Aidan throws Sir Dragonet Derby Curveball 

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20th May 

The participation of Investec Derby favourite Sir Dragonet was thrown into doubt on Sunday when Aidan O’Brien revealed the French version is also under consideration for the unbeaten colt.

Sir Dragonet jumped to the head of the Derby market after a runaway win in this month’s Chester Vase but the Camelot colt is not entered in the premier Classic on June 1 and O’Brien said on Racing TV that a decision over whether he is supplemented, at a cost of £85,000, will not be taken until the day before, which is a week today.

The Ballydoyle maestro, having saddled a four-timer at Naas, told Gary O’Brien that the plan was also have a couple of runners in the French Derby 24 hours after the Epsom showpiece and that Sir Dragonet was among those potentially in the picture for Chantilly.

Unraced as a two-year-old, he is not entered for the French feature, either, so again would have to be supplemented.

Bookmakers responded by easing Sir Dragonet in the Derby betting. Bet365, who had offered 2-1 on Sunday morning, pushed him out to 7-2. Broome and Anthony Van Dyck, his stablemates, were cut to 9-2 and 5-1 respectively.

On the Betfair betting exchange, at 8.20pm, he was available to back at 6.6 (11-2) and available to lay at 7.2

“The lads haven’t really decided the team [for the Derby] yet. They’d like to send a couple to France and then the rest will go to Epsom,” O’Brien said. “With Sir Dragonet they have the option of going to Epsom or the French Derby – it will be one of the two.

“We’ll see how the work goes this week. All the options are open for him. The lads can decide late. He’s still a baby, he’s only had the two runs. You couldn’t be happier with those runs but I’d say it would be the day before supplementary stage that they will decide.”

It will still be something of a surprise if Sir Dragonet does not run at Epsom, despite the door being open for him to run abroad, because the Derby is the race cherished above all others by everybody connected with Ballydoyle and Coolmore.

Vincent O'Brien, Aidan's predecesor, even went as far as creating a replica of Tattenham Corner at Ballydoyle. Aidan is seeking a record-equalling seventh Derby success but has yet to win the French version, which is run over a mile and a quarter and would require Sir Dragonet to drop in distance.

O’Brien said Broome, the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner, and Circus Maximus, the Dee Stakes winner, were on course to run at Epsom. He also intimated Japan, fourth in the Dante at York last week, would join them.

But he stopped short of committing any of his other possibles, including Anthony Van Dyck and Cape Of Good Hope, who also won traditional Derby trials, plus such as Mohawk, runner-up in the Dee Stakes when conceding 5lb to Circus Maximus.

Japan was once considered the No 1 Derby hope at Ballydoyle and O’Brien took encouragement from his run on the Knavesmire.

“We were very happy with him. We felt if he was going to run in Epsom he had to run,” he said. “The plan was to get a run into him without bottoming him because it was close enough to the Derby and he hadn’t had a run this year.

“It was a good race run at a good gallop and the first two got away. It was always going to be tough on the second group following.

“Ryan [Moore] was very happy with him and nursed him as long as he could. We felt he would come forward a nice bit for it.”

Earlier, O’Brien had said his 1000 Guineas winner, Hermosa, prominent in the Investec Oaks betting, would miss Epsom and instead run in the Irish 1000 Guineas en route to a tilt at the French Oaks.

He cited that the latter race, which he has never had the winner of, was worth twice as much as its English equivalent.

“We were thinking originally of going for the Oaks with Hermosa – but it’s less than a week between the Irish Guineas and the Oaks,” he said. “We decided we’d go to the Irish Guineas, and from there on to the French Oaks.

“The French Oaks is worth nearly twice what the English Oaks is worth, and we thought it would be a nice stepping stone to go from a mile up to a mile and a quarter.”

Other O’Brien inmates heading to the Curragh next weekend for Group One assignments are Magna Grecia and Magical.

Aidan O'Brien Derby runners and the best prices available: 7-2 Sir Dragonet; 9-2 Broome; 5-1 Anthony Van Dyck; 14-1 Japan; 20-1 Circus Maximus; 33-1 Cape Of Good Hope; 50-1 Mohawk; Norway; 66-1 Western Australia; 200-1 Sovereign; Sydney Opera House.



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Ferretti brings up Ballydoyle 4 timer at Naas 


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Ryan Moore rode his third winner at Naas when Aidan O’Brien made it four with Ferretti (7/2 into 100/30) in the Royal Ascot Trials At Naas Handicap.

Ferretti supplemented earlier O’Brien gains with Pistoletto (Moore), Etoile (Seamie Heffernan) and So Perfect (Moore), by half a length.

Colin Keane switched to the outer to deliver his challenge on runner-up and gambled-on market leader Giga White (11/4 into 7/4) from over two furlongs out.

Giga White’s stable companion Kafu had put the pace to the race in a clear leader role. He faded into fifth eventually.

Giga White meanwhile finished encouragingly without getting to Ferreti.

“Fast ground and seven furlongs to a mile suits him. He’ll probably move up to a Stakes race. He has a role at home working with Ten Sovereigns," reflected O'Brien.

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Comfortable win for So Perfect in the Goffs Lacken Stakes Group 3 at Naas


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So Perfect (9/10) became the third Aidan O’Brien-trained winner of the day at Naas, and a second ridden by Ryan Moore, in the Group Three Goffs Lacken Stakes.

O’Brien and Moore combined for success earlier with Pistoletto, whilst it was Seamie Heffernan that steered Ballydoyle winner two, Etoile, thirty five minutes earlier.

Paddy Power more than halved So Perfect (25/1 into 12/1) for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, hardly surprising given the comprehensive nature of her two and a quarter length win here. BoyleSports go 14s

Gustavus Weston (hampered under two furlongs out) fared best of the rest, at odds of 50/1.

The result stood after an enquiry.

So Perfect was prominent and ran freely.

Soon settled in fourth, the odds-on shot travelled well two furlongs out.

Switched right and bumping with a rival under two furlongs out, So Perfect made good headway to lead a furlong out.

