco 1000 Guineas to give Aidan and Joseph O'Brien victory in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Having made a winning reappearance at Leopardstown at the end of March, the daughter of Montjeu failed to fire in the Rowley Mile Classic and was a 10-1 shot stepped up to a mile and a half and fitted with a hood for the first time.

Buried in the middle of the pack while her stablemate Terrific played the role of pacemaker, Bracelet edged closer to the front end still moving sweetly rounding the home bend, and though she had to be pulled wide to challenge once straightened up, she got rolling from the two-furlong marker and saw out the trip well to hold off the late challenge of Lustrous by half a length.

Criteria was just a head away in second, with French-trained favourite Vazira making up a lot of ground from the back of the field to take fourth.

The O'Brien team were getting on the scoresheet for the first time this week.

Joseph O'Brien said: "She travelled well, she did everything right through the race.

"We went a nice even pace, but I probably got there a bit soon, so I had to keep going with her.

"She's tough, she stays and she tries. I could hear the others coming but I was always holding them."

Aidan O'Brien said: "They've been running very ordinary. They all looked very healthy, so it's a big relief. Some we thought would have done better, but we just have to be patient.

"Ryan said when he rode her in the Guineas to step her up to a mile and a half and we popped a hood on her at home and that seemed to help her.

"I suppose well have to look at the Irish Oaks now."

Richard Hannon said of the runner-up: "She ran a super race. We supplemented her for the Irish Oaks and she'll run a big race there."

John Gosden said of Criteria: "She ran a blinder. They played about with the pace a bit but she's now Listed- and Group-placed.

"She'll need freshening up but we'd then look for a Listed race somewhere and hopefully work towards the Park Hill. My other filly (Bright Approach) found the ground too quick and the trip too far."

Christophe Soumillon said the favourite Vazira, who finished fourth, needs to do some work on leaving the stalls.

He said: "She is a big filly and does a few bad things in the gate. I was hoping we could go in last but we couldn't.

"With a filly like her with a lot of stamina to be last in a race like this, even with a strong pace, it is nearly impossible to make up ground.

"I think the way she ran today is good for the future because we know she is going to stay."


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Back to the Winners Enclosure




The Boss is Happy Now 



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THE GREAT WAR Pre Race




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Light to shine in Thursday feature

  • By: Simon Holt
  • Last Updated: June 18 2014, 11:11 BST

Simon Holt previews day three at Royal Ascot where Leading Light is fancied to land the Gold Cup.


Leading Light: Fancied to beat Estimate in the feature

Leading Light: Fancied to beat Estimate in the feature


The winner of the Queens Vase at this meeting 12 months ago, Aidan O'Brien's classic winner has developed into a smart stayer winning decisively from the Oaks winner Talent at Doncaster in September before finishing unplaced in the Arc.
While many a heart will wish for a second Gold Cup win for Her Majesty The Queen, last year's St Leger winner LEADING LIGHT looks a good bet to lower the Royal colours worn aboard Estimate in Thursday's big race renewal at Royal Ascot.

Leading Light made the perfect reappearance in the Vintage Crop Stakes at The Curragh in May, handing out a decisive beating to the re-opposing Royal Diamond (a winner here on Champions Day last October) and, with the course and distance likely to suit him ideally, Joseph O'Brien's mount could prove too classy.

Estimate brought the house down when defeating Simenon here last year, prompting scenes of joy in the Royal Box, but then struggled in softer ground behind Royal Diamond in the autumn.

Ground conditions should be more suitable here but Sir Michael Stoute has been under pressure to have her primed for this repeat attempt following a setback in the spring. Reportedly, Estimate has been working well - beating the smart middle distance horse Hillstar in one gallop - but whether a repeat performance a year later (it was a bunch finish last June) would be good enough again in what looks a better quality race remains to be seen.

Of the others, the likeable Brown Panther would be a popular winner for his owner-breeder Michael Owen and comes into the race in fine fettle after victories at Chester and Sandown this season.

A creditable eighth in the Melbourne Cup last November, this strapping six-year-old has got better with age and should be thereabouts.

Meanwhile, the grey Tac de Boistron could be a danger to all and was particularly impressive here in the Sagaro Stakes in April but, unless heavy rain eases conditions, he is unlikely to run.

Earlier, INCHILA looks the obvious selection for the Ribblesdale Stakes providing she has recovered from her hard race at Epsom nearly a fortnight ago when fourth to Taghrooda in the Oaks.

Indeed, with better luck in running, Peter Chapple-Hyam's filly would probably have chased the winner home - she was badly impeded in the closing stages - and the step up to this distance of a mile and a half that day seemed to suit her very well.

The most talented of Inchila's rivals here could be the French filly Vazira, successful in two of her three racecourse starts meeting defeat for the first time against the unbeaten We Are in the Prix Saint Alary at Longchamp last time while the O'Brien-trained Guineas disappointment Bracelet is now fitted with a hood for this step up to a mile and a half.



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Shield weighs in light and loses Wexford's 3rd

Wed 18th Jun 2014, 19:46
Bentelimar (left, Brian O'Connell) and Shield tracking with Robbie Power up
Bentelimar (left, Brian O'Connell) and Shield tracking with Robbie Power up
(Healy Racing Photos)
After enduring a trying time in the opening two races, favourite backers had a slice of luck at Wexford in the third, the Wellingtonbridge Novice Hurdle, as 8/13 chanceBentelimar got the race with first past the post Shield thrown out for weighing in light.

In the four runner two and a quarter miler, there was some sloppy jumping, butBentelimar and Shield had it to themselves from a long way out as outsidersChangeofluck and Late For Supper trailed.

A bad mistake at the third last by Shield looked to settle things in Bentelimar's favour but the former really came alive from the back of the last.

Racing down the centre he went away to outpoint Bentelimar by eight lengths.

The J P McManus-owned, Aidan O'Brien-trained Shield lost the race though after rider Robbie Power weighed in a number of pounds light.

Bentelimar, trained by Philip Fenton for James Ryan, and ridden by Brian O'Connell, was awarded the race.

The Stewards received a report from the Clerk of the Scales, W. Fleming, that R.M. Power, rider of Shield, placed first, had weighed in 8lbs light. Evidence was heard from the rider concerned who stated that he had weighed out correctly but noticed on weighing in that his lead cloth was missing and he was 8lbs light.

Evidence was also heard from Jim O'Brien, Authorised representative of A.P. O'Brien, trainer of Shield. He admitted that he had inadvertently forgotten to include the lead cloth when saddling Shield. Having considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that R.M. Power had weighed in 8 lbs light and therefore was in breach of Rule 231 (i).

Under the provisions of this rule "Shield" was disqualified and the result was amended to read; First - Bentelimar, Second - Changeofluck, Third - Late For Supper.

The Stewards found that Jim O'Brien was solely responsible for this error and therefore was in breach of Rule 148(i) and Rule 36(iii). Using their powers under Rule 14 the Stewards fined A.P. O'Brien, trainer, €2,000 through his representative Jim O'Brien.

(DM & EM)


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Magician Ran Very well But The Fugue got her revenge on Him 

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Magician Pre Race


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Australia (Joseph O'Brien) wins the Derby

Australia: could drop back to 1m2f for Coral-Eclipse

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Derby duo may battle again in Coral-Eclipse

AUSTRALIA and Kingston Hill, first and second in the Derby earlier this month, could clash again in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown next month, with both left in at the latest confirmations stage.


Australia's trainer Aidan O'Brien has other high-class contenders for the race, with Magician and Queen Anne runner-up Verrazano among his options. Telescope, The Fugue and Trading Leather are part of the 32 entries, though there will be no appearance from French superstar Treve, who was one of the scratchings.
The last Derby winner to triumph in the race was Sea The Stars in 2009, and the John Oxx-trained great was also the last horse from the Classic generation to triumph, with older horses holding sway since.

Irish 1,000 Guineas winner and beaten Oaks favourite Marvellous has been given an entry for the Qipco Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket's July meeting. The filly was one of 31 entries received, with Purr Along, Sky Lantern and Lightning Thunder other possibles.

Last year's Bunbury Cup winner Field Of Dream features among 106 entries for the Newmarket handicap, while 2010 John Smith's Cup winner Wigmore Hall could return for a crack at the race, the Michael Bell-trained seven-year-old one of 89 entrants for the York race.


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  • War Ready For Norfolk Battle


Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)5f

  • (2yo, 5f, Class 1, 9 runners)
  • Winner £45,368 2nd £17,200 3rd £8,608 4th £4,288
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf

Views from connections ahead of the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday.


The Great War: Norfolk Stakes hopeful

The Great War: Norfolk Stakes hopeful

The Great War puts his lofty reputation on the line in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Ante-post favourite for next year's Qipco 2000 Guineas on the back of two wins in as many starts, the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt is a son of fashionable stallion War Front and is an imposing individual.

Both his wins have come at five furlongs, most recently in a Listed race at the Curragh in May, and connections opted to stay at the minimum trip rather than the six furlongs of the Coventry Stakes on the opening afternoon.

A recent planned outing on Irish Guineas weekend was sidestepped due to the rain-softened ground.

Rider Joseph O'Brien told At The Races: "It didn't make sense to run him on Guineas weekend on that ground.

"He hasn't come off the bridle yet.

"He probably hasn't beaten great horses yet, but you couldn't have asked him to do it any easier than he has."

Leading the opposition is the Richard Hannon-trained Baitha Alga, the mount of Frankie Dettori in the Al Shaqab Racing colours that have already been prominent this week.

The Fast Company colt has won his last two starts and was impressive at Epsom on Derby day.

Mukhmal for Mark Johnston will command plenty of attention after defying a wide draw to win in some style at Chester's May meeting, while the once-raced Snap Shots is held in some regard by the Tom Dascombe team.


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Magician primed for Treve clash

Tue 17th Jun 2014, 21:04
Magician, near side
Magician, near side
(Healy Racing Photos)
Magician takes on French superstar Treve in Wednesday's Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien's Breeders' Cup Turf winner showed his versatility as three-year-old by landing the Irish Guineas and then excelling over an extra half-mile in America. He was beaten by Noble Mission in the Tattersalls Gold Cup most recently but jockey Joseph O'Brien believes the soft ground was all against him that day.

He said: "I know he won his maiden on bad ground, but he's a horse we always felt wanted fast ground. His two best runs, the Irish Guineas and at the Breeders' Cup, have been on nearly firm ground so hopefully getting him back on quick ground will help.

