Van Beethoven brings up Railway Stakes Victory number 13 for Aidan
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Picture from David Betts


Van Beethoven gave Aidan O’Brien his 13th victory in the GAIN Railway Stakes with a hard-fought success in the Group Two contest over six furlongs at the Curragh.

The Scat Daddy colt dug deep for Ryan Moore to hold the persistent challenge of the Mark Johnston-trained Marie’s Diamond.

O’Brien’s other runner, North Wind, ensured a good pace with Certain Lad and Marie’s Diamond close up in the early stages.

When Moore made his move on Norfolk Stakes fourth Van Beethoven it was covered by Silvestre de Sousa, but the 9-10 favourite just proved the stronger to get the verdict by half a length.

O’Brien said, “In an ideal world he might have preferred a stronger pace. Ryan said he was a little bit keen but he galloped home. A stronger pace would have suited him better.

“He may come back here for the Phoenix and Sergei Prokofiev is there as well. Land Force may go to the July meeting.”

The current incumbent at Ballydoyle is now just one behind his predecessor, Vincent O’Brien, who saddled 14 winners of the Railway Stakes.







Thanks to @bohual for the pictures 


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Fleet Review leads home Ballydoyle 1 2 in Dash 
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Picture from David Betts


Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore teamed up for a quick double on Derby day at the Curragh as Fleet Review led home a 1-2 for Ballydoyle in the Dubai Duty Free Jumeirah Creekside Dash Stakes.

The War Front colt, sent off the evens favourite, was pushed along at halfway by Moore but came home strongly inside the final furlong to just get the better of stablemate Intelligence Cross.

The judge eventually separated the pair by just a nose, with Ardhoomey a length back in third.

O’Brien said, “The pace was a bit mad early on in Ascot but he got comfortable today and Donnacha’s horse was a little bit the same.

“Sometimes the pace can be mad early in Ascot and you can get hung up in it and you’re in trouble. He always was a solid horse and likes six furlongs and fast ground.

“The July Cup and all those sprints are there for him. He’s a big horse and a three-year-old so he could well progress.”

O’Brien and Moore were also on the mark just over half an hour earlier with Battle Of Jericho in the Tote Rockingham Handicap.


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Thanks to @bohual for the pictures 



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Jericho just holds on to bag the Rockingham

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Picture from David Betts


Battle Of Jericho may have found Group 1 company a bit too much last time in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot but he bounced back to form by landing the valuable Tote Rockingham Handicap at the Curragh.

The three-year-old War Front colt was taking on vastly more experienced sprinters and was sent off a 7/1 chance in this five-furlong dash.

Ryan Moore’s mount challenged a furlong out and just got the better of top-weight Caspian prince by a short-head.

Line Of Reason finished well to be just a half-length back in third, with 4/1 favourite Blue Uluru fourth.

Winning trainer Aidan O’Brien said, “He’s a fast horse, and Ryan said you couldn’t get there late enough with him.

“We went to Ascot thinking he could run a big race but he was too green and babyish for that but he would have learned a lot and it would have brought him on a lot. We think that he will improve more.

“Ryan rode him in the Cornwallis last year and he got all locked up and he loved it. He missed time in the spring and had his first run back at Fairyhouse. He’s a five-furlong fast ground horse.

“He could turn into a Nunthorpe horse if he steps up again. Ascot probably wasn’t that fair to him as we pitched him in a bit quick.”


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Thanks to @bohual for the picture 

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Pictures from Keith many thanks 



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Fleet Review tough to oppose in Dash Jerhico

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30th June
No less than four course and distance winners clash in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Creekside Dash Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh on Saturday, in which Fleet Review could prevail.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt is two from three over this trip at Headquarters and should relish this drop in class.

He finished runner-up in a Group Three at Naas last month before running unplaced in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last week.

This son of War Front is very much at home on quick ground.

Stablemate Intelligence Cross also has his sights lowered and rates a danger, along with Jim Bolger’s Smash Williams who was not too far behind the top-class Merchant Navy in the Greenlands Stakes in May.

American-bred St Patrick’s Day is a fascinating newcomer for O’Brien in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Celebration Stakes.

The three-year-old colt is a brother of US Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and holds a clutch of Group-race entries.

He was due to make his debut in a Group Three at Leopardstown just over a fortnight ago but was withdrawn after getting upset in the stalls.

It will take a good performance to beat his five rivals who are all rated over 99.

The maiden that O’Brien’s All The King’s Men finished sixth in on debut has thrown up several winners and he might be next in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Irish EBF Maiden.



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Lucius Tiberius brings up a treble for Ballydoyle at The Curragh 




Lucius Tiberius brought up a treble for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore at the Curragh. Moore switched him left a quarter of a mile out and his mount delivered his challenge between horses. He hit the front over a furlong out and was soon ridden to go and win his race. The Camelot colt asserted in the final 150 yards to come home by two and a quarter lengths. He was popular during the day as his price contracted from 11/2 to 9/4 favourite for this mile and a quarter handicap. Active Approach (7/1) was the horse for forecast punters. Aidan O'Brien said: "Ryan rode him in Ascot and said to drop him back. “He's a progressive horse and Ryan said that in an ideal world he'd even wait a bit longer with him next time. “Those Camelots seem to quicken, they handle good ground and quicken up off it which is great. “He could go for a Listed race over a mile-and-a-quarter.” Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Lucius Tiberius brings up a treble for Ballydoyle at The Curragh picture courtesy of the David Betts


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Somerset Maugham brings up Curragh double for Ballydoyle & Ryan Moore
 


Somerset Maugham (5/2f) got up right on the line to chin 33/1 newcomer With Herself in the mile maiden for three-year-olds plus in the Curragh.< With Herself put in a storming performance for Richard O'Brien and Gary Carroll but was just foiled.

She was switched out by Carroll at the two pole and made good headway to challenge on the run to the final furlong.

She swept past Dawn Trouper with 150 yards to race and went for home butSomerset Maugham absolutely flew home on the inside to win on the line.

Aidan O'Brien said: "I thought he was beaten, I thought he was second.

“Ryan was very happy with him. He only had a couple of runs last year so he'll step up. He'll maybe go for a handicap now and we'll see where we go.”

He gave O'Brien and Moore a quick-fire double as they also landed the opener with 6/4 favourite Peach Tree.



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Somerset Maugham brings up Ballydoyle double at The Curragh courtesy of the David Betts 

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Peach Tree breaks maiden tag in Curragh opener 

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Peach Tree stepped up on her debut fifth to land the opening seven furlong fillies' maiden on Irish Derby weekend at the Curragh.

The daughter of Galileo soon led under Ryan Moore but came off the bridle passing the three pole.

The 6/4 favourite responded to pressure, though, and asserted from her rivals approaching the final furlong.

Newcomer Queen Medb stayed on strongly in the final furlong to close to within half a length of the winner at 8/1.

Lightning Amber, completed the placings a further two and a half lengths away at 7/1.

Aidan O'Brien said: “She came forward lovely from her first run in Cork and I'm delighted with her.

“She'll step up again. They'll come forward from their first to their second runs and to their third. They keep coming forward.

“She was quick away in Cork and Seamie said to him 'don't be afraid to go forward' because she was quick into her stride. She had the benefit of a run there.

“We'll keep her to those fillies' races. She'll get further and will get a mile. She is a sister to Flattering so she should stay.” Peach Tree was two places behind Lightning Amber in Cork but reversed that form this evening.

Paddy Power gave Peach Tree a first show of 33/1 for the 1,000 Guineas.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

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Peach Tree winning the opener at The Curragh courtesy of the brilliant David Betts 


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Outstanding Sprinter Merchant Navy has been retired to stud.

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June 29th 
The ex-Australian-trained colt joined Aidan O’Brien with the aim of winning at Royal Ascot this summer, and did just that last weekend, having made a successful Irish debut at the Curragh in May.

Ridden by Ryan Moore in the six-furlong Group One sprint at the showpiece meeting, the son of Fastnet Rock won by a short head from City Light in a thrilling finish.

In the immediate aftermath, O’Brien had expressed his hope he might get to run Merchant Navy in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Coolmore tweeted: “Dual G1 winning #RoyalAscot hero Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock) has been retired and arrived @coolmorestud this morning where he will enter quarantine before travelling to @CoolmoreAus where the world-class sprinter will cover an outstanding first book of mares #CoolmoreSires.”

In 10 career starts, Merchant Navy won seven times, earning nearly £1million in prize-money.

Aidan on Merchant Navy 
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Ballydoyle Trio bid for Curragh Cup glory

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June 29th 
Aidan O’Brien has three of the seven runners as he bids to win the Comer Group International Curragh Cup for a sixth time at the Co Kildare course on Sunday.

Leading his team is Giuseppe Garibaldi, who was third to Irish Derby fancy Old Persian in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.

Flag Of Honour, who was unplaced in the French Derby, and Cork maiden winner Victory Salute make up the Ballydoyle handler’s trio.