Ridden and keeping on well in the final 150 yards So Perfect went on for a third career win.

“She’s a big, powerful mare and has the option of the Commonwealth or the Kings Stand. I’m delighted we came back with her," stated O'Brien.


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Stunning Group 3 winning debut for Etoile 



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Earlier on the mark with the Ryan Moore-ridden Pistoletto Aidan O’Brien doubled his Naas score through newcomer Etoile (16s into 12s) in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes.


It wasn’t a surprise to see Paddy Power go 5/1 first show about War Front filly Etoile afterwards, for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.


Many envisaged Ballydoyle taking the Naas feature, but most probably with the Ryan Moore-ridden So Wonderful (8/11 out to 5/6 favourite).


However she didn’t come up to expectations in fifth, as the Seamie Heffernan-partnered Etoile got the better of Peace Charter (2/1 second favourite) and Celtic Beauty by half a length and the same.


Etoile was slightly hampered leaving the stalls but she was soon chasing the leader.


Fifth two furlongs out, the winner was pushed along to go second a furlong out.


Etoile was then ridden to lead narrowly in the final 100 yards, running on well to make a big splash at the first time of asking.


“She is a work companion with the other filly and is very well bred. Seamus was just saying that he rode her mother in the Irish Oaks to finish third behind two of ours (Moonstone and Ice Queen in 2008)," said O'Brien.


“She was working nice but first time it was a big ask for her. Obviously it was a good performance from a first time filly, and you would imagine there would be plenty of improvement.


“I’d imagine she will go now for the Albany at Ascot.”    


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Pistoletto digs deep to keep his 100% record & Aidan update


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At the finish just a length and three parts split the four participants in the Coolmore Gustav Klimt Race with Pistoletto (1/5) coming out on top in the second event at Naas.

The Ballydoyle victor came back with a bloodied mouth and though it wasn't smooth it's to the War Front colt's credit in the circumstances that he was able to upstage first-time blinkered Red Epaulette by half a length.

Ryan Moore's mount got upset in the stalls and had to be re-loaded after being checked over before being given the all-clear to take part.

Paddy Power and Betfair go 14/1 first show about Pistoletto for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“He banged his hip going into the stalls and then got unset and kicked off both his back shoes. There are plenty of marks on his back legs so he did well really. It wasn’t a good experience for him," said successful handler Aidan O'Brien.

“All being well he will go to Ascot and five or six wouldn’t be a problem. He laboured today and we thought he’d win easier but there are plenty of reasons for it.”    

News From Aidan Magna Grecia, Hermosa and Magical are on course for their Group 1 targets at the Curragh next weekend Hermosa will target the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Prix Diane (French Oaks) instead of the Epsom Oaks.  

Aidan said Pisteletto did not have a nice experience today he hit head lost 2 hind shoes and bite his tongue.

Capri will still be aimed at the Ascot Gold Cup and that race as could be Southern France that or a drop back in distance in the Hardwicke Stakes.

Happen & Just Wonderful to join Hermosa in 1000 Guineas Fairyland will go sprinting & Fleeting to the Oaks 


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Barbados powers clear to break his maiden tag in the Follow Navan On Twitter Maiden At Navan



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The Follow Navan On Twitter Maiden was won in straightforward fashion by Barbados, bringing up a double on the card for Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien.

Sixth on his sole start as a juvenile, the son of Galileo went down by just a short head on his return to action at Naas last month.

He was fourth, in what might turn out to be a good quality contest, at Cork on his most recent start, and was expected to make the breakthrough today, going to post the clear 4/6 favourite.

Sent straight to the front, the bay colt made all. He was ridden over a furlong out and soon went clear, going on to score easily by five and a half lengths.

Elizabeth Way (2/1) got up close home to take second under Ronan Whelan for Mick Halford, while Bitcoin Boy (8/1) was a head back in third.

Out of Sumora, the winner is a full-brother to Group 1 winner Maybe.

"He's a lazy little fella but he finds plenty for pressure," Donnacha O'Brien said.

"He had the form in the book and he should win a maiden like that.

Reflecting on his previous run at Cork he added: "I think some of our horses aren't as effective going right-handed, especially when they don't have much experience and I think he was probably a bit better today.

"I think he'll stay as far as we want him to."

Aidan & Donnacha O'Brien earlier took the feature race on the card with Western Australia.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Gutsy Western Australia Sees off Yeats listed Stakes rivals at Navan



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Western Australia toughed it out best to take the feature at Navan this afternoon, the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Yeats Stakes.

Successful on his third start at Gowran in September, the Aidan O'Brien trained chestnut rounded off his two-year-old campaign in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, running a huge race there to take third.

He finished second in a Listed contest at Dundalk on his return to action, and was since well-beaten in the Fielden Stakes at Newmarket.

Upped in trip to a mile and five for the first time this afternoon, the son of Australia was sent off a 2/1 chance under Donnacha O'Brien.

Settled in second behind the front-running Pythion, he was pushed along to challenge that rival with over two furlongs left to race.

The pair were soon engaged in a battle, with Western Australia getting on top inside the final 150 yards, going on to score by a length and a half.

Pythion (6/1) ran a brave race but ultimately had to settle for second under Colin Keane for Ger Lyons, while the 5/4 favourite Masaff could only manage a disappointing third, another two and three parts of a length behind.

"He did it well. He probably had the best form in the book and it was just a question of whether he stayed or not, he seemed to stay it out well," the winning rider said.

"The Australias improve for a step up in trip, he stayed well himself and he seems to be passing that on."

When asked if the winner might get even further he added: "I think it would be no problem to him."



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Hermosa remains in Oaks picture + Capri Set for Saval Beg 

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17th May 

Hermosa, the Qipco 1000 Guineas winner, is among five fillies from Aidan O’Brien’s stable in a total of 22 left in the Investec Oaks following the latest scratching stage.

The Ballydoyle handler’s strong hand includes Salsabil Stakes scorer Pink Dogwood, plus Delphinia, Fleeting and Peach Tree. 