"A mile and a quarter should suit him well. You'd like to think you can put a line through his last run in that ground, I didn't kill him and he didn't have too hard a race. He seems to have come out of it well and hopefully he can run a big race. Treve was beaten first time and had quite a hard race, but she looks an unbelievable filly, one of the best horses in the world, so she has to be taken very seriously."

Frankie Dettori believes Treve is a worthy favourite as she prepares to make her British debut. Injury saw Dettori miss the ride on the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained filly when she won last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but he was back aboard for the four-year-old's seasonal bow at Longchamp in April.

While Treve had to settle for second behind Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay that day, Dettori feels she had valid excuses for her eclipse.

He said: "She won the Prix de Diane on firm ground (last year) and beat the track record by two seconds - the ground is not an issue. Group Ones are never easy to win, but she's a good horse and I can't wait to ride her. The ground was very heavy in the Ganay, it swung it his (Cirrus Des Aigles') way unfortunately. It was her first race of the season, he'd had a race and perhaps he was more fit than me.

"Criquette is very pleased with her and she's had a lot of time to recover. She hasn't been away from home, so that's another question, but she's the one to beat."

Head-Maarek feels her filly is versatile regarding the trip, which is two furlongs shorter than the Arc.

"It is difficult to say if this mile and a quarter is her best trip as she has showed a tremendous turn of speed over a mile and a half, won over a mile and broke the track record in last year's Prix de Diane (over an extended mile and a quarter)," she said.

"If she is relaxed and there is another horse to carry her for a long way in the race, I hope that she can then use her turn of foot. When she ran in the Arc there were a lot of people, so I don't think the atmosphere will bother her.

"I would love to have another Royal Ascot winner (Gold Splash in the 1993 Coronation Stakes was her only previous triumph there) especially with Treve because her sire, Motivator, stands at our family farm (Haras du Quesnay in Normandy). It is always a fantastic day whenever you win a race at Ascot."


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WAR COMMAND 4th In St James Palace Stakes showed good improvement from Guineas run Best Work came late on.


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WAR ENVOY Was Unplaced in the Coventry Stakes 

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Aidan O'Brien's War Envoy missed the Break and was last early on but he 

powered back into contention with 2 furlongs to go but hung badly after 

running out of steam he Finished 9th Alot more to come and on his day he 

will win big. 


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VERRAZANO 2nd in The Queen Anne Stakes Ran a Cracker will be better over further 


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Toronado comes home ahead of Verrazano to land Royal Ascot opener

Aidan O'Brien's American recruit Verrazano ran a creditable third behind Tornado's stable companion Olympic Glory in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last month on his European debut & he took another step forward, it was not quite enough today but the potential is there for him to win big before the season is out.


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Frankel colt sells for £1.15m to Coolmore Partnership

  • Last Updated: June 16 2014, 18:56 BST

A son of the great Frankel, together with his dam Crystal Gaze, was sold for £1,150,000 to MV Magnier in the inaugural Goffs London Sale at The Orangery, Kensington Palace on Monday evening.





The colt is the first offspring of the late Sir Henry Cecil's champion to come under the hammer and Crystal Gaze is expecting a second foal by Frankel next year.

Crystal Gaze has already produced the classy sprinter Spirit Quartz, as well as Epsom Dash winner Caspian Prince.

The youngster, who was Lot 65 together with his mother, was consigned by Tweenhills Stud.

Magnier, the son of Coolmore supremo John Magnier, said: "He has been bought for a racing partnership, and there are four different people in it.

"It's a nice, strong colt and the lads really liked it."

Asked where the star attraction would be trained, he said: "It's too early to say, there's plenty of time to think about it."



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Diamond Jubilee Stakes (british Champions Series & Global Sprint Challenge)6f

  • (3yo+, 6f, 28 runners)
  • Going: Good to Soft

There are 28 sprinters still in the mix for Saturday's Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.


Darwin remains in contention for the Diamond Jubilee
Darwin remains in contention for the Diamond Jubilee


The likes of Hot Streak, Sole Power, Pearl Secret and Es Que Love are all due to run in Tuesday's King Stand Stakes so their participation may be up in the air.

Aljamaaheer has had this race as a target in the first half of the season after connections decided revert to sprinting despite the five-year-old winning a Group Two over a mile last year.

Aidan O'Brien has several possibles with Darwin, Due Diligence, Fountain Of Youth and Guerre, who is another in Tuesday's race, all standing their ground.

As well as Hot Streak, Kevin Ryan has left in fellow three-year-old Astaire and the experienced Hamza.

The team behind Maarek will be hoping there is some rain towards the end of the week to aid his chance while Gordon Lord Byron, Montiridge, Tawhid, Lanceleot Du Lac and Tropics are still in.

Eddie Lynam has plenty of options with Slade Power and Viztoria among the confirmations along with Sole Power.

The only French challenger is Eric Libaud's American Devil.

 

 


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War Command back for more

Mon 16th Jun 2014, 15:06
War Command winning the Coventry last year
War Command winning the Coventry last year
(Healy Racing Photos)
War Command returns to the scene of his devastating Coventry Stakes triumph last year when he tackles the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Aidan O'Brien's charge was a shade disappointing when beaten behind Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his reappearance.

He was pulled out of the Irish Guineas when the ground went soft and wears cheekpieces for the first time.

"On the day of the Irish Guineas the ground went heavy which wouldn't have suited him, he's a good ground horse so it wouldn't have made sense running him," Joseph O'Brien said.

"He seems in good form and we think he's improved since Newmarket. Looking at the Guineas now it doesn't look as bad a run as we thought it was at the time, he was only beat five or six lengths so he ran a good race.

"We thought he'd improve plenty for the run and we feel that he has, so we hope he can get a bit closer.

"If he needs them (cheekpieces) I'm not sure, he was probably rusty at Newmarket. He's a very laid-back horse, though, so if they sharpen him up a couple of lengths then brilliant."

John Gosden is not approaching the race with Kingman believing it is a two-horse contest.

The highlight on day one of the showpiece meeting is being billed as the 'royal rumble', as the Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder takes on Gosden's Irish Guineas hero.

The Group One contest will be the third time the pair have met this season, after Kingman won comfortably at Newbury in the Greenham before the Richard Hannon-trained Night Of Thunder turned the tables at Newmarket.

The bookmakers have Kingman as odds-on favourite to gain his revenge, which Gosden disagrees with, and he is also giving full respect to the likes of Night Of Thunder's stablemate and champion two-year-old Toormore, as well as War Command.

"I've walked the track and it will be good to firm on the straight track by the race and good ground on the old (round) track," said Gosden.

"I'm very happy with him. This is a very good race, though - it is by no means a two-horse race and if anyone goes in there thinking it is they are wrong, I'm certainly not underestimating anything.

"The front two are two very nice colts, but it is definitely not just between them and I'm also not sure how the bookmakers have it priced up as it is. I would have it as even between them (Kingman and Night Of Thunder).

"It's nice when you get two horses who keep meeting, it's good for racing."

Kingman provided James Doyle with his first Classic winner and despite that being on very soft ground at the Curragh, owner Khalid Abdullah's retained rider does not expect the quicker surface to be an excuse.

"I sat on him last week and we did a nice piece of work on ground that was just on the fast side of good," said Doyle.

"He's a very straightforward horse with a lot of gears and a high cruising speed.

"It's going to be run towards the end of the card, a few races will have taken place, but I'm sure the clerk of the course will have it in good shape.

"I'm sure it will be nice, fresh ground and hopefully everything will go to plan as I'm really looking forward to it."

Hannon is also struggling to see why Kingman is favoured so much in the betting.

"It's going to be a great race. I've got no reason to see why the form from Newmarket's going to be reversed and I don't see why the betting isn't 6-4 each of two," said Hannon.

"Kingman was very impressive in Ireland but it's going to be quick enough ground at Ascot. I thought Night Of Thunder was a worthy winner of the Guineas and he's in great form."

Toormore is owned by Middleham Park Racing, whose racing manager Tim Palin said: "We felt we had one or two excuses after the Guineas, but I don't think there will be any on Tuesday.

"I'm very much a believer in the science of the 'bounce' factor and after his big effort in the Craven, his first run since September, maybe he slightly regressed in the Guineas, turning out just 16 days later.

"Another potential excuse was they probably went a bit hard up front. People who know more about times than me say it was always going to set up for something coming from off the pace.

"Hopefully we'll find out whether we've still got the Toormore we all hoped and dreamed he was, or whether horses like Night Of Thunder and Kingman have improved past him from two to three.

"We'll find out whether he can progress into a champion or whether being champion two-year-old was all he's destined to be.

"If he wins then we can look upwards at races like the Sussex Stakes.

"If he gets beat, we might have to bob and weave and maybe go down the Prix Jean Prat and Prix Maurice de Gheest route."

Godolphin's Outstrip was a surprise winner at the Breeders' Cup but he ran no sort of a race at Newmarket. His trainer Charlie Appleby is confident of a better display.

"Outstrip blew very hard after he finished last in the Guineas and he then scoped dirty so we gave him a nice break, waited until he had finished his treatment and then resumed training. I have been pleased with his preparation since," said Appleby.

"He took some of the best juvenile form into the Guineas so he deserves to line up in a top-quality race like this. I'm looking forward to again seeing the Outstrip that we saw last year.

"There does not seem to be any pace in the race but if they dawdle early on that could suit us. He showed a turn of foot in the Breeders' Cup and the ability to quicken up could be one of his attributes.

"He is uncomplicated but the one thing that we probably won't do is make the running with him as he may have hit the front too soon when he was beaten by Toormore at Goodwood last year.

"I walked away very disappointed from the Guineas as he had been pleasing us all through the winter."


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Magician has to outfox seven others

Mon 16th Jun 2014, 15:12
Magician
Magician 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's Breeders' Cup winner Magician will face seven rivals in Wednesday's Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The four-year-old landed the Mooresbridge Stakes on his reappearance, but was beaten in soft ground most recently by Noble Mission in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Jim Bolger runs Parish Hall, second to Magician in the Mooresbridge, though the biggest threat to all is likely to be Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, who met with the first defeat of her career on her four-year-old debut when just touched off by the veteran Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix Ganay.

This will be her first run outside France and connections are expecting her to have improved for her seasonal reappearance.

Trainer Criquette Head-Maarek said: "The ground will be no excuse and as long as she does not pull I am sure that she will run well.

"She is a good traveller. We will use the (Channel) Tunnel which means that the journey will be only six hours door-to-door and then she will have a day to recover once she gets to Ascot.

"I think Treve has recovered well from her race in the Ganay, but we will know more on Wednesday!

"She looks well physically and has been working well so I think that she will be spot on for the race."