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Forever Together bids to become a Multiple G1 Winner in Pretty Polly

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June 29th 
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for three of the six runners in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curraghon Sunday.

The Ballydoyle maestro has saddled four previous winners of the 10-furlong Group One and looks to have every chance of adding to his tally in Sunday’s feature event.

The O’Brien trio is headed by Investec Oaks heroine Forever Together. She is reopposed by stablemate Bye Bye Baby, who finished third at Epsom, while Athena makes a swift return to action after finishing fourth in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.



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Warrior faces 11 rivals in Irish Derby

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June 29th 
Saxon Warrior heads a field of 12 declared for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

The brilliant winner of the 2000 Guineas is one of four runners from the Aidan O’Brien stable as he bids to put behind him a first career defeat in the Investec Derby.

Saxon Warrior struggled to handle Epsom’s twists and turns and was only fourth to Masar.

O’Brien has also declared Delano Roosevelt, Rostropovich and The Pentagon as he seeks to win the Classic for a 13th time. He withdrew his other two entries, Kew Gardens and Nelson, at the 48-hour final declaration stage.



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Our 9th Rankings/Ratings supplement of the season is here - Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight & News - A total of 13 Ballydoyle Residents in the rankings including joint highest rated 3YO

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Huge thanks to Timeform - website 

https://www.timeform.com



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Easter Lily wins Listed Oaks trial

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©Healy Racing Photos

27th June

The Aidan O'Brien trained Easter Lily gained a valuable black-type success at Naas this evening when causing a 16/1 upset in the featured Listed Irish EBF Naas Oaks Trial.

Ridden by Wayne Lordan, the daughter of Galileo was today gaining her first success since a maiden win last July and beat previous Listed Stakes winner Mary Tudor by a length.

Champion Trainer O'Brien was completing a double on the day having won the opener with Secret Thoughts and afterwards Lordan said “she's been running at Listed and Group 3 level and running okay. Today worked out well as I was able to go down through them.

“She doesn't do a whole pile when she gets there so going down through them was a big help. She's genuine and tough.

When asked it if it was a surprise he added “not really, she works nice at home and she's been running well, as I said. They all have their turn and today was her turn."

The winner holds an entry in the Irish Oaks and Lordan said “she's been busy all year and she may as well keep going now.”




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Secret Thoughts wins on her 2nd attempt

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©Healy Racing Photos
27th June 

Donnacha O'Brien bagged a Jockeys' Championship 'six-pointer' in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Fillies) Maiden at Naas this evening as he steered his father Aidan's Secret Thoughts to beat rival jockey Colin Keane, on Rita Levi, by a head.

The daughter of War Front tracked eventual runner-up Rita Levi for much of the journey but improved to lead a furlong out before scoring a narrow head win.

Jockey O'Brien moved on to the 38 winner mark for the season, two clear of Keane, and later said “she's a lovely filly, a little bit green and probably needed the last run fitness wise more than some of ours but she stepped up nicely and I like her.

“I'd have rather gone seven or even a mile with her. This maiden came up on a bit of nice ground, at a decent track, so it suited her well and it's nice to see her being able to do it over six.

“Her mother was obviously famously a bit quirky and War Fronts can sometimes be a little bit the same. She's keeping it under wraps at the minute so hopefully we can keep her like that.”



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2 New Coolmore Posters - All Brilliant at Royal Ascot & Smart First Crop Winners for War Command 




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Cyprus Creek justifies short odds to shed maiden tag

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©Healy Racing Photos

Donnacha O'Brien kept it simple on board 1/5 favourite Cypress Creek who made every yard in the extended mile and five maiden at Ballinrobe.

Aidan O'Brien's Galileo colt was shaken up two and a half furlongs out and closed out the race in the final furlong by a length and three parts.

Baliyad (5/1) tried in vain to hunt him down but could never get on terms.

Donnacha O'Brien said: "I put him out in front and kept things uncomplicated on him and he was entitled to do that.

"He got a bit of experience and it was his first time around a more complicated track and it was nice to get a win into him.

"I didn't win by half a furlong or anything but he was only doing what he had to do. We won't know how good he is until we step him up." Cypress Creek had been runner-up in his last couple of appearances in maiden company.


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Leading Sires Tables GB & IRE Updated - Galileo almost a Million clear - No Nay Never has a healthy lead - Camelot moving on up - Excelebration drops out top 10 

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British Trainers Championship Updated 

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Oaks winner in Pretty Polly mix & Sergei could run in Railway Stakes 

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26th June 
Oaks winner Forever Together is set to take on older horses in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

A maiden heading to Epsom, Aidan O’Brien’s charge made no mistake in the Classic, beating Wild Illusion by four and a half lengths.

O’Brien has a host of Group One winners to chose from with Rhododendron, Hydrangea and Happily in the mix, along with Ribblesdale scorer Magic Wand.

Rhododendron disappointed in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot and Hydrangea was unplaced in the Duke of Cambridge, while Happily finished a close fourth to Laurens in the Prix de Diane last time out. Athena, Bye Bye Baby and Sizzling give O’Brien further options.

Coventry Stakes third Sergei Prokofiev is among Aidan O’Brien’s possibles for the GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

O’Brien can also call on The Irish Rover, Land Force, North Wind and Van Beethoven, who was an eyecatching fourth in the Windsor Castle Stakes at the Royal meeting.


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Cypress Creek looks a formidable force in Ballinrobe maiden

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©Healy Racing Photos

Aidan O’Brien’s 94-rated maiden Cypress Creek has another chance to break his duck in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Ballinrobe this evening.

On his two most recent outings the three-year-old has finished second to stablemates Southern France and Giuseppe Garibaldi and those two subsequently ran well at Royal Ascot last week.

Southern France chased home stablemate Kew Gardens in the Queen’s Vase, while Giuseppe Garibaldi was third to Old Persian in the King Edward VII.


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Front Running Curly gets of the mark At Gowran 



Curly made every yard a winning one in the extended nine furlong fillies' maiden at Gowran Park.

Aidan O'Brien's Galileo filly travelled smoothly approaching the straight as the chasing pack all came off the bridle.

It was Park Bloom who came out of the bunch to try and attack the leader inside the final quarter of a mile.

However, she couldn't land a blow onCurly who was ridden to go and win her race coming to the final furlong.

The 7/2 joint favourite kept on well to win by two lengths from 5/1 shot Park Bloom.

Predawn, on debut, completed the placings some lengths away in third at 8/1 as the front two drew clear.

Jockey Seamie Heffernan said: “She has a very good pedigree and had a nice run the first day. The extra couple of furlongs was a help.

"She’s a little bit hot but I’d say she’s honest.”

Additional reporting by Alan Magee


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Update from Aidan on some of his stable stars

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June 24th
Beaten Queen Anne favourite Rhododendron has the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and the Eclipse at Sandown among her options.

Aidan O’Brien’s Lockinge winner disappointed when only ninth in the first race of Royal Ascot and is likely to be stepped up in trip. stablemate Deauville was only 12th.

“She ran well and we were happy. We might have preferred a stronger pace and that would have been the same with Deauville,” said O’Brien.

“We know both stay further but they appear to have come out of the race well.

“She has a lot of choices, there is the Nassau or the Eclipse. All those races are open to her.”

Sergei Prokofiev ran well to be third in the Coventry Stakes behind the impressive winner Calyx.

“He ran very well. He was drawn on the other side to the winner but Ryan (Moore) was very happy with him,” said O’Brien.

“He is a big horse but we’ve not forced him in any way yet. We think he is going to be a horse to look forward to.

“He was always going to step up to six furlongs and he will probably even get further than that. We were very happy with the run.

“It’s very early in the year to be chasing them and being hard on them. The experience would have done him well.

“Something like the Prix Morny (August 19) we could look at but we won’t be in any panic with him. He obviously has the Phoenix (August 12) there he could for as well.”

Gustav Klimt was beaten just half a length by Without Parole in the St James’ Palace Stakes, while U S Navy Flag is likely to drop down in trip after finishing only ninth in the same race.

O’Brien said: “Gustav Klimt ran very well and progressed again from the Curragh. He progressed from Newmarket to the Curragh and he progressed again. We were very happy with his run.

“U S Navy Flag is a very fast and there is every chance he might sharpen up in trip after this.

“There was always a possibility that would happen as he is fast and he wants to get it done. He is a Middle Park winner at the end of the day. It (July Cup) is obviously a possibility but it’s not been decided yet.”

Aidan O’Brien expects to see an improved Saxon Warrior in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

Always considered a likely Derby contender, the son of Deep Impact sparked Triple Crown dreams with victory in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Those ambitions went up in smoke at Epsom as he could only finish fourth in the Investec Derby, but O’Brien feels his charge will have learnt from the experience and is confident he will be seen to better effect back on a more conventional track like the home of Irish Flat racing.

O’Brien said: “He seems good and Donnacha rode him in his work on Saturday. It is so far so good and the plan is to go for the Irish Derby and we are looking forward to that.