Capri finished fifth on his seasonal reapperance when the red-hot favourite for the Vintage Crop Stakes behind Master Of Reality & has a shade over six lengths to make up the rematch and is expected to shape better today after the run Aidan is happy with him reporting “We were happy with how he ran at Navan and he will have come on for that run, so we’re looking forward to the Saval Beg,” 


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Pictures of Japan At York from Clare Breadin - Huge thanks Clare

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2 For Ballydoyle in Lockinge & Fort Bidding To Retain Unbeaten Record At Newbury



16th May
Aidan Sends 4 horses to Newbury on Saturday 2 will run in the Group 1 Lockinge stakes he won the race last year with a filly in Rhododendron and this year will attempt to repeat the feat with I Can Fly (Wayne Lordan). The Ballydoyle handler also runs former Andre Fabre inmate Le Brivido, who is the mount of Ryan Moore.

Aidan also sends 2 Juveniles Fort Myers and United Front to contest the conditions stakes which starts at 4.15. A son of War Front Fort Myers (Ryan) won first time out when he was sent to Dundalk on the 24th of April to make his debut winning with a bit in hand. United Front (Wayne) is the unraced full brother of Ferretti and is also a son of War Front. 

Irish hopes in Friday's Yorkshire Cup rest on Aidan O’Brien’s Southern France, who finished a close third in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan on his seasonal bow.



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Magical & Ballydoyle 7 in Coronation Cup Mix 

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15th May
Magical is one of seven Aidan O'Brien entries as he seeks to better his record tally of eight victories in the Investec Coronation Cup.

While Ballydoyle appears sure to be well-represented at Epsom on May 31st, dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Enable was a most notable absentee among 18 remaining entries published on Wednesday morning.

Magical enjoyed a lucrative 2018, winning the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot before pushing Enable all the way in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.

She has returned as good as ever in 2019 with smooth successes in the Alleged Stakes at Naas and the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.

The rest of O’Brien's team are last year's St Leger winner Kew Gardens, Capri, Cypress Creek, Hunting Horn, Flag Of Honour and Southern France.


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Japan clash with Too Darn Hot & Line Of Duty is on & Hong Kong debut

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15th May

Aidan O'Brien has dominated the Derby trials so far this spring and sends Japan into battle in the latest of them the Dante Stakes on Thursday at York. The Galileo colt makes his first competitive start since touching off stablemate Mount Everest in the Beresford Stakes at Naas in September.

Aidan is also set to unleash $1,000,000 juvenile Hong Kong who will make his debut in the 4.35 Stratford Place Stud Breeds Group Winners ebfstallions.com Maiden Stakes also at York. Hong Kong is a half brother to multiple Group One winner Caravaggio and is by triple crown winner American Pharoah. He will be the second AP juvenile to represent Ballydoyle the first was first time out winner Monarch Of Egypt. 

Ryan Moore has been booked to ride Japan & Hong Kong. 
 

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Capri and Southern France to bypass Yorkshire Cup for Saval Beg runs 

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12th May

Aidan O’Brien is likely to run both Capri and Southern France in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown.

The pair are engaged as well in the Yorkshire Cup, also on Friday, but the Ballydoyle handler is keen to run them closer to home in a Listed race for which there are nine entries.

They contested the Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes on their reappearance, with Southern France third and Capri fifth at Navan.

Aidan said “The plan is for both Capri and Southern France to head to Leopardstown They are both entered in the Yorkshire Cup the same afternoon, but it’s more likely that we will keep them at home".

Aidan has also left former Andre Fabre inmate Le Brivido and I Can Fly in Saturday's Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury 



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Il Paradiso leads home a fast finishing Harpo Max in Leopardstown Maiden 

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Il Paradiso, the 5/6 favourite, took the nightcap in Leopardstown under Donnacha O'Brien who grabbed his third winner on the card.

Aidan O'Brien's Galileo colt arrived on the scene passing the two pole in this mile and a half maiden. He was then ridden a mile and a half down to go on and win his race.

Stablemate Harpo Marx threatened to make a race of it as he closed well inside the final furlong but Il Paradiso was driven out to win by half a length.

Harpo Marx took a lot of credit from his second place at 20/1. He was a length and three parts ahead of third-placed Yonkers (9/1).

Aidan O'Brien said: "We're delighted with him and he stays well. He obviously gets a mile-and-a-half really well and he'll get further.

“He will progress a good bit and he might even get a mile-and-six. He'll be a horse that I'd say come Leger time he'll be coming into his own.

“He stays very well and I'd say he'll step into stakes company now.

“I was delighted with the second horse too.”

Il Paradiso brought up a double for the trainer who also saddled Broom to win the Derby Trial.

Jockey O'Brien was on Broome and King's Vow.

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Broome books derby spot impressively leading home Ballydoyle 1 2 3 in Derrinstown

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Broome rounded off a week of Classic trial domination for Aidan O’Brien with a stylish victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

Hot on the heels of wins for Sir Dragonet, Circus Maximus and Anthony Van Dyck, the Donnacha O’Brien-ridden Broome was sent off the 2-5 favourite to enhance his own Epsom claims, having impressed first time out in the Ballysax Stakes over this course and distance.

His supporters could have been forgiven to having a nervous moment or two rounding the bend as he was niggled along a touch, but the son of Australia made ominous progress from two out and was well on top with 100 yards to travel.

He ultimately ran out a smart two-and-a-half-length winner from stablemate Blenheim Palace, who kept on well after cutting out the early pace.

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Broome looks to add to an already strong Ballydoyle Derby Hand

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12th May

Aidan O’Brien is hoping Broome can back up an impressive seasonal debut success when he takes his chance in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The son of O’Brien’s 2014 Epsom Derby hero Australia laid down a significant marker when taking the Ballysax Stakes by eight lengths over this course and distance.

O’Brien revealed the plan was always to return to the Dublin venue for this Group Three contest over the same mile and a quarter, as the next stepping stone to possibly greater things.