William Haggas' Mukhadram was narrowly beaten by Al Kazeem in this race 12 months ago and showed he remains one of the best 10-furlong performers on the planet when finishing second in the World Cup at Meydan.

Two other mares are in the line up, headed by John Gosden's The Fugue, who has not been seen since disappointing in the Dubai Duty Free.

Sir Michael Stoute's Dank, also a Breeders' Cup winner in the Filly & Mare Turf, was third in the Duty Free and takes her chance.

The field is completed by Gay Kelleway's Zambucca and Roger Varian's Elkaayed.


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Venus shows her class in Munster Oaks

 By Donal Murphy

Sun 15th Jun 2014, 16:25
Runners break from the stalls in the Munster Oaks with winner Venus De Milo coming from stall three
Runners break from the stalls in the Munster Oaks with winner Venus De Milo coming from stall three 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Venus De Milo showed her class as she took the Group Three Munster Oaks (formerly the Noblesse Stakes) for Aidan and Joseph O’Brien.

The four-year-old daughter of Duke Of Marmalade won the Group Three Give Thanks Stakes over the course and distance last August, while she also finished second in two Group One contests, the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks.

She finished a disappointed eighth on her seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown just over a week ago and she was sent off a 5/2 chance this afternoon having opened at 5/4 last night and 2/1 on-course.

Having raced in sixth throughout she took closer order approaching the straight and got a lovely run through on the rail.

She was ridden and arrived with her challenge two furlongs out, getting to the front a furlong from home before keeping on well from there to score by a length and a quarter.

Dazzling (6/1 to 9/2), also trained by O’Brien, ran a fine race to finish second in first time cheekpieces under Seamie Heffernan, while Circling, also in first time cheekpieces, finished a further three parts of a length back in third.

Edelmira went off the well-backed 6/4 favourite (5/2 overnight and from 7/4 on-course) under Pat Smullen for Dermot Weld but she could only manage a disappointing sixth.

Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "She wants very quick ground and ground is a big thing to her.

"She still looked a bit heavy today but she did it well and it was nice to get a win with her.

"She might step back into Group One company now over a mile and a half on fast ground."

STEWARDS REPORT

P.J. Smullen, rider of Edelmira, trained by D. K. Weld, reported to the Stewards' Secretaries that his mount was feeling the ground in the closing stages.

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes


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Toronado & Verrazano to clash in Queen Anne

Sun 15th Jun 2014, 12:36
Toronado (leading) pictured on his way to victory at Doncaster in September 2012
Toronado (leading) pictured on his way to victory at Doncaster in September 2012
(Healy Racing Photos)
Toronado leads the way for Richard Hannon in the opening race of Royal Ascot on Tuesday as one of 10 horses declared for the Queen Anne Stakes.

Hannon expectedly withdrew several of the other prominent members of his stable, Olympic Glory and Sky Lantern, but still saddles two runners as he also has Producer.

Toronado, the mount of Richard Hughes, lost a thrilling battle with Dawn Approach in last year's St James's Palace Stakes on the card before taking revenge in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, but was disappointing in his final outing in the Juddmonte International over 10 furlongs.

His main rival will be the Aidan O'Brien-trained Verrazano, who showed promise on his European debut when third in the Lockinge at Newbury, and his trainer has not declared Magician, who is likely to wait for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes later in the week.

Lockinge runner-up Tullius is also in the field, along with Freddy Head's French raider Anodin, who was supplemented, and smart South African runner Soft Falling Rain.

Ansgar, Glory Awaits, Mull Of Killough and Side Glance complete the line-up.

Toronado is odds-on with Coral to start his season with a win.

"Although we've not seen Toronado in action since his flop in the Juddmonte International last summer, connections could hardly be more bullish about their charge, suggesting he will take all the beating on his reappearance," said Coral's David Stevens.

Queen Anne Stakes - Coral bet: 4-5 Toronado, 7-2 Verrazano, 6-1 Soft Falling Rain, 10-1 Tullius, Anodin, 25-1 Mull Of Killough, 33-1 Side Glance, 50-1 Producer, 66-1 Glory Awaits, 150-1 Ansgar.



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Envoy & Cappella among Coventry 16

Sun 15th Jun 2014, 13:25
The Michael O'Callaghan trained Case Statement is another Irish trained runner in the field
The Michael O'Callaghan trained Case Statement is another Irish trained runner in the field
(Healy Racing Photos)
War Envoy is Aidan O'Brien's only representative in the Coventry Stakes as the trainer looks to win Tuesday's big Royal Ascot two-year-old event for the third time in four years.

Stablemate The Great War is likely to run instead in the Norfolk Stakes, but after the final declarations there are 15 other horses lining up against War Envoy, who was third in the Listed Rochestown Stakes at Naas last time.

They include the winner of that event, Richard Hannon's Kool Kompany, and his stablemate Dr No, plus a host of other juveniles who have impressed already.

Ryan Moore has been snapped up by David Elsworth for the prolific Justice Good, William Haggas has declared Adaay, who looked smart in beating Mind Of Madness at Yarmouth, while John Quinn's runaway Ayr winner The Wow Signal, a new purchase of Al Shaqab Racing, is also in the mix.

Irish interest is also held by Ger Lyons' triple scorer Cappella Sansevero and Case Statement for Michael O'Callaghan, while other unknown quantities include Kasb, Portamento and Jungle Cat.




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O'Brien 'second string' scores under Ana

 By Donal Murphy

Sat 14th Jun 2014, 17:41
Annemarie O'Brien (owner) leads in Beyond Brilliance with her daughter Ana aboard
Annemarie O'Brien (owner) leads in Beyond Brilliance with her daughter Ana aboard
The outsider of the two Aidan O’Brien trained runners prevailed in the Rotary Club Of Navan Handicap, with Beyond Brilliance (10/1) getting up close home to score under the trainer's daughter Ana (eighth win).

The eighteen-year-old rider, who was on the mark last Saturday at Limerick aboard Pixie Spirit, is currently in the middle of her leaving certificate examinations and she still has three exams to go.

Beyond Brilliance, who provided O’Brien junior with the perfect birthday when winning at Fairyhouse last month, was stepped up in trip to a mile and a quarter for the first time today after finishing well beaten on her last start in a Listed company at Naas.

Settled in seventh, the bay filly got a lovely run up the rail in the straight and she soon made progress.

She was pushed along over two furlongs out and once given a few cracks of the whip she got going, keeping on strongly inside the final furlong, getting up close home to win by a neck.

Shanooan, who hit the front under three furlongs out, had to settle for second under Connor King for George Kent at 20/1, while Primogeniture was a further two lengths back in third under Declan McDonogh for John Oxx at 5/2 (touched 3/1 on-course).

Just Gorgeous, for Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, finished a disappointing sixth after being backed on-course from 9/4 into clear 7/4 favouritism at the off.

Winning owner Annemarie O’Brien (mother of the jockey and wife of the trainer) said afterwards: "She gave her a lovely ride. She wanted to settle her to get the trip as we weren’t sure she would get it, but she saw it out well.

"Ana is in the middle of trying to do her leaving cert and she has three exams still to go.

"The horse has been waiting for that ground and hopefully Ana will have plenty of fun with her over the summer.”

Additional reporting by Michael Graham



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Ana's Ride Was Beyond Brilliance

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Not to be today for AGENA he was a bit rusty and needed the run 


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NIce N Easy For Dick Whittington as Rip Van Winkle's Son Impresses at Navan 

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Dick Whittington strides to victory under Joseph O'Brien
Dick Whittington strides to victory under Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)


Dick Whittington got off the mark on the third time of asking as he took the opener at Navan this afternoon, the Lynn Lodge Stud European Breeders Fund Median Auction Race.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by his son Joseph (carried a pound overweight), the son of Rip Van Winkle was sent off the 1/2 favourite.

He caught the eye on his debut at Naas when finishing second to Capella Sansevero while he disappointed on his next start at the Curragh when sent off the 2/7 favourite.

That run at the Curragh came on heavy ground and on good to firm today he was settled in third.

He was pushed along to challenge over a furlong out and he soon went to the front on the outer, asserting inside the final furlong before going on to score in convincing fashion by four and a quarter lengths.

Dandyleekie, the 15/8 second favourite, had no answer once headed by the winner and he had to settle for second under Colin Keane for Ger Lyons.

Joseph O’Brien said afterwards: "I should have won on him the first time out but he was quite green with me and he nearly beat a nice horse of Ger Lyons’ that day.

"The ground was too soft for him last time out. He wouldn’t be out of place next week (at Royal Ascot).

"That lad has five furlong pace and he is by a sire that is going places."

The winner holds a whole host of big race entries and he is still engaged in the Coventry Stakes and the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot next week.

Additional reporting by Michael Graham




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   Are You ready For The Ballydoyle Battalion Royal Ascot Invasion Next Week 


 



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Aidan O'Brien's Duke Of Marmalade

Duke Of Marmalade: stadning his first season in South Africa this year

 PICTURE: Gerry Cranham

South African fee set for Duke Of Marmalade

FORMER Coolmore sire Duke Of Marmalade will stand his first season in South Africa for a fee of R100,000 (£5,473/€6,855).

The son of Danehill retired to stud in Ireland in 2009 following a career that yielded five Group 1 wins. It was announced last month that the stallion had been bought by Drakenstein Stud in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.

His best progeny include Irish Oaks runner-up Venus De Milo, New Zealand Group 3 winner Lady Cumquat and Count Of Limonade, who finished third to Leading Light in last year's Gallinule Stakes.

Duke Of Marmalade is the second-most expensive stallion on the stud's roster following Trippi, who will cover a limited book for a fee of R120,000. Kris S sire Philanthropist will stand for ZR80,000, Triple Crown winner Horse Chestnut for R25,000 and second-season sire What A Winter for R20,000.


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Ballydoyle team limber up at Navan

 By Alan Magee


Fri 13th Jun 2014, 17:23
Joseph O'Brien
Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Navan probably represents the calm before the storm for Aidan and Joseph O'Brien with next week's Royal Ascot meeting looming large, and they could well team up for a number of winners on the eight-race Flat card.

Dick Whittington went into the notebook as a certain future winner when a fast-finishing second to Ger Lyons' Coventry Stakes fancy Cappella Sansevero at Naas last month.

The Rip Van Winkle juvenile was subsequently sent off at prohibitive odds in a maiden at the Curragh on Irish 1,000 Guineas day, but probably found the very testing ground too much. He could make amends on this much sounder surface in the Lynn Lodge Stud EBF Median Auction Race.

Lyons again provides the danger with course winner Dandyleekie, who appears here ahead of a date in the sales ring at the Goffs pre-Ascot event in London on Monday.