“He ran a great race at Epsom. He was a little bit at sea (on the track). He was a little bit babyish in his mind and found the whole experience different.

“Ryan (Moore) looked after him, which was the right thing to do and he came out the race very well, which the main thing.”

Saxon Warrior (left) could only finish fourth to Masar in the Derby at Epsom
Saxon Warrior (left) could only finish fourth to Masar in the Derby at Epsom
He added: “We think he will have grown up and learnt a lot for that experience. I think the track at the Curragh will be better for him. I think Epsom would be fine for him if he was to go back there again. He was just a little bit at sea and was still a bit of baby last time.

“He had three soft runs at the backend last year and he didn’t learn an awful lot. The tracks were all easy tracks he raced on. We think the experience at Epsom would have done him the world of good.

“His work is finished now and everything seems good. All his team are very happy and it is so far so good.”



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Clean Sweep at Royal Ascot for Aidan Coolmore & Ryan Moore 

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It may have started with more of a whimper than a bang, but there was no stopping Flat racing’s most fearsome force of Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore and Coolmore dominating events at Royal Ascot once again.

Having drawn a blank on the opening day, the powerhouse operation slowly but surely started to fire in the winners, starting with victory for Kew Gardens in the Queen’s Vase on Wednesday.

One winner soon became three with Magic Wand taking the Ribblesdale and Hunting Horn in the Hampton Court 24 hours later, before a last-gasp victory for Australian import Merchant Navy in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes sealed the trio’s respective top trainer, owner and jockey titles on the final day.

O’Brien, celebrating a ninth leading trainer prize, this time on countback from John Gosden and Sir Michael Stoute, said: “We take it one day at a time and one race at a time.

“We had a few winners and a lot of placed horses and a few horses ran disappointing races, but it is tough, competitive racing. I didn’t expect anything else.

Asked for highlights, O’Brien said: “I suppose it is hard to get away from the win for Merchant Navy. He is a three-year-old carrying a four-year-old weight.

“He only came just before the Curragh. His coat was changing and he didn’t know if it was winter or summer.

“He was going through a lot of changes himself and in all fairness to him he was healthy enough and sound enough to cope with the changes, and to produce that run was unbelievable.

“When you are in racing you are always grateful to have a winner and you never take anything for granted.

“Really, I’m surprised you win more times than you don’t as there are so many variables you can’t change and the competition is so tough here.

“It is great, the competition, as that is what makes sport great. John Gosden and Sir Michael Stoute are great trainers and really we feel privileged that the lads have horses we can come over and compete with.

“That is what makes the whole week unbelievable. The track was immaculate, the facilities and the atmosphere, it is all unbelievable.

“It is a privilege and a pleasure for me and all the lads and everyone that is involved, as it is a big team effort. I think everyone gets a great kick out of it.”

Four winners may have been enough for O’Brien and Coolmore, but for Moore he required a piece of help from loyal ally Stoute to master Frankie Dettori at the top of the jockeys’ standings, which Crystal Ocean duly provided in the Hardwicke Stakes.

Moore, winning the leading rider prize for the eighth time, said: “It was great to end the week with Merchant Navy winning today. It was an important race and he is an important horse.

“He has done well to come over from the other side of world to beat horses from all over the place again. I’m very happy with him and he would be the highlight for me.

Having claimed the inaugural leading owner award 12 months ago, connections from Coolmore were more than satisfied with the outcome despite suffering a few disappointments.

Coolmore partner Michael Tabor said: “When you look at the overall performance we hit the crossbar two or three times, but Aidan is still the leading trainer. It has been kind of frustrating, but we can’t complain.

“I suppose Merchant Navy would be the highlight, as when you buy a horse from Australia it is a big outlay and to bring it over is a big risk, sometimes they don’t adapt.”


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Navy Sails home in Diamond Jubilee
 


Merchant Navy (4/1) came out on top in a dramatic Diamond Jubilee Stakes in which favourite Harry Angel became upset in the stalls and was very slowly away.

He was never to land a blow and it was left to American raider Bound For Nowhere to blaze a trail down the Ascot straight.

He was still in front a furlong out but began to hang to his left towards the eventual winner who was beginning his charge.

However no sooner had Ryan Moore mastered that rival aboard Merchant Navy then he was immediately pressed by City Light (12/1) and at the line only had a short-head to spare.

Bound For Nowhere (12/1) was third, three-quarters-of-a-length away.

Moore told ITV Racing: "I can't repeat what I was thinking when we hit the line. He's a remarkable horse. He's hasn't been up here long, he's won both his starts here and he's beat a high-class field today.

"I thought he would win easier, but the American horse leaned into me, we got very tight and he just lost his rhythm for a second. If he'd have got beat I'd have felt he would have been unlucky. I'm delighted with him and it's a pleasure to ride these sort of horses."It was a second win for 

Aidan O'Brien, having also saddled Australian import Starspangledbanner eight years ago.

"He was travelling very well and we knew looking at him that Ryan was very happy on him," O'Brien said.

"I think Ryan was hoping not to get there (the front) too early on him and then he got a little bit of a bump and Ryan said it took him a bit of time to re-balance.

"We're over the moon with him, really. He's always been very straightforward since he arrived.

"He did five half-speeds before he went to the Curragh, so we weren't really sure what was going to happen, but we wanted to get a run into him before he came here.

"We thought it was an impossible task for him here as he was 12lb worse off than he would have been in Australia. He's being treated as a four-year-old here and he's really a three-year-old. I came here prepared that he couldn't win, reading what everyone was saying."

Moore, who was winning a fifth race of the week to keep Frankie Dettori at bay, said: "I thought he would win easier, but the American horse leaned into me, we got very tight and he just lost his rhythm for a second. If he'd have got beat I'd have felt he would have been unlucky."












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Fleeting just gets up to win on debut at Limerick 

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©Healy Racing Photos


Ballydoyle failed to notch up a winner at Royal Ascot today but did register a winner on the day as newcomer Fleeting landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden at Limerick this evening, under Derby winning jockey Padraig Beggy.

The daughter of Zoffany tracked leader Amaira in the early stages and in the end Fleeting battled her way to edge past runner-up Vallambrose in the closing stages for a neck win.

It was Beggy's first winner of the year and just his seventh since his famous win in last year's Epsom Derby on Wings Of Eagles.


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Spanish Point off the mark at Leopardstown
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Without Parole, Monarchs Glen and Baghdad have been doing Frankel proud over at Royal Ascot and his son Spanish Point scored at the altogether more modest level of the Leopardstown "Club 30" Maiden.


Last in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last time, Spanish Point followed up wins for Ballydoyle earlier at Ascot with Hunting Horn and Magic Wand to make most in this mile event under Emmet McNamara.


The 5/1 winner was really strong inside the last to put three and a half lengths between himself and favourite Dawn Trouper.

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Magic Wand Storms Home in Ribblesdale 



Magic Wand dominated her rivals in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Aidan O'Brien's filly had beaten stablemate Forever Together in the Cheshire Oaks in May, but the tables were turned in the Investec Oaks at Epsom three weeks ago as Forever Together claimed Classic glory and Magic Wand finished only fourth.

Back on a sound surface, 100/30 chance Magic Wand proved an entirely different proposition in the hands of Ryan Moore, travelling strongly before powering clear in the home straight for an impressive four-length victory.

Epsom Oaks second Wild Illusion, the 9/4 favourite, had to make do with the runner-up spot once again with Sun Maiden third.

Sky Bet introduced the winner as a 25/1 chance in the antepost market for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.







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Hunting Horn blitzes Hampton Court Rivals 





Ryan Moore rode his 50th winner at Royal Ascot as Hunting Horn dominated his rivals in the Hampton Court Stakes.

Aidan O'Brien's colt was a 5/1 shot for this Group Three assignment, coming down in class after finishing a respectable sixth in the French Derby on his latest appearance.

Moore settled Hunting Horn in midfield for much of the 10-furlong journey before making his move rounding the home turn and the son of Camelot fairly sprinted up the straight to score by four and a half lengths.

Crossed Baton was best of the rest in second ahead of Zaaki in third.

Moore told ITV Racing: "He ran a really good race in the French Derby and he has progressed with every start this year. The race went smoothly for him. He got there and had a look around, he wasn't doing much in the last furlong. He's a progressive horse but obviously that was a big jump forward from anything he'd done before. Having 51 winners would mean a lot more."

O'Brien said: "We're delighted with him. He had a lovely run at Sandown. He's by Camelot, he travels well and quickens well and we thought a mile and a quarter would suit him.

"Ryan gave him a lovely ride. The lads who look after him at home were very happy with him so I couldn't be happier with him.

"He relaxes well and quickens, his dad was like that. When there's a pace on, he's happy and it was a nice evenly run race.

"He's got a lot of options, he can step up to a mile and a half, you could have a look at an Eclipse, you could go to France or we could give him a little bit of time as well. He's been busy the last couple of weeks. I'm delighted for Ryan (to get his 50th) he gave him a great ride and we're delighted to have him."