“The plan at the start of the season was always for Broome to go to Leopardstown for the Ballysax Stakes and then back for the Derrinstown Stakes. We’ve been very happy with him since the Ballysax,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“Broome has always been a lovely, laid-back horse and he seems to be in good form since his last run so we’re looking forward to running him again at Leopardstown on Sunday.

“He has done everything right. We’ve always liked him a lot, he was just beaten in a Group One last year and he was only a baby.”

Broome is joined by two stablemates, Ballysax runner-up Sovereign and Blenheim Palace.


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Magic Wand & Hunting Horn fail in attempt to land Man O' War Stakes 

10th May

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Ballydoyle duo Hunting Horn & Magic Wand failed in their attempt to land Aidan O'Brien his first Man O' War stakes at Belmont Park last night. 

It looked like front running Hunting Horn had stole the race but was swamped late on but stuck on for 4th. Ridden as a closer Magic Wand failed to get into the race but stayed on late to pass her stable mate to finish 3rd even though she never looked like winning.




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AVD Books Derby place after comfortable Lingfield win

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Anthony Van Dyck is 7/1 with Sky Bet for the Investec Derby following a fluent win in the RaceBets Derby Trial at Lingfield. 

Ryan Moore was always travelling comfortably aboard Aidan O'Brien's charge, sent off the 2/1 favourite, and drew alongside leader Pablo Escobar (6/1) approaching the final furlong.

He soon asserted and went on to score by two-and-a-quarter lengths with Nate The Great (16/1) a further length-and-three-quarters away in third.

Moore told ITV Racing: "I was very happy with him, he was very smooth and travelled beautifully all the way. He took me there very comfortably. Aidan said he'd probably slightly need the run today and for me he had a little blow two out but once I got hold of him he's gone and done what he had to do.

"He''s always had a marvellous attitude and ran some smashing races last season over seven furlongs. We always felt he'd stay further. He's a nice horse to have and I think he'll improve for the run."

The Ballydoyle team also have Sir Dragonet, Japan and Broome towards the top of the Investec Derby market and the jockey added: "There's a lot to sort through - and more races to come too."

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Broome aims to steal Derrinstown show 

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10th May 

Broome bids to put his name to the forefront of Classic contenders from the Aidan O’Brien stable when he lines up for the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The son of 2014 Epsom Derby hero Australia made an impressive seasonal reappearance when taking the Ballysax Stakes over this course and distance by eight lengths last month.

He is set to face six rivals in this Group Three contest, including stablemates Blenheim Prince and Sovereign, who took second place in the Ballysax.

O’Brien is doubly represented with Fire Fly and Mona Lisa’s Smile after all 10 entries were declared for the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial.



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Gossamer Wings return Man O'War Preview & Hermosa
 
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10th May 

Gossamer Wings is one of two contenders for Aidan O’Brien in the Goffs Irish EBF Polonia Stakes at Cork on Friday.

The three-year-old was beaten just a short head in last year’s Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and while she failed to score in four starts after that fine effort, Gossamer Wings is the pick on the ratings.

O’Brien also fields Fantasy in the extended five-furlong Listed heat, although she was well beaten on her return to action last month.

Hunting Horn is One of two Aidan O’Brien charges to make the trip from Ireland, Hunting Horn is already considered something of a globetrotter having competed in Dubai, France, America and Britain.

His form is solid without being impressive but he has kept pretty substantial company in his career so far having twice taken on the mighty Enable.

While this Camelot colt has been competing in some of the world’s top races, he has only won two contests in his career. Once at Ascot and once at Naas in a maiden. There have been some good performances such as the runner-up finish in the Prix Niel, along with his third in last year’s Belmont Derby, but this could yet again be a case of always the bridesmaid.

Magic Wand is the second of the O’Brien duo contesting for the Man O’ War Stakes and like his stablemate Hunting Horn, he is also something of a globetrotter with them both having competed in similar events.

The four-year-old filly is there more fancied of the two Irish runners and in truth will probably go off as favourite for the race.

The daughter of Galileo was last seen finishing a place behind Hunting Horn in the Dubai Sheema Classic where they finished fourth and fifth. I imagine O’Brien will have been quietly disappointed that neither of his charges came out on top in Meydan as it was a reasonably winnable race.

Before Meydan, Magic Wand was last seen putting in arguably the performance of her career as she finished runner-up to Bricks And Mortar in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park. This is particularly impressive as Bricks And Mortar has since recorded victories in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial at Fair Grounds before comfortably winning the Churchill Downs Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby day to assert himself as one of America’s top middle distance horses.

O’Brien’s horses arrived in America on Tuesday and connections are positive about their chances. Magic Wand has the ability in her to go close but I feel she may be pipped by one of the locals.

Further Classic options are being considered for 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa after her Newmarket heroics.

The Galileo filly could stay at a mile for the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 26 or step up in distance to 12 furlongs for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on May 31.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien already has the Oaks favourite in Pink Dogwood and expects owners John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith will have a final call on the yard’s Epsom team.

“It is in the mix, the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and she can’t do both races,” said O’Brien.

“Pink Dogwood is there and it is going to depend on how she is. We had other fillies that ran well in the Guineas, like the filly Ryan rode (Just Wonderful), so do we let Hermosa go up to a mile and a half and let her run in the Oaks with Pink Dogwood, or do we let her go back to the Curragh? The boys will make that decision.

“You would imagine Hermosa will stay, but we will see what happens. Pink Dogwood will go straight to the Oaks now.”



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Aidan diverts Japan to take on Too Darn Hot in Dante

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9th May 

Aidan O’Brien indicated on Thursday that one of Coolmore's leading Investec Derby hopes, Japan, could clash with Too Darn Hot in the Al Basti Equiworld Dante Stakes ay York next week.

It had been expected that Japan, a best-priced 7-1 for the premier Classic, would make his eagerly awaited return in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday.