Agena reappears in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race having been off the course since making a winning debut on the Irish Champion Stakes card at Leopardstown last September.

By Galileo out of the Storm Cat mare Dietrich, who won two Group Three sprints for Ballydoyle, he faces just three rivals but will have things far from his own way in what appears a competitive event.

Maskoon was given a good, positive ride by Chris Hayes to score over course and distance last month, while Ponfeigh also has a recent mile maiden win to his credit at Leopardstown.

The father and son combination also team up with top-weight Just Gorgeous, a daughter of O'Brien's 2008 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Halfway To Heaven, in the Rotary Club Of Navan Handicap.

The Galileo filly is still entered in next week's Ribblesdale Stakes plus the Darley Irish Oaks, and she can be expected to progress from a narrow maiden win at Cork last month.

The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden holds plenty of interest, and the O'Briens are represented here by Shell House. She was a promising second to better-fancied stablemate Dazzling on debut at the Curragh last year before finishing lame behind My Titania at Leopardstown.

Dangers abound in this 10-furlong event with the likes of Carla Bianca, runner-up to Australia on debut at the Curragh last year, and Red Raven, a close third to Marvellous here last autumn, among her rivals.



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O'Brien four in Ribblesdale

  • Last Updated: June 13 2014, 13:25 BST

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for four of the 14 fillies as he looks to win next Thursday's Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot for the first time.


Aidan O'Brien: Has Ribblesdale quartet

Aidan O'Brien: Has Ribblesdale quartet

Dazzling was disappointing in the Investec Oaks at Epsom last week, but may turn out again quickly, while Bracelet could potentially step up in trip after finishing down the field in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket early last month.

Cork winner Just Gorgeous and Cheshire Oaks fifth Terrific complete the O'Brien quartet.

Lustrous has been supplemented by the Richard Hannon team after her success at York last month.

John Gosden has Bright Approach and Criteria in contention for the mile-and-a-half contest.

The Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Inchila ran an excellent race to finish fourth in the Epsom Oaks and would be of interest if turning up in similar form next week.

Other contenders include Wonderstruck, French challenger Vazira and Italian Oaks heroine Final Score.


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Light leads Gold Cup entries

Fri 13th Jun 2014, 14:21
Leading Light winning the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last year
Leading Light winning the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last year
(Healy Racing Photos)
Leading Light could face a maximum of 18 rivals as he goes into the Gold Cup as ante-post favourite at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

Winner of the Queen's Vase 12 months ago, Aidian O'Brien's charge was subsequently victorious in the Ladbrokes St Leger, and he has already demonstrated his well-being this term by taking the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan with some authority.

The Ballydoyle handler also has El Salvador, Ernest Hemingway and Eye Of The Storm, while other Irish-trained possibles are Simenon, last year's runner-up for Willie Mullins, Royal Diamond, Saddler's Rock, Ralston Road, Missunited and Pale Mimosa.

Last year the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Estimate became the first horse in the 207-year history of the stayers' championship to carry the colours of a reigning monarch to victory, adding to her Queen's Vase success in 2012.

However, the Queen's mare has an even taller order this time as she has not run yet this season.

A horse who will carry strong support on the home front is Brown Panther, bred and co-owned by former England striker Michael Owen. The Tom Dascombe-trained six-year-old has been in the form of his life this season, chalking up convincing victories in Chester's Ormonde Stakes and the Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

Marco Botti has left in Tac De Boistron, winner of the Prix Royal-Oak and Sagaro Stakes, while Godolphin rely on Ahzeemah, trained by Saeed bin Suroor.

German raider Altano could try to improve on his fifth place in the race last year for trainer Andreas Wohler.

Completing the list of 19 six-day confirmations are Oriental Fox, Whiplash Willie, Havana Beat and Shwaiman.



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AOB Nominations - Wonderfully Belmont Oaks Johann Strauss, Red Rocks Point, & Table Rock Belmont Derby both races on July 5th.

 


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Royal Command Performance

Thu 12th Jun 2014, 09:23
War Command
War Command
(Healy Racing Photos)
Dewhurst winner War Command spearheads a Ballydoyle trio in Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The son of War Front landed the Coventry Stakes at the meeting 12 months ago, but was only ninth in the 2000 Guineas on his sole appearance this season.

Michaelmas and Giovanni Boldini could also make the trip for trainer Aidan O'Brien, while Dermot Weld's Irish 2,000 Guineas third Mustajeeb and the Paul Deegan-trained Prince Of All could join the Irish challenge.

Kingman and Night Of Thunder both appear among the 12 entries at the latest forfeit stage and are set to clash for the third time this season.

While John Gosden's Kingman was far superior in the Greenham at Newbury, Richard Hannon's Night Of Thunder turned the tables in the Qipco 2000 Guineas to spring a 40-1 surprise. Night Of Thunder has not run since, but the form of that win could not have worked out any better.

Kingman has landed the Irish Guineas, third home Australia won the Derby last week, and Dante and French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby was well behind in 10th.

Hannon is also due to run last year's National Stakes hero Toormore, who could finish only seventh in the Guineas. With stable jockey Richard Hughes on Night Of Thunder, Ryan Moore has been booked.

Toormore is owned by James Pak and Middleham Park Racing, and their racing manager Tim Palin said: "We got confirmation Ryan Moore will definitely ride Toormore, which we're delighted about.

"Ryan got on particularly well with Toormore in the Craven. We respect Richard Hughes' decision to ride Night Of Thunder. He's always liked that horse, it won the Guineas. It must have been very difficult for him and we're delighted to be in the race and secure Ryan, a tip-top jockey.

"The time of the Craven was an exceptional one. Richard (Hughes) said after the Guineas that Toormore ran flat. We felt he didn't go there quite on his A-game that day. Hopefully, he will turn up for the St James's Palace on his A-game.


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Ground key to Australia Irish Derby bid

Thu 12th Jun 2014, 10:33
Australia
Australia 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Australia will not run in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on June 28 if the ground is testing.

Aidan O'Brien commented in the past that Camelot, his 2012 Derby winner, was never the same after winning the Curragh Classic in very soft conditions.

Australia's jockey Joseph O'Brien is keen to ride him over 10 furlongs in the future and warned his appearance at the Curragh is ground dependent.

"He's a very good horse, it all went pretty much to plan on the day," O'Brien told At The Races.

"He has a great temperament, he lobbed down to the start, left the gate and never picked up the bridle all the way. He was lovely and relaxed.

"I'd love to ride him back at a mile and a quarter and he is something to look forward to.

"The ground would have to be very nice for us to run him in the Irish Derby, we definitely wouldn't risk him on slow ground so the ground would have to be very nice."


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Classic stars top King George

  • Last Updated: June 11 2014, 15:00 BST

Australia and Taghrooda are the headline names in 35 entries for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 26.


Australia has been entered for the King George
Australia has been entered for the King George


Respective winners of the Investec Derby and Oaks last weekend, there is a chance the two could meet in the mile-and-a-half showpiece, although bids for Classic doubles in Ireland have been out forward as objectives, subject to the ground in Australia's case.

Angus Gold, racing manager for Taghrooda's owner Sheikh Hamdan, said: "The thought at the moment is to make a plan for Taghrooda at Ascot next week with Sheikh Hamdan and John Gosden.

"On the face of it, she seems to have come out of the Oaks fine. John always said the Irish Oaks would be next, but obviously we have the other filly Tarfasha (who finished runner-up in the Oaks). It's just another option and we felt it would be safe to put Taghrooda in the King George just in case we have a change of heart.

"Certainly the trainer's stated aim is the Irish Oaks, which obviously makes sense because that will keep her against her own sex and age group.

"It would be fun to try and take on the colts and I wouldn't say we wouldn't at some stage."

Sheikh Hamdan can also call on Dubai World Cup runner-up Mukhadram, who is scheduled to run first in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Gold said: "Mukhadram is due to run in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

"I have no doubt that he would get 12 furlongs and I know William Haggas feels the same. Having said that, he is not short of speed and I wouldn't say he needs to go 12 furlongs. But if we rode him the right way, I'm sure he would get it.

"The King George is certainly a possibility and I know William is very keen to run him in the King George."

Roger Varian's Kingston Hill and the Gosden-trained Romsdal, second and third to Australia at Epsom, could reoppose.

French Derby fourth Wild Chief is interesting contender for German trainer Jens Hirschberger.

Likely to prove formidable opposition to the three-year-old generation is Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve, trained by Criquette Head-Maarek. She is another due to run at Ascot next week in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

As well as Australia, Aidan O'Brien is responsible for Eye Of The Storm, Hall Of Mirrors, Ascot Gold Cup favourite Leading Light, Magician, Ruler Of The World, Adelaide, Geoffrey Chaucer and Kingfisher.

Further Irish interest comes in the shape of Jim Bolger's Trading Leather, Parish Hall and Leitir Mor.

Aidan O'Brien has Verrazano and Magician in Queen Anne - Aidan has four possibles in Kings Stand Darwin, Due Diligence, Fountain Of Youth & Guerre - Aidan also has Dewhurst winner War Command, Michaelmas and Giovanni Boldini. In The St James Palace Stakes 


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Verrazano among Queen Anne 13

Wed 11th Jun 2014, 15:57
Ansgar for Sabrina Harty is also among the thirteen hopefuls
Ansgar for Sabrina Harty is also among the thirteen hopefuls 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Verrazano coluld attempt to make it second-time lucky on European soil in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Aidan O'Brien's American import was third in the Lockinge at Newbury behind Olympic Glory, and his handler has also left in Magician, a Group One winner over a mile and a half at the Breeders' Cup.

Richard Hannon's star miling trio are still engaged in the Queen Anne. Toronado is firmly on target, although Olympic Glory is thought an unlikely runner and Sky Lantern has another option in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes. Hannon could also run Producer.

Freddie Head has supplemented Anodin for a race he won with Goldikova in 2010. Anodin was last seen chasing home Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix d'Ispahan. Mike de Kock's classy Soft Falling Rain is also still in the mix.

Andrew Balding's globetrotter Side Glance and Lockinge runner-up Tullius hold entries, as does Mull Of Killough. Sabrina Harty's Ansgar and Glory Awaits, second in the 2000 Guineas last year, complete the list of 13.


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              This has taken over 10 hours to put together but very happy with it Aidans 5 Derby Winners 


 


 

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At last the unbeaten Galileo 3yo Agena could be out on Saturday @NavanRacecourse not seen since his 2yo maiden win on 7th September


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AIDANOBRIENFANSITE Hits 1200 Twitter Followers

Photo: AIDANOBRIENFANSITE hits 1200 Twitter Followers



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Handicapper hails Australia

  • Last Updated: June 9 2014, 11:51 BST

Australia has been given a performance rating of 123 by the British Horseracing Authority following his brilliant victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday.