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Clemmie set for Coronation & Ballydoyle trio ready for King Edward test 

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21st June

There may be three individual 1000 Guineas winners in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday, but some bookmakers are making Aidan O’Brien’s Clemmie the favourite.

A clear-cut winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes last season, she headed into the winter as favourite for the Newmarket version, only to meet with a setback in the spring which meant she did not reappear until the Irish Guineas.

O’Brien went on record as saying she would improve greatly for that run in ninth place, and he still expects her to improve after this Group One affair.

“She is in good form. She has come forward since the Guineas, but she will come forward again,” said O’Brien.

“She needed the run in the Guineas badly. She ran well and just got tired. She had a little bit of a setback and lost a good bit of fitness, but she is coming back. She will come forward more after this.

“I think a mile will be within reach, but we will see. We weren’t sure if it was the trip or if she got tired in Ireland, but we think she got tired. It will be interesting.”

Aidan O’Brien is triple-handed as he bids for an overdue success in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.

The Ballydoyle handler has surprisingly saddled just one previous winner of a race commonly referred to as the Ascot Derby, with Five Dynasties claiming victory back in 2004.

The likely market leader for this year’s renewal is Ryan Moore’s mount, Delano Roosevelt, who was runner-up in the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown before finishing sixth in the Investec Derby.

O’Brien said: “Delano Roosevelt ran well in the Derby and he has come out of it well.

“He has been in good form since.”

The trainer’s son, Donnacha, takes the ride on Rostropovich, who needs to bounce back from a disappointing run in the French Derby.

Seamie Heffernan is on board Giuseppe Garibaldi, who steps up in class after winning a Navan maiden and a Listed event at Leopardstown.

O’Brien added: “We are not really sure what happened with Rostropovich in France, but we were a little bit disappointed with his run.

“He is stepping up to a mile and a half now. He should like the ground and the track. He also seems to be in good form.

“Giuseppe Garibaldi took a run or two to win his maiden then he won a Listed race at Leopardstown last time.

“We were going to go a mile and six (furlongs) but we just said we would leave him at a mile and a half.

“He travels well in his races. We will probably step him up after this.”


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Kew Gardens Leads home Ballydoyle 1,2,3 in the Queens Vase



Kew Gardens led home a one-two-three for trainer Aidan O'Brien in the Queen's Vase.


The master of Ballydoyle was winning the race for a sixth time and his Nelson set out to make all and still led the field turning for home.


However Ryan Moore, aboard the 3/1 winner, had him covered and after going to the front approaching the furlong marker, soon put the race to bed.


Ninth behind Masar in the Investec Derby on his last start, the son of Galileo was four-and-a-half lengths clear of staying-on stablemate Southern France (9/2) at the line with Nelson (9/2) holding on well in third.


Sky Bet cut the winner to 6/1 from 33/1 for the William Hill St Leger, Racing PR Manager Michael Shinners said: "That was very impressive. Aidan O'Brien traditionally has a strong hand for the Doncaster Classic and Kew Gardens already looks a big player this time around."


Michael Tabor, co-owner of the winner, said: "We've always thought he's a nice horse, really made for this race. Obviously he needs a trip, so the St Leger, why not?"


O'Brien said: "We always thought he'd stay. He loves fast ground. He was a little bit disappointing in Epsom, but we've been very happy since then. He can do a lot of things. He can go back to the Irish Derby. He can have a little break and be trained for the Leger. He's a lot of options. The Leger is a long way away, but in the autumn that would be a lovely race for him."






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Order of St George the one to beat in the Gold Cup


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Aidan O’Brien is confident Order Of St George is at the top of his game ahead of his bid to claim a second Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

The six-year-old was a dominant winner of the two-and-a-half-mile showpiece in 2016 and was beaten just a short head by Big Orange in a pulsating climax to last year’s renewal.

O’Brien has followed a tried and tested route with his charge this spring, saddling him to win both the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan and the Saval Beg at Leopardstown – the same two races he contested last year.

The Ballydoyle handler, who is bidding for a record eighth Gold Cup victory, said in a stable tour on www.attheraces.com: “Everything has gone well with him since his last run at Navan.

“We are as happy with him going into the Gold Cup as we have been with him in any of the other years he has gone there.”

The horse widely regarded as Order Of St George’s biggest threat is the four-year-old Stradivarius.

Clemmie given the go ahead for Royal Ascot

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Clemmie has been given the go-ahead to run in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday.

Aidan O’Brien’s Group One-winning filly could not land a telling blow in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but her trainer is adamant she will strip much fitter with that run in safe-keeping and she is his only contender.



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Hydrangea can over come the weight to bring home the Duke Of Cambridge

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June 20th 

Aidan O’Brien expects Hydrangea to have taken a big step forward ahead of the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.


The four-year-old won two Group Ones at the back end of last season but could finish only second her return in a Curragh Group Two last month.


Hydrangea must shoulder a 5lb penalty as she lines up over a mile, but the Ballydoyle handler is satisfied with her progress.


He told At The Races: “I was very happy with how she ran at the Curragh on her return, as we knew she was going to need the run very badly. She has come on really well since then.”


Hydrangea heads the ante-post market for the Group Two heat, with Marco Botti’s Aljazzi another strong contender, having finished second in the race last year.



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Saxon Warrior set for the Irish Derby

Racing Post Champions Day - Doncaster Racecourse

19th June

Aidan O’Brien’s 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior is on course for the Irish Derby at the Curragh on 30th June.

A brilliant victory at Newmarket meant that the son of Deep Impact started odds-on favourite for the Epsom Derby. Having won over a mile as a two-year-old, most pundits felt that Saxon Warrior was an ideal Derby prospect. Even the best horse racing tipsters struggled to find a flaw in his profile.

Ryan Moore had to sit and suffer on the far rail in the Derby after being drawn in stall one. He was not ideally placed to launch his challenge but Saxon Warrior did not find the acceleration that he had shown at Newmarket. He eventually came home in fourth place, four and a half lengths behind Masar. Saxon Warrior had finished ahead of Masar (third) and Roaring Lion (fifth) in Guineas but both of those colts reversed the form at Epsom. The defeat saved bookmakers from a multi-million pound pay-out.

The Ballydoyle team were happy to let the dust settle after Epsom and have decided to stay at a mile and a half. The prospects of a remarkable thirteenth Irish Derby win for O’Brien received a further boost with the news that Masar will not run at the Curragh. Charlie Appleby’s colt will head to Sandown on 7th July for the ten-furlong Coral Eclipse Stakes.

Saxon Warrior’s dam only raced once beyond a mile when finishing fifth in the 2012 Epsom Oaks. O’Brien refused to blame the defeat on a lack of stamina and dismissed thoughts of reverting to a mile for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Bookmakers initially installed Saxon Warrior at 6-4 for the Irish Derby but those odds have been slashed to 4-7 following Masar’s defection.

One horse who could yet emerge as a serious threat is Epsom runner-up De Ex Bee. Mark Johnston’s colt stayed on strongly to finish a length and a half behind Masar. He had previously finished second to Young Rascal in the Chester Vase but left that rival trailing in seventh place in the Classic. De Ex Bee would have to be supplemented but the wide galloping track at the Curragh looks made for him.

O’Brien’s Delano Roosevelt, the choice of more than one respected tipster, finished seven lengths behind his stable companion in sixth place. It is difficult to see him making up that gap while the same applies to The Pentagon (eighth) and Kew Gardens (ninth).

A victory in the Irish Derby would open up all sorts of options for Saxon Warrior later in the season. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe would be the obvious targets. Another defeat would cast serious doubt on his stamina and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on 15th September could become his main objective.

Prior to the Epsom Derby, estimates had put the prospective stud value of Saxon Warrior in the region of £50 million. Those figures have been revised sharply downwards following his shock defeat. A wide margin victory at the Curragh could yet see the colt restored to superstar status.


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Darkness Falls bolts up in Panoramic Restaurant Handicap

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©Healy Racing Photos

Darkness Falls, who is out of 2012 Epsom Oaks winner Was, made the breakthrough in the Panoramic Restaurant Handicap, completing a double on the card for Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien.

Having failed to make an impact in maiden company, the daughter of War Front was sent off at 6/1 this evening, fitted with cheekpieces for the first time.

Settled in second, she improved to lead from two furlongs out, and kept on well under pressure from there to score comfortably by three and a half lengths.

The 10/11 favourite Magwadiri improved into second a furlong out, but couldn't reel-in the winner from there, and ultimately had to settle for the runner-up spot under Shane Foley for Jessica Harrington.

The John Oxx trained Miss Zizi (8/1) completed the places another two and a half lengths back in third.

“She did it nicely. Things didn't go right for her in a few maidens and she was down to a nice mark," the winning rider said.

“It's good to get that win into her with her pedigree. She's a very well bred filly and hopefully she'll improve from there and get up to a bit higher mark. Obviously she'll be an important mare going forward.”

Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien were earlier on the mark with Dali in the feature Midsummer Sprint Stakes.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson







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Dali masterpiece in Sprint Stakes at Naas 

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©Healy Racing Photos


The Aidan O'Brien trained Dali took the feature at Naas this evening, the Listed Midsummer Sprint Stakes.

Successful over the course and distance last May, the son of Scat Daddy went down by just a head in a valuable handicap at the Curragh on his last start.

Sent off a joint-favourite at 9/4 this evening, he got to the front after a furlong, and was ridden with a furlong and a half left to race, keeping on well from there to score by two lengths.

UK raider Mirza (11/1) finished second under Kevin Manning for Rae Guest, while Snowstar (8/1) was another length and a quarter back in third with Billy Lee aboard for Willie McCreery.

Son Of Rest (backed from 3s on-course) was the other joint-favourite, and he finished fourth.

"He had a good run the last day and was maybe slightly unlucky," the winning rider said.

"It's nice to get a win into him and he did it nicely in the end.

"He bends his knee a little bit so he gets through soft ground but he doesn't stay very far so I think that's why he's probably better on quick ground.

"He's getting it together and five furlongs suits him, he has plenty of pace."

On Royal Ascot he added: "It's the biggest week in the calendar so I'm looking forward to it."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Dali & Donnacha at Naas picture from Satie

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Merchant Navy set for fascinating battle in Diamond Jubilee

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18 June
Merchant Navy and Harry Angel are on course for a mouthwatering showdown in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot after featuring among the 18 remaining contenders for the Group One sprint.

Since being placed in the Commonwealth Cup last season, Clive Cox’s Harry Angel has won the July Cup, Haydock Sprint Cup and the Duke of York Stakes.

Merchant Navy arrived at Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard with the intention of winning at Royal Ascot and he warmed up for the weekend showpiece with a win at the Curragh.

O’Brien has also left in Intelligence Cross, Spirit Of Valor and Washington DC.

Redkirk Warrior is another with a solid profile in Australia and will represent a country with a fine record in producing winning Ascot sprinters.

Aidan O'Brien relies on Cliffs Of Moher in the Prince of Wales's Stakes who was last seen when second behind sidelined stablemate Lancaster Bomber in the Tattersalls Gold Cup Hydrangea was taken out and she will be a leading contender in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.



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Brother of Bondi Beach Victory Salute brings up Ballydoyle Treble at Cork 


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©Healy Racing Photos

There was a third Cork winner for Aidan O'Brien, and a second for his son Donnacha when Victory Salute came out on top in the Sean Barrett Bloodstock Insurance Maiden.

The O'Briens teamed up to land the opener on the card with Mohawk, whilst it was Seamie Heffernan that was in the plate when the stable's Flattering did the needful in the Group 3 Munster Oaks.

Legal Spin ran a lovely race on debut for Willie Mullins, but he couldn't match Victory Salute who prevailed by two and three parts of a length.

The gambled-on Dawn Trouper (9/2 into 9/4) finished a neck further back in third.


"He'd a good run the last day. He's not the most straight forward, and he can hang a bit, but he has plenty of ability," said Donnacha O'Brien.

"He wasn't doing a stroke in front and when Kevin (Manning on Dawn Trouper) came upsides me he quickened up well. I'd say he'll go back up in trip and maybe take a lead off him."

(AM & EM)


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Flattering too strong in Munster Oaks at Cork 

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©Healy Racing Photos

Oaks fifth placer Flattering (joint 5/2 second favourite) brought up a Ballydoyle double at Cork today in the Group 3 Munster Oaks under Seamie Heffernan.

Donnacha O'Brien won the opener for his father Aidan on Mohawk, and later in the card's centre-piece Heffernan made all and asked for more three furlongs out on Flattering.

Bloomfield tried hard but she eventually had to yield by a length, with another Ballydoyle hope, Sizzling, back in third.

"She'd a very good run in the classic at Epsom and I thought if she reproduced that run she would be hard to beat," said Heffernan.

"She's getting fit and she's straight forward and genuine. The plan was to jump and go forward and if I wasn't comfortable I'd let something else make it."


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The Penny Drops Just In Time for Mohawk 

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©Healy Racing Photos

Mohawk snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to justify odds of 4/7 in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) at Cork.

For Joseph O'Brien Eagle Song gave it a good go from the front in this seven furlong heat.

O'Brien's brother Donnacha was at work on Ballydoyle'sMohawk from some way out, and he eventually hit full stride to mow down Eagle Song late on for a three parts of a length win.

"He's still raw and still green but he's getting the hang of it. He's a nice horse going forward and he probably needs further," said the winning rider.


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Royal Ascot Tuesday Preview

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17th June

Aidan O’Brien has declared Washington DC, Battle Of Jericho, Declarationofpeace and Different League, in The KIngs Stand interestingly Ryan Moore has picked Different League over his usual partner in top level sprints Washington Dc. 

Ballydoyle Trio in St James Palace Stakes Aidan O’Brien has claimed this prize on a record seven occasions and is triple-handed in this year’s renewal.

US Navy Flag, Gustav Klimt and Threeandfourpence all bid to reverse form with Romanised after finishing second, third and fourth respectively in the Irish Guineas.

Ante-post favourite Rhododendron is one of 15 horses declared for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The straight-mile Group One is the traditional curtain-raiser to the Royal meeting and another fascinating renewal is in store.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Rhododendron claimed her third top-level victory when beating the boys in last month’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

O’Brien has a second string to his bow in Deauville.



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Christopher Robin finally comes good

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©Healy Racing Photos

Donnacha O’Brien increased his lead at the head of the jockeys’ championship when completing a double on Christopher Robin in the Follow Limerick Racecourse On Facebook Rated Race.

The son of Camelot has proved a frustrating sort in the past (beaten favourite three times with cut in the ground) but got it together here under a well-timed ride.

O’Brien tried to go for a run up the inner early in the straight but had to switch out to challenge and got the 7/2 chance up on the line to touch off Moktamel by a nose.

Dawn Hoofer was just half a length back in third.

Donnacha O’Brien said, “He has his own idea about things. Ryan ran me this morning and said drop him in and take all the chances with him and thankfully it worked.”

This completed a 17/1 double for Aidan and Donacha O’Brien who were earlier on the mark with Conclusion, and Donnacha is now three clear (32-29) of reigning champion Colin Keane in the riders title race.




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Very Conclusive for Conclusion at Limerick 

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©Healy Racing Photos 

The father and son team of Aidan and Donnacha O’Brien successfully combined as Conclusion gained a deserved win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Limerick.

The son of Deep Impact had an uncomfortable experience at Gowran Park earlier this month when pulling both his front shoes but put that behind him here over this mile trip.

The 3/1 chance was soon in front, and stretched clear inside the final furlong to beat Iiex Excelsa by four lengths.

Fridtjof Nansen couldn’t quicken early in the straight but kept on in the closing stages to finish a further length and a half away in third.

Donnacha O’Brien said, “He pulled his two front shoes the last day so he wasn’t comfortable. He was better today, he was sweeter and travelled better.

“He stays well. I got an easy lead in front so that kept it uncomplicated.”




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Sioux Nation leads Aidan O’Brien raid on Commonwealth Cup & High hopes in France for Happily


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Jun 16th 

Ballydoyle trainer has eight possibles as he seeks back-to-back victories in the Group One sprint

Sioux Nation tops 28 horses still in the mix for Friday’s Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Sioux Nation will be trying to give the Ballydoyle handler back-to-back victories in the six-furlong Group One following Caravaggio’s success 12 months ago.

He is one of eight contenders for the O’Brien team with Battle Of Jericho, Fleet Review, Murillo, US Navy Flag, Actress, Could It Be Love and Different League, who was a winner at this meeting last year for Matthieu Palussiere.

Happily bids to provide Aidan O’Brien with a first victory in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday.

The Ballydoyle handler has never previously won the French Classic, but his latest candidate appears to hold strong claims after finishing third in both the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh this spring.

She tests her powers at a mile and a quarter for the first time this weekend and O’Brien does not expect the extra distance to be an inconvenience.

He told Press Association Sport: “Happily seems to be in good form since the Irish Guineas.

“She hasn’t done an awful lot, but what she has done we’re happy with.

“We always thought a mile and a quarter would suit her.”

Happily, the mount of Ryan Moore, is the only Irish challenger in a 13-strong field.



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Annie Power sold in foal to Galileo to Coolmore 

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16th June

Annie Power the winner of 15 of her 17 starts, was retired at the end of last season after a series of training setbacks caused her to miss the entire campaign.

Although Ricci has traditionally sold his racemares once retired, he decided to keep Annie Power and she was covered by Camelot. Unfortunately the mare did not hold the foal, prompting Ricci to change his mind.

Ricci said “Coolmore expressed an interest in taking her and she couldn’t ask for a better home, so we did a deal,” he told The Irish Field this week. “She was covered by Galileo and the good people at Coolmore have kindly let me retain a share of the foal.”