But after saddling the first two home in the Dee Stakes at Chester on Thursday, O’Brien revealed that the Dante Stakes was under serious consideration for Japan, a son of Galileo who signed off last season with successive wins at Listowel and Naas.

“We had a choice of running Japan in Lingfield, Leopardstown or the Dante. It’s very possible he could go to the Dante – the lads will make up their minds in the morning,” he said.



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Circus Maximus leads home Mohawk in Ballydoyle 1,2 in the Dee Stakes at Chester

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5/4 favourite Circus Maximus led home an Aidan O'Brien one-two in the Homeserve Dee Stakes at Chester.

24 hours earlier Sir Dragonet and Norway had dominated the other major Investec Derby trial of the meeting, the Vase, for the Ballydoyle team and they always looked to have this prize in safe keeping.

The winner tracked the leader Allmankind throughout the contest and was kicked to front on the final turn by Ryan Moore.

The two lengths advantage he took there was crucial as Mohawk (7/1) closed him down inside the distance but could never land a telling blow.

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O'Brien sends AVD to Lingfield to test his classic credentials 

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9th May 

Anthony Van Dyck is the standout name among 10 in Saturday's RaceBets Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Galileo colt showed some top-class form as a juvenile, winning the Futurity Stakes before placing in the National Stakes and Dewhurst.

He ended his campaign in America at the Breeders' Cup, but could only finish ninth in the Juvenile Turf behind Line Of Duty.


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Sir Dragonet dismantles rivals to give Aidan a 9th Chester Vase 

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Sir Dragonet made the transition from maiden to Group Three level with a taking eight-length victory in the MBNA Chester Vase Stakes.

Providing Aidan O'Brien with a ninth victory in the race, the largely unconsidered 13/2 chance powered home under the trainer's son, Donnacha, to lead home a one-two for the yard.

Norway stuck to his task under Ryan Moore in second but the winner - a son of 2012 Derby winner Camelot - was in another parish.

Sir Dragonet had only made his racecourse debut 13 days ago, winning a Tipperary maiden by a wide margin at 14/1, but travelled sweetly right at the back of the field, despite being a couple of lengths detached from the main group on the first circuit.

He swept past rivals when the tempo increased and poured it on in the home straight to lay down a serious marker for Epsom.

He'll need supplementing into the Investec Derby but Sky Bet were sufficiently impressed to make him 6/1 for Classic glory early next month.

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Ballydoyle double handed in Dee Stakes 

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7th May 

Aidan O’Brien will saddle Circus Maximus and Mohawk in a bid to win an eighth Homeserve Dee Stakes at Chester on Thursday.

The Ballydoyle maestro has dominated this recognised Derby trial in recent years – saddling five of the last seven winners including the last two in Cliffs Of Moher and Rostropovich.

Circus Maximums appears the stable’s chief hope this time around, having rounded off his juvenile campaign by finishing a close-up fourth behind his 2000 Guineas-winning stablemate Magna Grecia in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

His stablemate Mohawk is a talented performer in his own right, winning the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last September before finishing last of seven runners in the Dewhurst.


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Guineas hero's Magna Grecia & Hermosa Bid for Guineas double

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7th May 2019

Aidan O’Brien is targeting Guineas doubles for both Magna Grecia and Hermosa following their victories at Newmarket over the weekend.

Magna Grecia ran out an impressive winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas on Saturday – providing his trainer with a 10th victory in the colts’ Classic.

The following afternoon Hermosa played a starring role in the 1000 Guineas and while O’Brien initially suggested the Investec Oaks at Epsom could be on her agenda, he is now leaning towards sticking at a mile in the Irish 1,000 Guineas later this month.

Speaking at the Curragh on Monday, O’Brien said: “I was delighted with Magna Grecia and the plan is to come back here (for the Irish 2,000 Guineas).

“I initially thought about the Oaks for Hermosa, but it’s possible that she could come back here too for the Irish 1,000 Guineas.”

A trip to Royal Ascot is on the cards for Ten Sovereigns after his fifth-placed finish behind Magna Grecia over the Rowley Mile.

O’Brien added: “Ten Sovereigns was on the side with no pace and Ryan (Moore) had to be more forward than he would have liked as he knew the other side was ahead of him.

“He still ran a very good race and the plan is to go back in trip with him, probably for the Commonwealth Cup.”

It promises to be another big week for the Ballydoyle maestro with key Classic trials taking place at Chester, Lingfield and Leopardstown.

Considering some of his plans, O’Brien said: “Japan is entered at Lingfield (Derby trial), but I’m half-thinking of running him in Leopardstown (Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial) with Anthony Van Dyck and Broome.

“Japan and Anthony Van Dyck had an easy week about three weeks ago so we don’t want to go too far away, but we need to get a run into them and they will improve a lot from what they do.

“Mount Everest had a little setback last week which means he’s going to have a month off. That means he will be out of the Derby picture, so we will have him back at the back-end of the season.

“We have three runners in the Chester Vase on Wednesday, and on Thursday we have Mohawk and Circus Maximus for the Dee Stakes.

“Never No More and Coral Beach could be our two for the French Guineas.”


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Magical leads home Flag Of Honour in Ballydoyle 1 2 in Mooresbridge Stakes

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Huge thanks to David Betts for the picture


Magical stamped her class on the Coolmore Highland Reel Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.

The daughter of Galileo enjoyed a fine three-year-old campaign last season – claiming Group One honours on Champions Day at Ascot before giving dual Arc heroine Enable a run for her money in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

She proved her talent remains very much intact with a facile comeback victory in the Alleged Stakes at Naas last month and was a prohibitively-priced 2-9 favourite to follow up and provide Aidan O’Brien with an 11th triumph in the 10-furlong Group Two feature.

With stablemate Flag Of Honour giving her a lead, Magical travelled strongly in the hands of Ryan Moore before easing her way to the lead over a furlong out.

She never looked in danger of being caught and passed the post a length and a half clear, with Flag Of Honour giving connections a one-two.

The King and Latrobe were close behind in third and fourth respectively.