Australia dazzled everyone with victory on Saturday

Australia dazzled everyone with victory on Saturday

Australia has been given a performance rating of 123 by the British Horseracing Authority following his brilliant victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday.

Having finished a close third in the 2000 Guineas, Aidan O'Brien's colt brought the highest figure into the premier Classic on 119 and justified all the hype with an impressive display in the hands of the trainer's son, Joseph.

His 4lb rise means he has reached the same BHA rating as the incredible Sea The Stars was given immediately after his Derby victory five years ago.

However, his performance is rated below stable companion Camelot, who won the race in 2012, as well as 2010 winner Workforce.

"Workforce's Derby performance was initially given a rating of 128, before being downgraded to 125, and Camelot was given a rating of 124, so their Derby performances were considered superior to Australia's.Dominic Gardiner-Hill, deputy head of handicapping at the BHA, said: "We have decided to give Australia a rating of 123 and in terms of performance, that gives him the same rating as Sea The Stars achieved after he won the Derby in 2009.

"Ruler Of The World was rated 120 after his Derby win a year ago, later adjusted to 119, and Pour Moi was given a rating of 122 in 2011, so Australia produced a better performance than they did.

"However, as has been the case in previous years, his performance rating of 123 could go up or down based on how horses that finished behind him perform in the future."

Australia looks set for a potential rematch with Epsom runner-up Kingston Hill in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 28 and Gardiner-Hill expects the O'Brien runner to confirm his superiority.

"Kingston Hill has gone back up to 120, the rating he had at the end of his two-year-old season, which is actually the same figure Fame And Glory was given after he finished second behind Sea The Stars," he said.

"Romsdal has gone up from 107 to 115 after he finished third and the fourth home, Arod, has gone up 1lb from 108 to 109.

"From what I read in the press, it sounds as though Australia and Kingston Hill could go to the Curragh, which would be great.

"Based on the way Australia travelled and where he came from in the race on Saturday, I would expect him to come out on top again, but this is horseracing and you never know what will happen."

From a handicapping perspective, Gardiner-Hill is looking forward to the day both Australia and Kingston Hill get the opportunity to test their powers against their elders later in the campaign.

He said: "The proof of the ratings pudding is always when the three-year-olds meet the older horses in the late summer months.

"In terms of mile races, for instance, I always look towards the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Prix Jacques le Marois in France and the QEII at Ascot.

"It is not until they on the older horses that you can really cement the level of the three-year-old crop.

"Things are obviously starting to rev up now and I think we're in for an exciting summer."

                                                                           


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Joseph & Aidan O'Brien with the Epsom Derby trophy


 Photo: Joseph & Aidan O'Brien with the Epsom Derby trophy

                                                                          

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Ouija-board-australia

Australia: here is the 2014 Derby winner in his earlier days alongside his dam, multiple Group 1 winner and Oaks heroine Ouija Board

Australia lives up to the promise of his pedigree

HERE is Australia, who lived up to his pedigree with a convincing win in the Derby at Epsom on Saturday, as a foal with his dam Ouija Board at Stanley House Stud.

Australia became the second Derby hero to be by a Derby winner (Galileo) out of an Oaks winner (Ouija Board), following Lammtarra who struck in 1995.

A third Derby winner for his sire Galileo, Australia was sold by his breeder Lord Derby as a yearling at Tattersalls for 525,000gns to regular Coolmore buyer Demi O'Byrne.

 

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        AUSTRALIA Joint Highest Rated 3yo in Europe rated 129p Here's Why 

 


 

 


 

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Australia set for Irish Derby

  • Last Updated: June 8 2014, 15:13 BST

Australia could have his next start in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 28 following his heroics at Epsom on Saturday.


Australia could head for the Irish Derby at the Curragh

Australia could head for the Irish Derby at the Curragh

The regally-bred colt lived up to his star billing when claiming the Investec Derby by a length and a quarter from Kingston Hill, and Aidan O'Brien reports the son of Galileo to have come out of the Classic in good form.

O'Brien said: "He's fine this morning, he was just out for a walk and he looks great. The Irish Derby would be a possibility, but it will be up to the lads (Coolmore) to decide. The ground will obviously be a factor and we will try not to run him on bad ground."

Of his other runners, O'Brien said of Geoffrey Chaucer, who was last of 16: "Geoffrey Chaucer was badly hampered and after that Ryan (Moore) was very easy on him and let him canter home.

"Orchestra (12th) was very green and babyish and the occasion may have just got to him. Kingfisher (10th) ran very well and he won't mind dropping back in trip."

For his part, winning rider Joseph O'Brien would have no qualms about taking on the best over a mile once more with Australia, who was narrowly denied by Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket


Night Of Thunder and subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Kingman look set to lock horns again in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.O'Brien said: "He's fine this morning, he was just out for a walk and he looks great. The Irish Derby would be a possibility, but it will be up to the lads (Coolmore) to decide. The ground will obviously be a factor and we will try not to run him on bad ground."

Of his other runners, O'Brien said of Geoffrey Chaucer, who was last of 16: "Geoffrey Chaucer was badly hampered and after that Ryan (Moore) was very easy on him and let him canter home.

"Orchestra (12th) was very green and babyish and the occasion may have just got to him. Kingfisher (10th) ran very well and he won't mind dropping back in trip."

For his part, winning rider Joseph O'Brien would have no qualms about taking on the best over a mile once more with Australia, who was narrowly denied by Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

O'Brien junior said: "When we heard about the forecast for Saturday, we'd have had no qualms about taking him out and taking on the other two horses (Night Of Thunder and Kingman) in the St James's Palace. I would have really fancied him to win.

"We'll never know if I'd been drawn with the other horses whether I'd have beaten them or not (in the 2000 Guineas), but I certainly think I would.

"He's got a serious amount of pace. We've made no secret of that. He definitely has seven-furlong pace - no doubt. I travelled as well as anything in the Guineas. I was cantering throughout the whole race yesterday and you can literally ride the horse any way. He's very uncomplicated."

The jockey admitted the rain-softened ground and the step up in trip were minor concerns prior to the premier Classic, but those worries soon evaporated once the stalls opened.

He told At The Races: "It's an unbelievable feeling (to win the Derby). I only had two concerns really. One was the ground, but once we'd walked the track we were quite happy. A lot of the rain that had been forecast didn't come.

"The second (concern) was the mile and a half. He shows a lot of speed and his run in the Guineas was a massive run in what was probably a very good Guineas. He's got a very good attitude and relaxes well. He seemed to get the trip pretty well."

Australia was O'Brien's second Derby winner following the similarly impressive display of Camelot two years ago, a horse who had previously won the Guineas and came mighty close to completing the Triple Crown in the St Leger.

"They're two very good horses. I suppose form-wise there was a bit more depth to the Derby this year," said the rider. "Camelot was a brilliant horse and it's very hard to compare them, but Australia is a special horse."


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Aidan O'Brien Stats Updated


 



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Galileo's Empire Updated





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Dalasiri & Gypsy King dead-heat in the last

 By Donal Murphy

Sun 8th Jun 2014, 18:33
Dalasiri (grey) and Gypsy King can't be separated in the last at the Curragh
Dalasiri (grey) and Gypsy King can't be separated in the last at the Curragh
(Healy Racing Photos)
Dalasiri and Gypsy King (first time cheekpieces) had to share the spoils in the last at the Curragh, the TRM Excellence in Equine Nutrition Maiden, with the judge unable to separate the duo.

The Sabrina Harty trained former was ridden by seven pound claimer Robbie Downey and was returned a 25/1 chance, while the latter for Aidan and Joseph O’Brien went to post the 9/10 favourite (opened evens on-course).

Gypsy King, who is a three-year-old son of Galileo, broke smartly from the stalls and he led for the majority of the contest with Dalasiri racing in second.

As they raced inside the three furlong mark both came under pressure with Dalasiri soon getting to the front.

However Gypsy King proved a game rival as he battled back inside the final furlong and they flashed past the line together.

Wrap Star finished three and a half lengths back in third under Declan McDonogh for John Oxx.

Amazingly Harty’s last winner (Breathe Easy over the course on May 10th) also dead-heated and she said afterwards: “He has had trouble with allergies and we have been leaving him out in the field. He will go for the Galway Hurdle now as we think he has a nice mark."

After the race the Stewards suspended Joseph O'Brien for one day for using his whip with excessive frequency.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee




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O'Brien hails 'special' Australia

Sun 8th Jun 2014, 12:54
Australia pictured on his way to victory at Epsom yesterday
Australia pictured on his way to victory at Epsom yesterday
(Healy Racing Photos)
Joseph O'Brien insists he would have no qualms about taking on the best over a mile once more with Australia following his thrilling victory in Saturday's Investec Derby.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt was narrowly denied by Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his penultimate start and took the step up to a mile and a half in his stride with a dominant display at Epsom.

The two who beat him at Newmarket look set to lock horns again in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and while Australia is highly unlikely to turn up there following his Derby romp, O'Brien jnr would be confident of turning the tables on both in a rematch.

He said: "When we heard about the forecast for Saturday, we'd have had no qualms about taking him out and taking on the other two horses in the St James's Palace. I would have really fancied him to win.

"We'll never know if I'd been drawn with the other horses whether I'd have beaten them or not (in the 2000 Guineas), but I certainly think I would. He's got a serious amount of pace. We've made no secret of that. He definitely has seven-furlong pace - no doubt. I travelled as well as anything in the Guineas.

"I was cantering throughout the whole race yesterday and you can literally ride the horse any way. He's very uncomplicated."

The jockey admitted the rain-softened ground and the step up in trip were minor concerns prior to the premier Classic, but those worries soon evaporated once the stalls opened.

O'Brien told At The Races: "It's an unbelievable feeling (to win the Derby). I only had two concerns really. One was the ground, but once we'd walked the track we were quite happy. A lot of the rain that had been forecast didn't come.

"The second was the mile and a half. He shows a lot of speed and his run in the Guineas was a massive run in what was probably a very good Guineas. He's got a very good attitude and relaxes well. He seemed to get the trip pretty well."

Australia was O'Brien's second Derby winner following the similarly impressive display of Camelot two years ago, a horse who had previously won the Guineas and came mighty close to completing the Triple Crown in the St Leger.

The jockey added: "They're two very good horses. I suppose form-wise there was a bit more depth to the Derby this year. Camelot was a brilliant horse and it's very hard to compare them, but Australia is a special horse."