By Shirocco out of an Old Vic (Sadler’s Wells) mare, Annie Power is very well-bred herself. She is a granddaughter of Anna Paola, champion filly in Germany aged two and three.


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George and Stradivarius set for Gold Cup showdown

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15th June 

Order Of St George and Stradivarius are the two star names among 11 confirmations for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next Thursday.

Order Of St George provided trainer Aidan O’Brien with a record seventh victory in the two-and-half-mile showpiece in 2016 and was beaten a short head by Big Orange when defending his crown 12 months ago.

Just as he did last season, the six-year-old has warmed up for Ascot by running in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan and the Saval Beg at Leopardstown and is the narrow favourite for the Gold Cup with some bookmakers.

His main market rival is the John Gosden-trained Stradivarius, who won the Queen’s Vase at last year’s Royal meeting.

The four-year-old was beaten a length into third place by Order Of St George in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October, but a winning return in last month’s Yorkshire Cup suggested he could be an improved performer this season.

Order Of St George could be joined in the field by stablemate Idaho, who would face a big step up in trip after finishing fourth behind Cracksman in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.


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O'Brien to target the Everest in Australia 

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Sioux Nation Could be aimed at the worlds richest sprint

15th June

Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O’Brien is using the Royal Ascot carnival to identify a sprinter for the $13 million The Everest.

At the moment Sioux Nation could emerge as the stable’s Everest hopeful if he wins next Friday’s Group 1 Commonwealth Cup

Aidan Said “We would love to (race during spring) and really look forward to it, The standard of Australian racing is very high quality, we are under no illusions about that, but hopefully we have the horses to compete at that time of the year. 

Some of our others horses at Royal Ascot that are running in the Commonwealth Cup and on the first day in the 5f King’s Stand Stakes would be suitable for The Everest.

Sioux Nation will go to the Commonwealth He won a Group 1 last year, we think he is going the right way. He’s a big, strong chap, quickens well and he could be a horse we can look forward. I hope to have horses to go down for The Everest but they have to be good horses to go.’’

Other candidates for The Everest include Washington DC, Battle Of Jericho and Different League who are contesting Tuesday’s King’ Stand Stakes where their opponents include freakish American sprinter Lady Aurelia, also a candidate for The Everest.



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Ballydoyle quintet in Queens Vase frame

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14 June
Epsom Derby sixth Delano Roosevelt is among five possibles from the Aidan O’Brien stable for the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot on Wednesday following the six-day confirmation stage.

The Pentagon and Kew Gardens, who were eighth and ninth respectively in the colts’ Classic, also feature in the provisional list from Ballydoyle.

Ante-post favourite is another of O’Brien’s entries, Southern France, who has won his last two starts in the style of an exciting young stayer. Nelson completes the O’Brien quintet.


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Bomber Ruled out of Royal Ascot 

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13th June
Tattersalls Gold Cup hero Lancaster Bomber is set to miss Royal Ascot after suffering a setback.

After placing third behind stablemate Rhododendron in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, Aidan O’Brien’s charge recorded his first victory at Group One level with an all-the-way success at the Curragh.

O’Brien was contemplating supplementing his charge for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the Royal meeting, but speaking in an exclusive stable tour on ATR the trainer said: “I don’t think he’ll make it to Royal Ascot.

“He is going through a niggly problem with a foot at the moment, so it’s likely to he won’t be ready enough to run there.”

O’Brien also confirmed high-class three-year-old fillies Magical and September will not be in action at the summer showpiece fixture in Berkshire next week.


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7 Ballydoyle Horses For Sale At Tattersalls UK  July Sale 2018


Chrstopher Robin amongst 7 Ballydoyle Residents set to go under the hammer 

417 Astronomer (IRE) B.C. by Galileo (IRE) x Like A Dame (GB) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables

418 Christopher Robin (IRE) B.C. by Camelot (GB) x Iowa Falls (GB) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables

419 Family Tree (GB) Ch.C. by Galileo (IRE) x Sant Elena (GB) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables

420 Foreign Legion (IRE) Ch.C. by Declaration of War (USA) x Solar Event (GB) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables

421 Foreign Secretary (GB) Ch.C. by Galileo (IRE) x Finsceal Beo (IRE) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables

422 Freetown (IRE) B.C. by Galileo (IRE) x Viz (IRE) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables
 
423 Spanish Point (GB) Ch.C. by Frankel (GB) x Peeress (GB) - Consignor: Ballydoyle Stables


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Donnacha thinks Saxon will bounce back & hopes to break his Royal Ascot duck next week

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12th June
Donnacha on Saxon Warrior “I don’t think that was his true running. He’s a lot better than that,” O’Brien told the Irish Times. The big occasion and the track can get to horses. You can forgive him one run and hopefully he’ll get back on track at the Curragh.”

Donnacha on Royal Ascot “Ascot is the biggest meeting we have in this part of the world for Flat racing, It would be special to get a winner there. I got close last year. But I don’t know yet what I’m riding or how many rides I’ll get.

Donnacha on Irish Champions Jockey Tittle "I think it’s a massive task to win it and I think it’s unlikely. But obviously I’m going to try and ride as many winners as I can regardless of the championship and see where I am closer to the time, I’m in front at the minute but in another week I could be five winners behind. It changes so quickly and there’s still a long way to go.

A lot of the winners at the moment are in maidens which will obviously slow down as the season goes on.

Some of the other riders will be able to ride a lot more in handicaps so I need to be doing well at this time of year.”


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Aidan reveals plans for Mendelssohn 

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June 12th

"The Breeders' Cup Classic is what we've been thinking of for Mendelssohn and he'll more than likely head to Belmont on July 7th. He'll run on the dirt in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes and then we'll look at the Pennsylvania Derby on September 22nd.

"He's had a bit of rest and he'll be just ready to start back."



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New Coolmore Poster Declaration Of War 
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Happily among Ballydoyle Five In French Oaks Mix

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Mon 11th Jun 2018,

Dual Group One winner Happily is one of five potential runners for Aidan O'Brien in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on Sunday.

The Ballydoyle handler has never previously won the French Oaks but has a formidable team in contention for this year's renewal following the first forfeit stage.

Happily has finished third in both the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh this spring and could test her powers at a mile and a quarter for the first time this weekend.

Recent Fairyhouse maiden winner Athena, Epsom Oaks third Bye Bye Baby, Easter Lily and Sizzling complete the O’Brien-trained quintet.


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Leading Sires GB & IRE Tables Updated - Galileo over half a million clear - No Nay Never Storming clear - Camelot 3rd - Excelebration in top 10

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Actress Takes leading role in Ballyogan



Aidan O’Brien’s Actress made just about all the running to win the TRM Ballyogan Stakes in clear-cut fashion at the Curragh.

Seamie Heffernan bounced the Declaration Of War filly out of the stalls smartly and she never saw another rival.

A Group Three winner last season also, she had been below her best to date this term and was sent off at 11-2 as a result.

William Haggas’ One Master was sent off the 13-8 favourite but she was under pressure some way out and it was to her credit that she only lost second on the line to Henry de Bromhead’s Gorane, who was a length and a quarter away.

“She’s a good solid filly. Seamus was delighted with her, she likes the fast ground and six furlongs is her,” said O’Brien.

“She might go on to Ascot now for the Commonwealth Cup. She’s solid, hardy and consistent and Seamus gave her a lovely ride.”






Actress Pictures many thanks to Satie 




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Garibaldi on the sharp incline 

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©Healy Racing Photos



Giuseppe Garibaldi claimed the King George V Cup at Leopardstown today with connections of the Aidan O'Brien trained colt now hoping to pinch the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot later this month.

The son of Galileo showed improved form when upped to 1m5f and winning his maiden at Navan last Saturday and repeated the dose over 1m4f today when proving two and a half lengths too good for Chimeara

Trainer O'Brien wasn't present but his son Donnacha steered the winner and was recording a double on the day to draw level with Colin Keane at the head of the Jockeys' Championship (26-26).

Afterwards the dual-Classic winning jockey said “they seemed to go a nice even gallop, and I got a grand position. He’s a bit awkward and still a bit babyish but is learning and has plenty of ability.

“He stays well. I liked him last year and I thought he’d get off the mark sooner this year but it’s just taken him a little bit but he’s a nice horse going forward.

“You could see him running in a Queens Vase or a King Edward. He’s probably more a Queens Vase type but I’ll leave that up to Dad.


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Progressive Bond Street wins at Leopadstown 

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©Healy Racing Photos



Donnacha O'Brien is keeping tabs with leader Colin Keane at the head of the Jockeys' Championship and the dual-Classic winning jockey partnered his father Aidan O'Brien's Bond Street to a deserved second career success at Leopardstown today, in the Leopardstown Golf Centre Rated Race.