O'Brien said: "I'm delighted with her and we're thinking of coming back here for the Tattersalls Gold Cup. She's coming along lovely.

"They went a good gallop - Seamus (Heffernan, on Flag Of Honour) didn't dawdle around in front and there were three Group One winners in the race, plus Jessie's horse is decent as well."

He added: "Flag Of Honour is getting his act together. The reason we were a bit hard on him last year was because he acted up in France last year, so we just had to wake him up a bit.

"He'll be better again when he goes up in trip again to a mile and a half plus. The Coronation Cup could be a possibility, but we will see how Kew Gardens gets on first (in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester on Thursday)."



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Happen flies home late to win the Athasi Stakes

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Happen flies home late to win the in the Coolmore Gleneagles Irish EBF Athasi Stakes (group 3) at The Curragh I Remember You was unplaced 

Happen came from the clouds to land a thrilling renewal of the Coolmore Gleneagles Irish EBF Athasi Stakes at the Curragh.

A field of 10 fillies and mares went to post for the seven-furlong Group Three, with Aidan O’Brien’s Happen among the market principals at 11-4 having chased home Sunday’s 1000 Guineas runner-up Lady Kaya at Leopardstown last month.

Her supporters will have been sweating a furlong out, with Happen towards the rear of the field under Ryan Moore.


However, she rattled home late on and got up to nail Mick Channon’s British raider Dan’s Dream right on the line.

There was just a short head between the pair, with Rionach only a neck further away in third after making much of the running.

O’Brien said: “Her dam (Alexandrova) was always best doing that and she couldn’t come from far enough back.

“Ryan said she won’t mind stepping up to a mile so that’s where we will go next (Irish 1,000 Guineas).”

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Huge thanks to Breandán Ó hUallacháin for the pictures 



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Mount Everest out of the Derby but leading hope Japan could head to Lingfield
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Aidan O'Brien revealed this afternoon at the Curragh that Mount Everest has suffered a setback and will miss the Derby Aidan is hopeful he will be back later in the season.

Japan is one of four possible runners for Aidan O’Brien in the Betfred Derby Trial at Lingfield on Saturday.

The Ballydoyle handler has saddled four previous winners of the Listed contest and looks set to launch a strong challenge once more.

Having rounded off his juvenile campaign with victory in the Beresford Stakes at Naas, Japan is disputing favouritism with some bookmakers for the Investec Derby at Epsom next month.

O’Brien could also call on Dewhurst third Anthony Van Dyck, South Pacific and Western Australia.


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Norway Leads Ballydoyle Trio In Chester Vase 

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6th May
Aidan O'Brien is triple-handed in the MBNA Chester Vase as he seeks to add to his record tally of eight wins in the recognised Derby trial at the Roodee on Wednesday.

The Ballydoyle trainer has chosen Norway, Gentle Bellini and Sir Dragonet from his original seven-strong entry for the Group Two over an extended mile and a half.

Norway is the most experienced of the trio with five runs, including a Listed success and a fourth place in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

He is also the only one of three with a entry in the Investec Derby.

Gentle Bellini got off the mark at the third attempt at Cork last month on his first start of the season while Sir Dragonet made a winning debut at Tipperary two weeks ago.

Aidan O'Brien has won the Cheshire Oaks six times and relies on Secret Thoughts, who was sixth to Lady Kaya at Leopardstown on her reappearance.


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Ballydoyle Duo as Magic Wand & Hunting Horn Set for Belmont's Man o' War Stakes

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6th May
The field for the $700,000 Man o' War Stakes Group 1 may get some international flavor as Magic Wand and Hunting Horn are both expected to return to the United States and race in the 1 3/8-mile turf stakes May 11 at Belmont Park.

The two Ballydoyle 4-year-olds—trained by Aidan O'Brien and owned by Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith are expected to arrive in New York May 6 and will be placed in quarantine for 36-42 hours, according to New York Racing Association officials.



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Hermosa makes all to land Ballydoyle Guineas double 

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Aidan O'Brien completed another Guineas double as Hermosa made just about every yard of the running to win the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

It was the fourth time the maestro from Ballydoyle had won both opening Classics of the season, and the second time in three years Wayne Lordan had been the beneficiary after Winter's success in 2017.

By Galileo, there was little doubt Hermosa (14/1) would be found wanting for stamina - and Lordan was happy to make it a real test.

Running into the dip, she looked sure to be swamped because Lady Kaya was still on the bridle and Angel's Hideaway moved up travelling strongly too.

Hermosa just kept on finding for pressure, though - and on meeting the rising ground, she began to pull away again.

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Ten Guineas for Aidan as Magna Grecia flies home at Newmarket 

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Magna Grecia provided Aidan O'Brien with a tenth victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

It is 21 years since the Ballydoyle maestro first won the colts' Classic with King Of Kings and he has since added to his tally with the likes of Rock Of Gibraltar (2002), George Washington (2006) and the last two winners in Churchill and Saxon Warrior.

This year O'Brien fired a formidable twin assault, with the previously unbeaten Middle Park winner Ten Sovereigns the well-supported favourite under Ryan Moore - and the Vertem Futurity Trophy hero Magna Grecia an 11-2 chance in the hands of the trainer's son Donnacha.

The field split not long after the stalls opened and Magna Grecia was one of just three horses that raced close to the stands' rail.

It was clear racing inside the final two furlongs that this trio had a significant advantage over their rivals and once asked to fully extend, Magna Grecia rocketed clear to seal a most impressive success.