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YES YES YES ITS AUSTRALIA DAY 

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Joseph hails 'Special' Australia

Sun 8th Jun 2014


Joseph O'Brien insists he would have no qualms about taking on the best over a mile once more with Australia following his thrilling victory in Saturday's Investec Derby.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt was narrowly denied by Night Of Thunder and Kingman in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his penultimate start and took the step up to a mile and a half in his stride with a dominant display at Epsom.

The two who beat him at Newmarket look set to lock horns again in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and while Australia is highly unlikely to turn up there following his Derby romp, O'Brien jnr would be confident of turning the tables on both in a rematch.

He said: "When we heard about the forecast for Saturday, we'd have had no qualms about taking him out and taking on the other two horses in the St James's Palace. I would have really fancied him to win.

"We'll never know if I'd been drawn with the other horses whether I'd have beaten them or not (in the 2000 Guineas), but I certainly think I would. He's got a serious amount of pace. We've made no secret of that. He definitely has seven-furlong pace - no doubt. I travelled as well as anything in the Guineas.

"I was cantering throughout the whole race yesterday and you can literally ride the horse any way. He's very uncomplicated."

The jockey admitted the rain-softened ground and the step up in trip were minor concerns prior to the premier Classic, but those worries soon evaporated once the stalls opened.

O'Brien told At The Races: "It's an unbelievable feeling (to win the Derby). I only had two concerns really. One was the ground, but once we'd walked the track we were quite happy. A lot of the rain that had been forecast didn't come.

"The second was the mile and a half. He shows a lot of speed and his run in the Guineas was a massive run in what was probably a very good Guineas. He's got a very good attitude and relaxes well. He seemed to get the trip pretty well."

Australia was O'Brien's second Derby winner following the similarly impressive display of Camelot two years ago, a horse who had previously won the Guineas and came mighty close to completing the Triple Crown in the St Leger.

The jockey added: "They're two very good horses. I suppose form-wise there was a bit more depth to the Derby this year. Camelot was a brilliant horse and it's very hard to compare them, but Australia is a special horse."



Aidan O'Brien made history as Australia completed a hat-trick for the trainer in the Investec Derby at Epsom.



The Master of Ballydoyle had won the two previous renewals with Camelot and Ruler Of The World but had heaped progeny on the 2000 Guineas third by hailing him as the best he had ever trained.


His supporters need not have feared as he moved through the race as easily as his reputation suggested he would with jockey Joseph O'Brien leaving nothing to chance, content to hold a position on the outside of the field.
Trading at odds-on in the ante-post markets just 10 days ago, the Galileo colt had drifted to odds against about whether he would live up to his illustrious breeding - his dam is brilliant Oaks winner Ouija Board - and whether the forecast rain would blunt his natural speed.

Main market rival Kingston Hill had a perfect pitch in third behind outsiders Kingfisher and Our Channel but O'Brien edged closer around Tattenham Corner, keeping his rival in his sights.

The two pulled effortlessly clear of the chasing pack and, try as he might, Kingston Hill was no match for Australia who looks every inch the superstar.

The winning margin was a length and a quarter with a further three and a quarter lengths back to Romsdal in third with Arod fourth.


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Photo: Aidan has arrived at epsom wonder who he wants to win



Photo: APOB's 5 Derby Winners



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Marvelous 6th Palace 7th Dazzling 14th Not Our Day but tomorrow will be



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Marvelous Pre Race

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O'Brien assesses Derby hopes

Fri 6th Jun 2014, 13:26
Australia
Australia
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien believes he has "never had a horse" like Australia ahead of his date with destiny at Epsom on Saturday.

The master of Ballydoyle is one of the most successful trainers of the modern era and has saddled four winners of the premier Classic in Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002) and the last two winners Camelot and Ruler Of The World.

Both Galileo and High Chaparral were standout performers of their time, while Camelot came close to sealing the Triple Crown in 2012, but O'Brien rates his latest Epsom candidate the best Flat horse he has ever trained.

Bred to excel on the Downs as a son of Galileo out of 2004 Oaks heroine and brilliant racemare Ouija Board, Australia burst onto the scene with a scintillating victory at Leopardstown last September and the hyperbole continued into the winter and spring.

The three-year-old came up narrowly short in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket behind Night Of Thunder and subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Kingman, but O'Brien insists Epsom has been his primary objective since day one.

"We don't take anything for granted ahead of any big race, we're always hopeful and never confident. We were happy with the horse at Newmarket," said O'Brien.

"Australia is uncomplicated, relaxed and has speed - exactly what you want in a racehorse. He's very natural and takes no training. He has a great mind and settles very well."

The trainer revealed he knew Australia was something out of the ordinary even before he first graced the racecourse last summer.

"From the time he worked, he always showed something different. In March and April of last year he was doing half-speeds with horses he shouldn't have been able to do it with," said O'Brien.

"When you see the splits in the Guineas, they were all 11 seconds and looking at the video he was doing half-speed in the first half of the race. It was an unusually strongly-run race and he was cruising along.

"I'd never say the Guineas is a trial, but the reason we went was it was good ground and a mile on a straight course. It's the most straightforward trial for him. It is run over a straight mile and gave us a five-week gap ahead of Epsom."

Having never raced beyond a mile, Australia will be stepping into the unknown over a mile and a half, but given his stout breeding, connections are not anticipating any stamina issues.

O'Brien said: "I would be surprised if he didn't stay. He's never shown anything that would suggest it will be a problem. The guys couldn't believe they could buy a Galileo out of Ouija Board. It's very rare to get a horse like that and even more rare that they are good - most horses don't live up to expectations. He's a Derby horse like we've not had the likes of before. We've never had a horse like this."

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien became the first ever father-son combination to win the Derby when Camelot romped clear in 2012 and the young rider has been ever-present in the saddle during Australia's four-race career so far. He feels his big-race mount may well have won the 2000 Guineas in different circumstances and is confident about his chances this weekend.

"I'd love to run the Guineas again. If we had all been in a group, I feel Australia might have won," said O'Brien jnr.

"He came into the race having won a four-runner race at Leopardstown and at Newmarket it's a big, open space for a relatively green horse. I would have loved a target for the last furlong but I had to go when I did. He ran a massive race and it was probably a very good Guineas."

Assessing his Derby credentials, Joseph said: "I wouldn't want to swap him for anything else at all - either in the Derby or back over mile. I like him and always have done. I really believe in the horse. To be successful, you have to believe in your own horse."

While Australia is undoubtedly the star name among the Ballydoyle three-year-old brigade, the colt is ably supported by three stable companions in Saturday's Epsom showpiece.

Orchestra earned his tilt with a narrow victory in the Chester Vase, but Ryan Moore has intriguingly jumped off him to ride Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial third Geoffrey Chaucer, leaving Seamie Heffernan to ride the Roodee winner. The formidable quartet is completed by Dee Stakes scorer Kingfisher, the mount of Colm O'Donoghue.

The trainer said: "I was very happy with the way Orchestra won at Chester. If anyone had seen him there, they'd have seen that he had a bit of a tummy on him, and he'll come on for that. I wasn't sure he would get a mile and a half, even though his pedigree is very stout. I know Ryan Moore was also impressed with him at Chester and thinks he has a big chance in the Derby.

"Kingfisher won well at Chester and is very straightforward horse.

"Nothing went right for Geoffrey Chaucer in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown as it was a very messy race with a slow pace. Joseph had to go up the inside from where he was drawn."


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Marvellous set for Classic double

  • By: Simon Holt
  • Last Updated: June 5 2014, 17:26 BST

Simon Holt looks ahead to Friday's Investec Oaks at Epsom and cannot see past another Aidan O'Brien winner of the Fillies' showpiece.


Marvellous bids to follow up victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas

Marvellous bids to follow up victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas


Aidan O'Brien's 'marvellously' bred daughter of Galileo (out of a full sister to Giants Causeway), had finished only sixth on her reappearance behind stable-companion Bracelet at Leopardstown but proved a different proposition in the closing stages at The Curragh pulling three lengths clear of English Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder (stablemate Palace beaten nine lengths into fifth).
MARVELLOUS, the ambitiously-named filly who showed great improvement to win the Irish 1000 Guineas last month, looks the one to beat in Friday's Investec Oaks.

Pushed along some way from home that day, Marvellous looked an unlikely winner for much of the race but stayed on really powerfully under Ryan Moore and, in the end, had her rivals well strung out in the soft ground.

 

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Australia heads Derby 16


Thu 5th Jun 2014, 11:44
Australia
Australia
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's regally-bred colt Australia heads a total of 16 runners in Saturday's Investec Derby at Epsom.

By a Derby winner in Galileo, out of a multiple Group One winner and Oaks heroine in Ouija Board, Australia is certainly bred for the job and he has dominated the market since finishing third in the 2000 Guineas.

As usual, O'Brien saddles multiple runners, with Geoffrey Chaucer, unlucky when third in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Chester Vase winner Orchestra and Dee Stakes hero Kingfisher making up his team.

Last year Joseph O'Brien chose to partner Battle Of Marengo only to see Ryan Moore partner stablemate Ruler Of The World to victory, but there was never any doubt he would be on Australia this time.

"I'm really looking forward to it. Since he came into the yard and since he started working he was always a very good horse," he told At The Races.

"He's bred to stay the trip, he's bred to handle the track and he's probably bred to win the Derby, which is what you need heading to Epsom. It's a great test of a racehorse.

"It's a day of racing like no other, it's the Derby and there is only one every year - it's the ultimate test of horse and rider. He has plenty of pace, hopefully he'll get the trip as that's a bit of an unknown, he's well balanced, his mum and dad handled the track well so we're looking forward to it."

Moore is on Geoffrey Chaucer this time, while Seamie Heffernan rides Orchestra and Colm O'Donoghue is on Kingfisher.

There is a strong Irish challenge outside of the Ballydoyle quartet, with the first two home in the Derrinstown taking their chances. John Oxx's Ebanoran was first past the post that day but Dermot Weld's Fascinating Rock was awarded the race by the stewards after the pair got very close in the finish.

Roger Varian's Kingston Hill is the only previous Group One winner in the race, having landed the Racing Post Trophy last year, and he heads the home team having been a popular choice in recent days.

The Dante form was given a boost when The Grey Gatsby went on to win the French Derby last weekend and both the placed runners take their places at Epsom. Runner-up at York was Peter Chapple-Hyam's Arod, while Saeed bin Suroor's True Story was third, with the pair aiming to emulate Workforce who was beaten in the Dante before winning the Derby.