Bond Street, a maiden winner at Dundalk in early May, met trouble in-running when second at the Curragh on his previous start but today went clear of his rivals in the home straight before beating Mattymolls Gaga by three lengths

The win moves jockey O'Brien on to the 25 winner mark of the season, left with Declan McDonogh and one shy of Championship leader Colin Keane, who had earlier won the opening race with Moravia.

O’Brien, successful in recent weeks on Saxon Warrior and Forever Together in the English 2,000 and Oaks respectively, later said “I wanted to get forward on him but he was a bit slow away so it just took me a furlong to get up there. I know he stays further and once I did it get up there it was fairly straight forward.

“He’s consistent and he is what he is, quick ground and seven furlongs up to a mile and a quarter he’ll run his race.

“If he gets a few pounds he may get into one of the Royal Ascot handicaps but I’m not sure what they want to do.”



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Odds on Gossamer Wings flies home at Navan 

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©Healy Racing Photos

"She had a good run the last day in what was probably a good maiden," said Donnacha O'Brien after he'd won on Gossamer Wings (4/6) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Fillies) Maiden at Navan.

That maiden that O'Brien was referring to was when the Scat Daddy filly found Just Wonderful and Lethal Promise her superior at the Curragh on Irish 2,000 Guineas Day.

She had to switch to get into the clear on that occasion and eventually kept on well without matching the first two inside the final furlong for a creditable third placing.

"I got there too soon and she got a bit lonely in front but when the other horse came to me she went away again," reported O'Brien this time on the Ballydoyle victor.

She obliged by half a length from Ger Lyons and Colin Keane's second favourite Rita Levi.

"The step back to five was no problem to her," further reflected the successful pilot.





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Updates from Aidan on Mendelssohn, Saxon, Bomber, Clemmie & Co 

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6th June 

Saxon Warrior to run in the Irish Derby Next Aidan "I don't think you could say he didn't stay at Epsom as he wasn't stopping all the way up the straight. We've talked things over and it's been agreed Saxon Warrior will be aimed at the Irish Derby. He seems to have come out of Epsom well, and the Curragh is the plan."

Lancaster Bomber could be supplemented into the Prince of Wales's Stakes & Epsom Oaks Heroine Forever Together will run in the Irish Oaks Next.

US Navy Flag will run in the St James Palace Stakes & Clemmie is on Target for the Coronation Stakes Aidan said "Clemmie needed the run in the Irish Guineas and came out of the race well,"

Mendelssohn is currently on a break Aidan said "The Breeders' Cup Classic is the plan and he'll probably have a couple of races in the US before then,


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Our 8th Rankings/Ratings supplement of the season is here - Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight & News - A total of 16 Ballydoyle Residents in the rankings including Europe's top rated 2YO & 3YO 

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Huge thanks to Timeform - website 

https://www.timeform.com


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Some entries for Irish Champions Weekend in September

QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) Ballydoyle Entries

Capri Cliffs Of Moher Deauville Idaho Lancaster Bomber Yucatan Hydrangea Rhododendron Amedeo Modigliani Gustav Klimt Kew Gardens Mendelssohn Rostropovich Saxon Warrior Seahenge St Patrick's Day The Pentagon Threeandfourpence U S Navy Flag Athena Clemmie Forever Together Happily I Can Fly Magic Wand Magical September 

Comer Group International Irish St Leger (Group 1 Ballydoyle Entries

Capri Idaho Order Of St George Yucatan Cypress Creek Delano Roosevelt Flag Of Honour Hunting Horn James Cook Kew Gardens Nelson Rostropovich Southern France The Pentagon Zabriskie Bye Bye Baby Flattering


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Leading Sires GB & IRE Tables Updated -Galileo half a million clear - No Nay Never builds huge lead - Camelot 3rd - Excelebration 9th

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British Flat Trainers Championship Updated

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Ballydoyle Curragh Entries Friday



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Coolmore's Kevin Buckley discusses Saxon Warrior & Deep Impact on Racing UK with Nick Luck



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Aidan & Jockey reactions after the Epsom Derby 

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3 June

Aidan "I'm over the moon for Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin and Charlie Appleby for Masar's win.

"I wouldn't be making excuses for Saxon Warrior. We'll take him home and see how he is.

"Everything out there today at Epsom might just have been new to them and it would have been a big shock to him coming to this track, but I don't know.

"I've seen it happen to horses where they leave a run here behind them very quick.

"When Ryan dropped down him, he just kept on going without really showing a turn of foot.

"It was a whole new experience with him and I suppose he found everything a bit different. He is a baby horse and it is only his fifth run - we'll look forward to the next time.

"We'll see how he is but we could head to the Irish Derby. He has run on very easy, uncomplicated tracks and this is the first uncomplicated track he has had to handle.

"Saxon Warrior might have just got in awe of everything, but I wouldn't take anything away from the winner - he just didn't fire. His next run might tell us a lot.

"Stall one was probably not ideal, but I couldn't use it as an excuse."


Ryan Moore "He just didn't pick up. Maybe it was the track or the ground but I just don't think he fired.

"These races are always tight - the winner got first run and I followed him through so I can't have too many excuses."


Seamie Heffernan, on sixth Delano Roosevelt (16/1), said: "Not good enough."


Donnacha O'Brien, on ninth Kew Gardens (16/1), said: "I got a grand trip round, he just wants further."


Wayne Lordan, The Pentagon, eighth: “I got a nice position and he travelled well but I just felt the ground a little bit slow for him.”


Padraig Beggy, on 12th Zabriskie (66/1), said: "He just didn't handle the track."



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Garibaldi takes the biscuit at Navan

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©Healy Racing Photos to

Giuseppe Garibaldi proved too strong for Ballydoyle stable-mate Cypress Creek in the one-mile five-furlong maiden at Navan this afternoon.

Cypress Creek was the well-backed 8/13 favourite and bounced out in front under Emmet McNamara.

He was asked for an effort over two furlongs from home and wandered a bit going to the furlong marker.

Giuseppe Garibaldi took over at that point and quickened well in the closing stages, for Mick Hussey, to run out a a length-and-a-half winner.

The 7/2 winner had been placed on his three previous outings so wasn't winning out of turn today.

Hussey said:- “He travelled real well and when I asked him to quicken he quickened well. He’s done it nicely, and stays well.

“Aidan told me to ride him with loads of confidence, take my time and make the best of my way home. Everything worked out well, and he loved the ground.”

(Quotes by Alan Magee)



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Glorious Forever Together brings up Aidan's 7th Oaks Victory 

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Donnacha O'Brien landed his second Classic winner of the season as Forever Together (7/1) got off the mark in style by landing the Investec Oaks.

Aidan O'Brien saddled five of the nine runners and all of them held a chance turning for home, as Bye Bye Baby kicked clear from the front under Wayne Lordan.

Wild Illusion, sent off 5/2 favourite for Charlie Appleby, threatened to ruin the Ballydoyle party as she went out in pursuit of the leader, but Forever Together was now rolling on the rail and stayed on powerfully to score by four and a half lengths.

It was a first success for the Galileo filly, who had finished second to Magic Wand in the Cheshire Oaks and reversed that form in no uncertain terms in a race which proved all about stamina.

Wild Illusion got the trip well to take second with Bye Bye Baby, who had been as many as eight lengths clear at one point, holding on resolutely for third.

Donnacha O'Brien told ITV Racing: "She was very impressive. I got a beautiful trip through, I followed Ryan (Moore, on Magic Wand) and he gave me a bit of company until I got to the rail.

"She's very genuine and galloped right out to the line, she's a proper staying filly."

He added: "I should have been closer at Chester, we just ran into a bit of trouble. About a week ago I thought she had a right good chance and then the rain came so I was a bit worried, but she's handled it really well.

"To be honest, I didn't expect her to do it. I had the perfect position the whole way. It all went perfect.

"When you're riding one of his (his father's) you have a chance, he's an absolutely genius. He can do things with horses I don't understand, he brings out massive improvement and I don't know how he does it."

Aidan O'Brien said: "It's incredible, I'm so delighted for everyone, so thankful to Michael (Tabor), John (Magnier) and Derrick (Smith), it's brilliant for everyone.

"She caught the eye at Chester, she's a staying filly and got the trip very well.

"She's obviously by Galileo and it's unbelievable. Donnacha gave her an unbelievable ride, it's incredible.

"We're all so happy and grateful."

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Ryan will be patient with Saxon in Derby

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01 June 

Aidan O’Brien expects Ryan Moore to adopt patient tactics on red-hot Investec Derby favourite Saxon Warrior after he was handed stall one in the Epsom Classic.

No horse since Sir Henry Cecil’s Oath in 1999 has defied the inside stall, and the statistics in handicaps over the Derby distance of a mile and a half do not make pretty reading for favourite-backers.

That said, the unbeaten Saxon Warrior oozed brilliance in winning the 2000 Guineas to spark dreams of winning the Triple Crown by claiming the Derby and the St Leger at Doncaster.