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Ballydoyle Royal Ascot G1 Entries
Queen Anne - Amedeo Modigliani, I Can Fly, Le Brivido, Magical.
King's Stand - All The King's Men, Fantasy, Fairyland, Gossamer Wings, 
Never No More, San Andreas, Sergei Prokofiev, So Perfect, St Patrick's Day, 
Ten Sovereigns, The Irish Rover.
St James Palace Stakes - AntillesGlobe Theatre, Lancaster House, 
Magna Grecia,  
Mohawk, Mount Everest, Never No More, Ten Sovereigns, The Irish Rover 
Van Beethoven, Western Frontier.
Prince Of Wales - Hunting Horn, I Can Fly, Magic Wand, Magical. 
Gold Cup - Capri, Cyprus Creek, Flag Of Honour, Hunting Horn, 
Kew Gardens Southern France.
Commonwealth Cup - All The King's Men, Fantasy, Fairyland, 
Gossamer Wings, Never No More, San Andreas, Sergei Prokofiev, 
So Perfect, Ten Sovereigns, The Irish Rover, Van Beethoven, 
Western Frontier.
Coronation Stakes - Coral Beach, Fairyland, Goddess, Happen,
Hermosa, Just Wonderful, Magic Fountain, Mona Lisa's Smile, 
Secret Thoughts, So Perfect, Zagitova
Diamond Jubilee - Le Brivido, St Patrick's Day 


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Aidan's Thoughts on 2000 Guineas Runners & Kew Gardens in Ormonde contention

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3rd May

“Ten Sovereigns has done very well over the winter. We were delighted with him last year and he’s a fine, big colt now. You can’t be sure about the mile until he goes and does it, but we’ve been happy with him so far.

We couldn’t have dreamed of him doing any more with Magna Grecia as a juvenile The Guineas was always a possibility for him  that’s why we went to Newmarket for his second run. He’s very straightforward and seems to get the mile well.”

Classic winner Kew Gardens features among 11 entries for the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester on Thursday.

Kew Gardens landed the St Leger for Aidan O’Brien and could come up against Latrobe, trained by his son, Joseph.

O’Brien senior has also entered Cypress Creek while Warnaq, from Matthew Smith’s County Meath yard, is a fourth Irish possible.


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$1,000,000 Scat Daddy 3YO YALE Transfers to Ballydoyle 


3rd May

According to the Racing Post but yet to be officially confirmed Yale an unraced 3 year old son of Scat Daddy the first foal out of Listed winner Risky Rachel (Limehouse) has been transferred from Todd Pletcher to Aidan O'Brien

Yale was a 1 Million Dollar purchase by M.V Magnier at the Fasig-Tipton sale in March 2018. 

He would be a very interesting addition. 



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Ballydoyle's 4 strong attack on 1000 Guineas 

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3rd May
Aidan is bidding for his fifth success in the Qipco 1000 Guineans and sends over a strong quartet who will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Virginia Waters (2005), Homecoming Queen (2012), Minding (2016), & Winter (2017).

Fairyland already a G1 winner when winning the Cheveley Park Stakes will be joined by Fleeting a Daughter of Zoffany who ran out  the impressive winner of the May Hill Stakes Group 2 also lining up will be Galileo's only representative in both Guineas Hermosa who was the valiant runner up in the Fillies Mile & Criterium International Group 1's.



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Happen AVD & Japan Lead Aidan's Chester raid 

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2nd May 
Classic clues will be on offer at Chester on Wednesday after 18 entries were received for the MBNA Chester Vase Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien, who is a big fan of sending his Derby and Oaks prospects to the Roodee, has seven possibles at the six-day stage.

They include Japan, one of the ante-post favourites for the Investec Derby next month having won the Beresford Stakes last season.

Anthony Van Dyck, placed in the National Stakes and the Dewhurst at two, Norway  who won the Zetland Stakes Royal Lodge victor Mohawk and the once-raced Sir Dragonet are in the mix too.

Fire Fly, Happen, Secret Thoughts, Mona Lisa's Smile could represent the Ballydoyle handler in the Cheshire Oaks. Happen was a huge eyecatcher in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas trial and finished full of running the daughter of War Front is bound to enjoy the step up in trip.  

Naas maiden runner up Barbados is entered in the maiden later on the card and as are Globe Theatre ll Paradiso Kangeroo Valley & King Pellnor 




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Aidan's 2 pronged attack on a tenth Guineas victory 

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2nd May 
Aidan O’Brien is double-handed as he endeavours to take his record haul to 10 in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday after a field of 19 was declared for the colts’ Classic.

O’Brien’s first on the roll of honour was King Of Kings in 1998 and the Ballydoyle maestro made it nine with Saxon Warrior last year.

The two horses bidding for glory this time are Vertem Futurity Trophy scorer Magna Grecia (Donnacha O'Brien) and Ten Sovereigns (Ryan Moore)  — the unbeaten winner of the Middle Park Stakes.



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Aidan earmarks 2 for Lockinge Challenge 

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1st May 
The Ballydoyle maestro has identified I Can Fly & Le Brivido as his most likely candidates to run in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury 2 weeks on Saturday.

Aidan has left 4 horses in the race Le Brivido, I Can Fly, Amedeo Modigliani & Magical as of the acceptance stage on Wednesday.

Aidan said: “We left all four of our entries in the race. I Can Fly is being strongly considered with Le Brivido, who is going there. With Magical we'll wait a little bit closer to the time with her. I Can Fly’s run in Dubai was just one of those things. Maybe she just didn’t take the journey that well but she seems to have been in good form since. We were delighted with Le Brivido’s latest run. We're just getting a feel of him and getting to know a little bit about him and we wanted to make sure that he relaxed nicely in Naas, and he did. We’ve been very happy with him since.”



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May Start


Powerful Jack Yeats breaks his maiden tag At Naas  


Healy Racing Photos (C)

Jack Yeats made the breakthrough on his second start, as he recorded a straightforward success in the concluding Family Fun Day On May 11th Maiden.

Just denied on his debut at Leopardstown earlier this month, the Aidan O'Brien trained son of Galileo was expected to go one place better this evening, and went off the clear 9/10 favourite.

Settled in a close second by Donnacha O'Brien, the bay colt was pushed along to lead under two furlongs from home, and was ridden out inside the final furlong, seeing off the effort of Hazran by two and a half lengths.

The runner-up was returned at 7/2 under Ronan Whelan for Mick Halford, while the front-running Mackqeez (8/1) was another two and a half lengths back in third.