John Gosden runs two in the unbeaten Western Hymn and the supplemented Romsdal, while Sudden Wonder and Pinzolo are the first Derby runners for Charlie Appleby. The latter will be ridden by James Doyle, who was due to be on Snow Sky. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt emerged as a leading light for the Classic when winning the Lingfield Derby Trial but it emerged on Wednesday morning that he had banged a joint.

Stoute and Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manger for owner Khalid Abdullah, had been hopeful of Snow Sky recovering in time to run but have now confirmed he will miss the race and head to Royal Ascot instead.

A statement from Grimthorpe read: "Sir Michael Stoute reported that the colt was not quite 100% this morning so will not be declared for the Investec Derby. He could now go to the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot."

Our Channel represents William Haggas at Epsom, Red Galileo is a first Derby ride for Oisin Murphy, and Impulsive Moment runs for Andrew Balding.



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The Ballydoyle jockey arrangements for the Group 1 

Investec Derby are as follows

Joseph O’Brien – Australia

Ryan Moore – Geoffrey Chaucer 

Seamus Heffernan – Orchestra

Colm O’Donoghue – Kingfisher


Moore confirmed for Chaucer

  • Last Updated: June 4 2014, 18:02 BST

Aidan O'Brien has finalised his jockey bookings for Saturday's Investec Derby with Ryan Moore picking up the mount on Geoffrey Chaucer.


Ryan Moore: Rides Geoffrey Chaucer

Ryan Moore: Rides Geoffrey Chaucer

Coolmore confirmed via Twitter that Moore would be riding Geoffrey Chaucer, who finished a promising third on his comeback in the Derrinstown Derby Trial and has been well-backed in recent weeks.

As expected, Joseph O'Brien maintains his partnership with the favourite Australia, while Seamie Heffernan is aboard the Chester Vase winner Orchestra and Colm O'Donoghue is on Dee Stakes winner Kingfisher

                                                                       


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RULER TO MISS EPSOM


So Sad that Coolmore May not have an entry in a race named in St Nicholas Abbey's Memory. Sadly Ruler Of The World tweaked a muscle after yesterday’s work & is very unlikely to run on Saturday. A shame as he looked in great shape.


APOB “Ruler Of The World worked very well yesterday but pulled out a little stiff this 

morning so we couldn’t risk running him on Saturday.”


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Ruler set to miss Coronation

  • Last Updated: June 4 2014, 11:17 BST

Ruler Of The World is set to miss Saturday's Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom after suffering a minor setback.


Ruler Of The World: Slight setback

Ruler Of The World: Slight setback

Last year's Derby winner, who is jointly owned by Coolmore and Al Shaqab Racing and trained by Aidan O'Brien, had his only start this year in Dubai when only 13th in the World Cup.

Harry Herbert, Al Shaqab's racing adviser, told Press Association Sport: "Ruler Of The World worked very well on Tuesday, I was there to see him myself, but unfortunately he isn't quite right this morning and I am almost certain he isn't going to run on Saturday.

"It's bitterly disappointing and very frustrating as everyone was very pleased with the way he worked, but he isn't right this morning and you can't line up in a race like the Coronation Cup unless you're 100 per cent.

"We don't think it's anything serious, Aidan thinks he may have tweaked a muscle. It's too early to say (where he will run next). We hadn't looked beyond Saturday."




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Moore to ride Palace in Oaks

Last Updated: 04/06/14 10:53am


Ryan Moore



Aidan O'Brien sprung a surprise upon ante-post punters when taking out both Bracelet and Tapestry, as well as stablemate Wondefully, from the Investec Oaks at the final declaration stage on Thursday morning.

With his son, Joseph, set to ride forecast favourite Marvellous, Ryan Moore now steps in for the ride aboard Palace, who finished behind Marvellous in the Irish 1000 Guineas. Seamus Heffernan will partner the O'Brien third string Dazzling.

A total of 17 fillies have been declared for the race.

Full story to follow...



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O'Brien on Verge of Historic Treble


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Australia spearheads Aidan O'Brien's four-pronged assault on the Saturday's Investec Derby at Epsom as he remained one of 17 horses in contention following the confirmation stage.

O'Brien is bidding to become the first trainer in the history of the great race to saddle the winner on three consecutive occasions following the wins of Camelot (2012) and Ruler Of The World (2013).

Australia, a son of 2001 Derby hero Galileo out of 2004 Oaks heroine Ouijia Board, is the red-hot favourite to follow in the hoofprints of his parents following his excellent effort to finish third in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien is also set to run Geoffrey Chaucer, an unlucky third in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Chester Vase winner Orchestra and Dee Stakes scorer Kingfisher.

Dermot Weld's Fascinating Rock completed his hat-trick when promoted to first place in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown last month and he also stands his ground.

The John Oxx-trained Ebanoran passed the post first, but was relegated to second by the stewards following interference in the closing stages.

Speaking at Naas on Monday, Weld said of Fascinating Rock: "He is very well. He did his final piece of work on Sunday morning and Pat Smullen was very pleased with him.

"He's very sound and very well. His work is more or less complete now. Provided everything is OK he's a definite runner. Whatever way the ground goes he will run."

Oxx, who was also in winning form at the County Kildare venue, said of Ebanoran: "He is in good form - no problems thank God. Hopefully the next week goes well and it's so far so good, he's in good shape. We'll find out on Saturday how good he is.

"He won his maiden on good ground and I think he'll go well on fast ground, although soft doesn't bother him either. We don't have any issues with ground, not until he tells us differently anyway."

John Gosden has decided to supplement Romsdal, beaten just a nose by Orchestra at Chester, following a workmanlike racecourse gallop at Newmarket last week.

Gosden already has a leading contender in the unbeaten Sandown Classic Trial winner Western Hymn.

Roger Varian's Racing Post Trophy hero Kingston Hill impressed work-watchers when traversing the Epsom turf in a gallop last week and is another major player, as is Sir Michael Stoute's Snow Sky, winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial.

Godolphin have three contenders in Pinzolo, Sudden Wonder and True Story.

Arod is an intriguing runner for dual Derby-winning trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, having pushed Sunday's French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby close in the Dante Stakes at York.

The William Haggas-trained Our Channel was game and determined in notching up his second career win in the Epsom Derby Trial in April and he will be partnered by Silvestre de Sousa for the first time.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Our Channel's owner Abdulla Al Mansoori, said: "Silvestre de Sousa will ride Our Channel who did his final piece of work on Thursday and William (Haggas) was very happy with him."

Andrew Balding's Impulsive Moment and Red Galileo from Ed Dunlop's yard complete the entries.



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O'Brien excited by Derby bid

  • Last Updated: June 3 2014, 15:25 BST

Australia was on the drift for the Investec Derby with one major bookmaker on a busy morning of Epsom news but the favourite's jockey Joseph O'Brien remains excited about his prospects.

Australia poses for the cameras on a stable tour (Caroline Norris: Coolmore)

Australia poses for the cameras on a stable tour (Caroline Norris: Coolmore)


O'Brien and his father Aidan became the first father-son combination to win the Classic in 2012 with Camelot, and Guineas third Australia heads a four-strong team from Ballydoyle on Saturday afternoon.

Paddy Power had eased Australia to a best-priced 5-4 but O'Brien jnr said: "I'm really looking forward to it. Ever since he came into the yard and started working he's always been a good horse.

"He's bred to stay the trip, bred to handle the track and bred to win the Derby which is what you need going to Epsom. It's the ultimate test of a racehors"You need to have a horse with pace, balance and that will get the trip. It's a funny track to ride at times, with Tattenham Corner and all the different things running down into the straight, it's the ultimate test of horse and rider. It's the race every jockey wants to win.

"He's got plenty of pace, hopefully he'll get the trip but it's an unknown, his mum and dad handled the track well. We're looking forward to it."

In other Derby news, Frankie Dettori could still be available for a spare as it is looking likely he will be action on the undercard for his retained owner Al Shaqab Racing.

"I've been told they are thinking of running Baitha Alga in the Woodcote on Saturday so he could be at Epsom," said Dettori's agent Ray Cochrane. "That's possible at the moment, but things can change in racing."



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Coolmore Australia New Brochure

 

 



Ruler Of The World is on track to return to the scene of his greatest triumph in Saturday's Coronation Cup at Epsom.


Ruler Of The World is set to return to Epsom on Saturday

Ruler Of The World is set to return to Epsom on Saturday

The 2013 Investec Derby winner has failed to get his head in front in five subsequent starts but the return to the Downs on Saturday for the Investec sponsored contest - run this year in commemmoration of St Nicholas Abbey - could represent him with his best opportunity to date.

The Galileo colt is one of 10 entries for the Group One contest run over the course and distance of the Classic but he is not the only Classic winner in the field as last year's Oaks winner, Talent, could also take her chance.

The evergreen Cirrus Des Aigles has been in sensational form this season and has been confirmed an intended runner.

The eight-year-old clinched his fifth Group One victory with a dominant front-running display in the Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp just over a week ago and trainer Corine Barande-Barbe was keen to assess her stable star's well being before committing to a trip to Epsom.

She has been delighted with how her pride and joy has recovered from his Longchamp exertions and is excited about the prospect of seeing him run on Derby day on the Downs.

Barande-Barbe said: "He will run in the Coronation Cup and we are very much looking forward to going to Epsom. He has been in very good form since his last run - everything has been perfect.

"We wouldn't want the ground to be like a road, but there is a bit of rain forecast and I think it should be fine. It certainly won't be faster ground than in Dubai."

Cirrus Des Aigles's intended participation at Epsom means a trip to Royal Ascot later this month has been ruled out, but he could return to the Berkshire track for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 26.

"It has been the plan all year to go for the Coronation Cup, then the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and then hopefully to Ascot for the King George," said Barande-Barbe.

"We decided to run in the Prix d'Ispahan because it was a small field, the going was perfect for him and it was very near to home. If we ran at Royal Ascot, we couldn't run in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. We made the plan at the start of the year and we are sticking to it."


France could also be represented by the Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire while Empoli could represent Germany in a cosmopolitan entry.

The possibles are completed by the progressive Battalion, Ambivalent, Ernest Hemingway (a stablemate of Ruler Of The World), the globetrotting Joshua Tree and the supplemented course specialist Beacon Lady who faces a steep rise in class.

The last-named mare's trainer William Knight has made a brave call by supplementing the dual course winner at a cost of £25,000.