“He’s in good form and everything has gone well since the Guineas. We’ve been happy with him since then,” the Ballydoyle handler told Press Association Sport.

“I haven’t spoken to Ryan about the draw, but I’d imagine he would have been taking his time on him anyway.

“He didn’t have any problem with the dip at Newmarket and he wears his head low, so we’ll see what happens at Epsom.”

He added: “We were always looking forward to stepping him up in distance, but in the 2000 Guineas he travelled like a miler and quickened like a miler.

“However, we have always thought he was going to be a middle-distance horse — he is very good.”

Should he be successful, O’Brien will equal the record of seven Derby wins and feels Saxon Warrior has all the qualities needed to add his name to the roll of honour.

“We were very happy with the 2000 Guineas as that was his first run of the season and he was going to progress from it,” said O’Brien.

“There is a nice gap between Newmarket and the Derby so usually if they can handle the dip at Newmarket like he did, then hopefully they should be able to handle the contours of Epsom.

“There are so many variables in races that you cannot control, such as horses around you and position. Obviously, if we are lucky enough to get him to Epsom in good shape, hopefully the rest will fall into place.”

O’Brien also runs Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens, The Pentagon and Zabriskie.

Michael Tabor, part of the famed Coolmore triumvirate that powers the Ballydoyle yard, is not taking anything for granted regarding Saxon Warrior’s stamina.

“It’s never an open-and-shut case they’ll get the trip,” he told At The Races.

“It’s the Derby, they’ve got to act round the course, but obviously we think he’s a very good horse.

“I remember years ago (1997) with Entrepreneur heading to the Derby — we thought he was a good thing, but he just didn’t get the trip when we thought he would.

“So, until they’ve done it you never really know. We think and hope he will — but?

“I think Kew Gardens was a little unlucky last time as he lost a shoe and I’m sure the others will come forward

“They are all there and any one could come forward as much as the other, but Saxon Warrior is clearly number one.”


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June start 


Athena a Maiden no more

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©Healy Racing Photos

Champion Trainer Aidan O'Brien and his 2,000 Guineas winning jockey son Donnacha O'Brien completed odds-on doubles at Fairyhouse today as Athena landed the concluding Fairyhouse Special Offers (Fillies) Maiden.

The pair had earlier won the second race with comfortable winner and 1/7 favourite Battle Of Jericho and 2/5 chance Athena won in similar enough style, despite having her winning margin greatly reduced close home by fast finishing half-length runner-up Tissiak.

Donnacha O'Brien later said “she was entitled to do that on her last run and I kept it simple, got a lead on her, and she quickened up nicely.

“It's nice to get a win into her and hopefully she can progress from here.”

Quotes from Gary Carson


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No Battle for Jericho in Toals Bookmaker race at Fairyhouse

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©Healy Racing Photos


The Aidan O'Brien trained Battle Of Jericho readily justified 1/7 favouritism to win the Toals.com Bookmakers Race on his seasonal reappearance run at Fairyhouse today.

Ridden by the Champion Trainer's son Donnacha O'Brien, the son of War Front, having his first start since October, improved to lead over a furlong out and in the end stayed on strongly for a two and three parts of a length win over Verhoyen.

Classic winning jockey O'Brien later said “he was entitled to do that off his rating (100) and it was straight-forward enough, he got a grand lead into it and quickened up well.

“He's been off for a while and he'll improve for that.”




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Aidan's Comments on Epsom Oaks Fillies

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31 May

Magic Wand 
She is in good form and we’ve been happy with her since Chester. She’s progressed with all her runs so far this year. I’m not sure about the ground. She ran in bad ground the first day and ran well, but she progressed a lot to her second run.I don’t think the soft ground is ideal for any of ours, really, but I suppose a lot of horses are in the same boat.”

Forever Together
“She’s in good form and ran very well at Chester, too. She has come forward as well, we think. Obviously the ground we’re not sure about but we’re happy with her.”

Bye Bye Baby 
“Bye Bye Baby has form with ease in the ground. She stays and is a tough, hardy filly. She seems to have handled the soft ground in the past and is in good form since the Curragh".

Flattering 
"Flattering has form on soft ground as well, and we’ve always thought she would stay a mile and a half. She’s been in good form since Lingfield".

I Can Fly 
She is in in good form. She was disappointing in the Guineas and we’re not sure the reason why. She’s out of a Montjeu mare so we think, and hope, that she might get the trip. She will be ridden patiently. We’re happy with her and her work has been very nice since Newmarket.”



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And then there were 5 - Rostropovich & Nelson missing from final Ballydoyle Derby Squad

Saxon Warrior slams his Newmarket rivals
Warrior remains on course for Triple Crown bid 

31 May
Aidan O'Brien's Rostropovich and Nelson were the two absentees from a final field of 12 for the Investec Derby at Epsom.

The master of Ballydoyle still has five runners as he chases a record-equalling seventh win in the blue riband, headed by Saxon Warrior. The QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner sparked dreams of a Triple Crown bid at Newmarket and has been odds-on favourite to win the second leg ever since.

However, connectons have voiced concerns about the recent rain at Epsom for the son of Deep Impact. O'Brien has also declared Delano Roosevelt, Kew Gardens, The Pentagon and Zabriskie.

5 Balydoyle Epsom Derby Runners Field of 12 (Riders To Follow)

Saxon Warrior - Drawn 1 - Ryan

Delano Roosevelt - Drawn 4 - Heff

The Pentagon - Drawn 11 - Wayne

Kew Gardens - Drawn 12 - Don

Zabriskie - Drawn 8 - Padraig


Rostropovich will run in the French Derby (Prix Du Jockey Club) At Chantilly on Sunday he will be joined by 3 stablemates Hunting Horn Kenya & Flag Of Honour 

4 Ballydoyle Prix Du Jockey Club Runners on Sunday at Chantilly
Kenya - Drawn 2 - Padriag Rostropovich - Drawn 3 - Ryan Hunting Horn - Drawn 14 - Heff Flag Of Honour - Drawn 16 - Wayne



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Yucatan & Idaho Versus the machine in Coronation

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30th May

Cracksman tops the bill in the six-runner Investec Coronation Cup on Friday Aidan O’Brien’s big hope is Idaho, a very impressive winner of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester, having run in several Group Ones all over the world since claiming the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.

Yucatan also runs for O’Brien who said: "It was always the plan for Idaho to come here after Chester. He won nicely at Chester and has been in good form since, so he goes there in good form. Yucatan has been progressing nicely from race to race and is likely to join him."

Ballydoyle Runners & Riders Coronation Cup G1 6 Run
Yucatan - Don
Idaho - Ryan


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Ballydoyle quintet head to the Oaks but no Magical

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30th May

Magical was the most notable absentee from the list of nine declarations for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly suffered a setback on Tuesday and a decision whether or not to run was left until the last minute.

She was found to have a bit of filling on the inside of a joint and it does not appear to have cleared up in time.

Magical, winner of the Group Two Debutante Stakes as a two-year-old, had been second favourite in the ante-post betting behind the Charlie Appleby-trained Wild Illusion.

However, O’Brien still has five runners as he seeks to win the Oaks for a seventh time.

His team is headed by Magic Wand and Forever Together, who were first and second respectively in the Cheshire Oaks at Chester.

Bye Bye Baby, Flattering and I Can Fly complete the Ballydoyle force.

Balydoyle Epsom Oaks Runners & Riders
Magic Wand - Ryan
Forever Together - Don
Bye Bye Baby - Wayne 
Flattering - Padraig
I Can Fly - Heff



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The Racing Life - Racing UK Ballydoyle & Coolmore Special 
The Racing UK cameras visit the legendary Ballydoyle Stables and Coolmore Stud, to find out what it takes to produce a multitude of Derby winners.


Our 7th Rankings/Ratings supplement of the season is here - Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight & News - A total of 16 Ballydoyle Residents in the ratings including Europe's top rated 2YO & 3YO 

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Huge thanks to Timeform - website 

https://www.timeform.com



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Leading Sires GB & IRE Tables Updated - Galileo has established a big lead with Mastercraftsman joins the top 10 - No Nay Never continues his unbelievable start- Camelot & Dec of War going strong - Excelebration remains in top 10 

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British Flat Trainers Championship Updated

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Magical a doubt for the Epsom Oaks after scare 
28th of May

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Magical who was tipped to be Ryan Moore's ride in the Epsom Oaks has had an injury scare which could yet rule her out of the classic.

Aidan said "Magical has a little bit of filling in a joint. We scanned her after finding that, and the scans all came back perfect, so she probably just got a tip on the inside of the joint while cantering, 

It is obviously not ideal for it to happen so close to the race but the scans have came back perfect so, fingers crossed, she will be okay to take her chance. 

We will see how she is in the morning and then decide whether she will run or not. At this stage I couldn't tell you what Ryan will ride. We will have to see how Magical is in the morning and take it from there. Hopefully she will be fine."

Athena is expected to be kept for the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, while Sizzling will not run in the Oaks.




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