"He had a good run the last day," said Donnacha O'Brien.


"I got it fairly handy up front, myself and Billy (Billy Lee on Mackqeez), and I quickened up well and stuck at it well."

The winner is out of three time Group 3 winner Fire Lily.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


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Aidan cuts 2000 Guineas team down to 4 - Magna Grecia & Ten Sovereigns remain on course.

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Mon 29 Apr 2019

Ante-post favourite Magna Grecia & unbeaten Middle Park winner Ten Sovereigns are among the 24 colts confirmed for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday 

Magna Grecia won two of his three starts as a juvenile – rounding off his campaign with a Group One triumph in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

He is the general 3-1 favourite to provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a record 10th victory in the Rowley Mile Classic – and a third in succession following the recent triumphs of Churchill and Saxon Warrior respectively.

The Ballydoyle maestro could also saddle The Irish Rover and Van Beethoven.

O’Brien said: “Everything seems fine with both (Magna Grecia and Ten Sovereigns) at the minute. So far so good. Everything has been well with them so far.”

Circus Maxamus & Mohawk were both taken out at this stage. 


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Chruchill's Bro Blenheim Palace showed plenty of guts to win the Irish Racing Handicap at Navan



After Pink Dogwood's Listed race success earlier on, Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore completed a Navan double courtesy of Blenheim Palace (5/1) in the BetVictor Proudly Sponsoring Irish Racing Handicap.

O'Brien and Moore relegated Noel Meade to the runner-up spot with Pink Dogwood beating Tu Va's Encapsulation, and it was a case of more of the same here.

Meade's Red Gerry ran well, but not well enough to deny Blenheim Palace, a brother to Churchill and Clemmie, a three parts of a length victory.

"It has taken him a long time to get it together. Ryan thinks a mile and a quarter is fine for him. He's a big, immature baby even before and after the race today," said O'Brien.

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Oaks Favorite Pink Dogwood shows her classic credentials at Navan  

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Investec Oaks favourite Pink Dogwood made a winning reappearance with a hard-fought success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien fired a three-pronged assault on the Listed contest, with Pink Dogwood very much the first string under Ryan Moore.

After successive runner-up finishes at the Curragh last summer, the daughter of Camelot made it third time lucky at Gowran Park before being stepped up to Group One level in the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp.

She was far from disgraced in finishing fifth in France – beaten just a length and a half – and was the 4-5 favourite for this 10-furlong Listed contest on her seasonal bow.

Odds-on backers were made to sweat, with Noel Meade’s recent Clonmel scorer Encapsulation refusing to go down without a fight, but Pink Dogwood eventually got the better of the argument by half a length.

The Ballydoyle inmate is a best priced 5-1 market leader for the Oaks at Epsom on May 31.

O’Brien said: “She was just ready to start off and you couldn’t be happier with her.

“The plan was always that we would go to the Oaks and whether she will have a run or not before then, I’m not sure.

“It’s possible, but not definite, that she will go straight there.”

“She’s a lovely mover and would prefer better (ground), I would imagine.”

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Sir Dragonet bolts up on debut at Tipperary 



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The Aidan O'Brien trained Sir Dragonet ran out a comfortable winner of the Fundraising Events At Tipperary Races Maiden, completing a double on the card for Aidan O'Brien.

As short as 11/2 in early shows, the son of Camelot opened on-course at 8s, before going off a 14/1 chance under Seamie Heffernan.

Fellow Ballydoyle inmate King Pellinor was the one for money, with this once raced brown colt eventually going off the 4/5 favourite, having opened on-course at 11/10.

Settled behind the leaders on the inner, Sir Dragonet made good progress from early in the straight and was soon delivered to challenge.

He got to the front with over a furlong to race and soon shot clear, going on to score impressively by three lengths.

Zarafshan (7/2) finished second under Oisin Orr for Dermot Weld, while the grey Heavenly Snow (16/1) was half a length back in third.

King Pellinor had a far from clear passage in the straight, and he eventually finished seventh under Donnacha O'Brien.

Aidan O'Brien said afterwards: "He is a very well bred horse, he is out of Sparrow and has a Galileo pedigree.

"He has been there a while but has obviously been sleeping and that can happen sometimes. That's why we get them out just in case that is the way but it's nice to find him.

"A horse with a pedigree like that could be anything.

"He is in the King Edward Stakes in Ascot and we'll see where we go.

"The first winner (Pistoletto) has plenty speed and we were delighted with him. Donnacha thought he was a smart horse.

"I was delighted with Cape Of Good Hope yesterday and he seems to be well. We went there because we weren't sure about the distance or the track and he obviously coped with both well.

"Ryan thought he would stay further and we'll get through all the trials first and see where we are going. He can be there to go wherever now."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes


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Pistoletto dazzles on debut in the  Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Tip



Healey Racing Photos

The Aidan O'Brien trained newcomer Pistoletto ran out an impressive winner of the season opener at Tipperary, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The master of Ballydoyle has enjoyed a tremendous start to the season with his juveniles, and was also on the mark at Dundalk yesterday evening with Fort Myers.

Fort Myers is a son of War Front, and so too is Pistoletto, who is a full-brother to dual American Grade 1 winner Avenge.

As short as 8/11 in early shows, Pistoletto eventually went off the clear 11/10 favourite under Donnacha O'Brien.

The field for this five furlong contest split into two groups, with the three who were on the stands side coming home in first, second and third.


The bay victor was never far off the pace and held a definite advantage a furlong and half from home, quickening up smartly in the closing stages, scoring easily by five and a half lengths.

American Lady (14/1) got up for second under Chris Hayes for Fozzy Stack, while Ampeson (12/1) was a further half a length back in third.

"He is fast and has plenty boot for five (furlongs). I'd imagine he's a Norfolk (Stakes, at Royal Ascot) horse", said Donnacha O'Brien.

"He is a beautiful looking horse and is mature and always showed plenty at home. He probably has a little more boot than the lad (Fort Myers) who won at Dundalk last night and he is a smart horse."










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