Knight said: "It's a massive step up for her and if it was at any other course I don't think we'd even be considering it, but she obviously likes Epsom and has also won five times at Brighton, so she handles that kind of track well.The five-year-old was a runaway winner of the Great Metropolitan Handicap at the track at the end of April, but the trainer acknowledges his charge will face a far tougher test stepped up to Group One level this weekend.

"She was pretty impressive in the Metropolitan and being a mare, any black type she can pick up would be fantastic.

"The owners are quite sporting and were keen to have a crack at it and if one or two of the bigger names under-perform, who knows what will happen?

"It will be a small field and she's quite versatile ground-wise, so we'll give it a shot and see what happens."


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                                                          Impressive Display from Due Diligence


 



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Table Rock completes double for O'Briens

Mon 2nd Jun 2014, 18:02
Table Rock and Joseph O'Brien
Table Rock and Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's horses are now beginning to ratchet up the pressure after a slow start to the season and the Champion Trainer completed a double at Naas today when hisTable Rock landed the concluding Follow Us On Facebook Handicap, also completing a double for jockey Joseph O'Brien.

O'Brien, successful with Due Diligenceearlier, later stated “he's progressive and whatever it is about those Fastnet Rock's (Table Rock's sire), they get better and improve and improve. That was a Danehill trait too.

"He's versatile trip wise and we'll step up in class now and could be an Ascot horse."

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


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Diligent display from Ascot bound speedster

Mon 2nd Jun 2014, 17:36
Due Diligence winning under Joseph O'Brien
Due Diligence winning under Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
The Aidan O'Brien trained Due Diligence justified strong market support to win the Listed Lacken Stakes at Naas today, under the Champion Trainer's son Joseph O'Brien.

The race featured last year's Phoenix Stakes winner Sudirman returning on his seasonal debut but while that colt was easy to back and disappointed to finish fourth, American import Due Diligence (backed from 5/2 in the morning into 5/4f) quickened well in the final furlong to readily see off the challenge of Sailors Swan.

The winner, who won his maiden for Todd Pletcher at Saratoga last year, was having his third Irish start having won a handicap, also at Naas last month and afterwards trainer Aidan O'Brien stated “you'd have to be delighted with that. The better ground is the better it will suit him.

“He has the choice of the Jersey or Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot next and he's a big striding horse with a big cruise and he's uncomplicated. He should come on again from that.”

Regarding the earlier defeat of his War Envoy, O'Brien stated “I might have left him a bit short. We were looking at Ascot on the way here and he got a bit tired. He'll go for the Coventry.

“The Great War might go for the Norfolk. He's good, he's had two runs and we nearly got a third into him.”

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


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ENVOY OUT TO DELIVER AT NAAS
01 Jun 2014





The Aidan O'Brien-trained War Front colt made quite an impression when running out a comfortable length winner on his debut at this track in April and is already on offer at 16-1 for next year's Qipco 2000 Guineas.

This Listed event over six furlongs has drawn a strong field of nine with Richard Hannon sending dual winner Kool Kompany for a race his father won back in 2011 with Lilbourne Lad.

Ger Lyons' Dandyleekie won his only start to date, while the Jim Bolger-trained Intense Style beat the highly regarded Dick Whittington at the Curragh last weekend.

Patrick Prendergast is represented by Bwana, who accounted for the reopposing Sors at Cork in April and was second to O'Brien's The Great War at the Curragh last month.

The trainer said: "Bwana is in good form and I've always been keen to run him over six furlongs as I think he might find improvement for six. He'll like the ground and while there is rain forecast, I don't think it'll be any worse than yielding. That race will possibly be his last run for me as he's going to the Ascot sales after this."

Hannon runs Spirit Of Xian in the Coolmore Stud EBF Fillies' Sprint Stakes, a Listed race his father won in 2012 with subsequent Guineas winner Sky Lantern.

Trainer Ken Condon has high hopes for his Newsletter in the six-furlong contest, as she bids to build on the promise of her winning debut in a Curragh maiden in April.

The daughter of Sir Percy scored on yielding to soft ground then, but Condon said: "She needs decent ground and while the ground looks fine at the moment, I will be hoping it doesn't deteriorate.

"She won her maiden on soft ground, but that was in a different league and she won in spite of it. She's such a good mover and is well entered up in the early-closing races, so this will tell us more about her trip-wise. Her pedigree suggests she should go six or seven furlongs.

"We like her a lot and she shows us a lot of pace and has a nice action. I was delighted with her first run and this is the next step up and hopefully she'll make into a Royal Ascot filly."

Richard Fahey has a runner in the Middleham Park-owned Newmarket scorer Realtra, while Beach Belle and Stormfly have also been successful in maidens in Ireland.

Prendergast saddles She's A Pistol, who was second on her debut over course and distance.

He said: "She seems to have come on for her run and while she is still a maiden and has a little to learn, she has been working well and being by Danehill Dancer she'll appreciate any bit of rain. Both her and Bwana are homebreds by their owner, so we're hoping to get black type for those families."

An informative renewal of the Owenstown Stud Stakes is in store with Giovanni Boldini and Tested declared for the seven-furlong Listed heat. The pair were last seen contesting Classics, with the O'Brien-trained Giovanni Boldini seventh in the French 2,000 Guineas and Dermot Weld's Tested a creditable sixth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Giovanni Boldini was second to Outstrip in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and his first start of this campaign saw him finish fourth to Toast Of New York in the UAE Derby at Meydan in March.

Weld's Navan maiden winner Sailors Swan steps up in class for the Lacken Stakes, with the opposition including the likes of juvenile Group One winner Sudirman, Shining Emerald, O'Brien's American import Due Diligence and John Oxx's once-raced Seas Of Wells.

The David Wachman-trained Sudirman, a son of Henrythenavigator, signed off his juvenile season with a fifth-placing in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Wachman said: "He's a horse that wants good ground and I haven't seen any of that yet recently and it looks like it won't even be that good tomorrow, either. He's in good form and we're trying him in blinkers for the first time, too."


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Joseph with Impressive Maiden winner HOMELAND a 

son of Galileo Decent start to his Career





Photo: HOMELAND




Ballydoyle newcomer wins at Listowel


Sun 1st Jun 2014, 14:33
Homeland and Joseph O Brien, left, beat Spryt
Homeland and Joseph O Brien, left, beat Spryt
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's Homeland justified strong 1/3 favouritism to comfortably win the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden on his debut at Listowel today, winning under the trainer's son Joseph O'Brien.

The son of Gallileo was shaken up to lead a furlong out and from there was kept going under hands and heels, for a cosy win over fellow newcomer Spryt.

O'Brien senior wasn't present but the winning jockey later stated “he's a nice colt and had been working nicely at home and I think he can progress with racing. He was quite green early on in the race and was on anc off the bride with me but when the penny dropped in the last furlong I was always comfortable I was holding Pat (Smullen on Spryt).”

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Alan Magee




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Odds shorten on good-ground Derby

Sun 1st Jun 2014, 14:09
Australia
Australia
(Healy Racing Photos)
Odds on a good-ground Investec Derby have shortened after the latest update from Epsom.

Last week the ground ahead of Saturday's Classic was soft, but clerk of the course Andrew Cooper tweeted: "Going at Epsom Racecourse now Good to Soft, Good in places. Bits and pieces of rain possible most days from Monday onwards. Cooler."

This caused bookmakers Paddy Power to make officially good ground the 11-8 favourite (from 13-8), while the odds of good to soft was eased to 13-8 from 11-8.

Aidan O'Brien's Australia is the hot favourite at this stage and Paddy Power said: "Aidan will be grinning like a Tipperary cat after the latest going report from Epsom, which looks absolutely perfect for Derby good thing Australia."



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Beyond Brilliance Wins Fairyhouse Maiden 

A Big Thumbs Up From Aidan


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Anna is very happy with that 

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Aidan O'Brien with daughters Ana (centre) and Sarah O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien with daughters Ana (centre) and Sarah O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)

Champion Trainer Aidan O'Brien's daughter Ana O'Brien was made to work hard for a memorable 18th birthday present at Fairyhouse today, finishing with a late flourish on her parent's Beyond Brilliance, to win the Follow Fairyhouse On Twitter Median Auction Maiden.

The jockey, who sits her leaving cert next week, was out of luck in the previous event when collared near the line on Pixie Spirit but, in contrasting fashion, arrived late and fast on Beyond Brilliance (heavily backed 3/1f), for a last gasp neck win over 50/1 chance Princess Andorra.

The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was homebred by the family's Whisperview Trading Ltd and also carries the colours of Aidan's wife Anne-Marie.

Following the win, the proud winning trainer later stated “it was nice she (Beyond Brilliance) won on this day as she had the option of running on Monday at Naas too. It was good we came here and great she won and I'm delighted for Ana as it's a nice birthday present.

“They went a good pace and it looked like she wasn't going to get there but she's a tough consistent, little filly and we think she's better than her rating and might progress into stakes company. She probably stays a mile and hopefully will progress.”

The win was Ana O'Brien's first win of the year and her sixth in total.

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


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DANEHILL DANCER FILM

 

 



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                            AIDAN OBRIEN G1 WINNERS GALLERY PAGE UPDATED



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Australia heads O'Brien four

  • Last Updated: May 29 2014, 10:59 BST

Australia could joined by three other Ballydoyle residents in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday week.


Australia: Heads O'Brien quartet

Australia: Heads O'Brien quartet

Aidan O'Brien confirmed at the 'Breakfast with the Stars' morning at the Surrey venue that the red-hot ante-post favourite may be accompanied by Geoffrey Chaucer, Kingfisher and Orchestra.

Joseph O'Brien, the trainer's son, is set to partner Australia, a most encouraging third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3.

Ryan Moore won the Irish 1,000 Guineas last weekend aboard the O'Brien-trained Marvellous and is poised to get the leg-up aboard Geoffrey Chaucer.

O'Brien said: "At the moment, it's looking possible we'll run four - Australia, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kingfisher and Orchestra."



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O'Brien five in Oaks frame

  • Last Updated: May 29 2014, 11:14 BST

Aidan O'Brien could have up to five runners in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday week.


Marvellous: In the Oaks picture

Marvellous: In the Oaks picture

Ballydoyle's battalion is likely to be spearhead by Marvellous, winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh last Sunday.

Stablemate Bracelet was well beaten in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month but she, too, could feature in the Epsom Classic, staged this year in memory of Sir Henry Cecil.

O'Brien said: "Bracelet is a possible. There's also Tapestry, Marvellous and I suppose the filly (Dazzling) that ran in the trial in Navan.

"We'd be looking at four or five possibles at the moment."


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  Will Australia follow Galileo, High Chaparral, Camelot and Ruler Of The World into the winners' enclosure on 7 June?

 

 




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