Magna Grecia to be stepped up in trip

Magna Grecia going on to win the Newmarket Guineas
23.07 RTE pics

The Juddmonte International at York and the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown are among the options under consideration for 2000 Guineas hero Magna Grecia.

The Invincible Spirit colt ran out a hugely impressive winner of the Rowley Mile Classic in early May, but could finish only fifth when well fancied to follow up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas three weeks later.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien has since given his charge a mid-season break, and plans to step him up to a mile and a quarter on his next start.

"We will have a look at York and Leopardstown for him and we might well go up to some of those mile-and-a-quarter races with him next time," said the Ballydoyle handler.

"He is just back after a break. We will just see have to wait and see how long he takes to get back fit again."

Another O'Brien star who has not been seen in action for a couple of months is dual Group One winner Kew Gardens.

Last season's St Leger winner was narrowly beaten by Defoe in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on his latest appearance - and his trainer views the Irish St Leger as a suitable autumn target.

O'Brien said: "He is just back after a break, and we will have a look at something like the Irish St Leger with him. He is back in full exercise again now, though." 

O'Brien's two most recent Group One winners are Ten Sovereigns and Japan.

Ten Sovereigns bounced back to his brilliant best when landing the July Cup at Newmarket, while 24 hours later Japan confirmed himself a top-class middle-distance three-year-old with victory in the Grand Prix de Paris.

I was delighted with Ten Sovereigns," added O'Brien.

"He was a very good horse last year, and we were happy with his run in the Guineas and his run at Ascot. He is a very fast horse and he showed us that last year.

"He was always a horse that showed a lot of speed. We are thinking of the Nunthorpe for him at the moment, but that could all change.

"Japan will have a few easy weeks and be out around the autumn time. We were very happy with his run at Ascot and his run in France. He seems to be in good form since then.

"It was a nice race for him in France and it fitted into his schedule nicely. We think he is very versatile trip-wise, because he shows plenty of class in his races."

One Ballydoyle inmate who is set to miss the rest of 2019 is Southern Hills - winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

O'Brien said: "He is off for the year - we will probably leave him alone now until next year."

Anthony Van Dyck heads Aidan's King George team 

O'Brien: "We are happy with Anthony since the Curragh and everything has gone well with him since then"
23.07 RTE pics

Anthony Van Dyck will bid to follow in the hoofprints of his famous father Galileo when he lines up for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Having sent out Galileo out to claim both the midsummer showpiece and the Derby in the same season in 2001, Aidan O'Brien will attempt to repeat the feat with this year's Epsom Classic hero.

But while Galileo entered the race seeking a Group One hat-trick after adding the Irish Derby to his CV, Anthony Van Dyck was a beaten favourite behind stablemate Sovereign at the Curragh.

O'Brien has not lost any faith in his colt, however.

He said: "We are happy with Anthony since the Curragh and everything has gone well with him since then.

"We thought he ran very well. It was a good race and there were some very smart horses in there and we were happy with his run.

"Sovereign is a good horse in his own right, he had good form this year and good form last year - we weren't surprised that when he went up to a mile and a half he would be capable of a good run over that trip at some point."

Anthony Van Dyck will be receiving 8lb from odds-favourite Enable, but O'Brien, who could also run Norway, Magic Wand and Hunting Horn, is well aware of the task facing his team.

He added: "We have four left in there, but he (Anthony Van Dyck) would be the main one. It would be possible that all four could run.

"I don't know (about beating Enable). We try to run the horses in the race that suits them all and hopefully they will run as well as we can get them, and that is how we approach every race really."

Sovereign, who struck at 33-1 at the Curragh having made much of the running, was a notable absentee from the 11 acceptors at the five-day stage for the Qipco-sponsored feature.

O'Brien said: "He is getting a little rest. We just felt over the last few days that a little break would do him good, so that is what he is having.

"He will have this little rest now with a view to the autumn in mind and we will see how we go then.

"He could be anything really. He will have a quiet time, then we will prepare him for a race around Great Voltigeur time, then we can see where we will go."

Turnberry Isle gives Donnacha a 21st Birthday treat 

22.07 Healy Racing Photos

Turnberry Isle followed-up on his win at Killarney last week, as he took the feature at Ballinrobe this evening, the Tote Supporting Irish Racing Since 1930 Handicap.

The Aidan O'Brien trained Galileo colt appears to be improving of late and was sent off the clear 5/6 favourite for this extended mile and one contest.

Settled in second by Donnacha O'Brien, who turned 21 today, he was ridden to the front from the furlong pole and he kept on well from there to record a straightforward length and a half success.

Takeachancejimmy (9s to 6s on-course) had no luck in running, but kept on well once he the clear close home, coming through to take a never nearer second under Andrew Slattery.

"He done it well. We thought he had plenty of weight for what he done the last day so it was probably an improvement on that form," said the winning rider.

"He's not slow. I think a mile is fine for him. I'm sure we'll have a look at a handicap at Galway now for him."

Il Paradiso demolishes the opposition

21.07 Healy Racing Photos

Il Paradiso demolished his opposition in the Curragh Summer Festival Handicap over two miles.

Aidan O'Brien's Galileo colt was last seen finishing seventh of the eight runners in the Irish Derby.

Dropping in class to handicap company and stepping up in trip to two miles brought a devastating result.

Wayne Lordan sent him on from a scrubbed-along Brazos turning for home. The pair moved clear a furlong and a half out and won as they pleased by 12 lengths.

He brought up plenty of bets in going off the 11/10 favourite from 7/2 in the morning.

Shakespear'sgalley was the next horse home at 13/2. The four-timer-seeking Trossachs didn't get competitive in third on this step up in trip.

Aidan O'Brien said: “He's a lovely horse and he gets the trip really well.

“I'd say he's a Leger horse, that's the type of horse he is.

“He's getting better, improving and improving. He had a nice run in the Derby here, there was plenty there to like about him that day.

“I'd say the three-year-olds are high class.”

Iberia gets up on debut 

20.07 Healy Racing Photos

Iberia really found his stride in the final furlong to mow down Jungle Cove in the seven-furlong juvenile-maiden at the Curragh.

Aidan O'Brien's newcomer by Galileo out of Beauty Bright (a Group 3 winner over six furlongs) broke well and soon disputed third as Agent Zero led.

Iberia came under pressure passing the halfway stage, though, and looked in a spot of trouble as Jungle Cove went for home passing the furlong pole.

However, Ryan Moore switched Iberia out from third and he ran on very strongly to pick up Jungle Cove in the closing stages for a three parts of a length success.

He was returned the 7/2 favourite from 4/1 shot Jungle Cove. Iberia's stablemate Russian Emperor finished a length and a quarter back in third at 10/1.

There was plenty of money for Jim Bolger's Geometrical who was backed from 12/1 in the morning down to 4/1 but he ran freely and came in last of the 12 runners.

Aidan O'Brien said: "We thought they were three nice colts [Sherpa finished sixth] but they were just ready to start. They were green and babyish.

“Ryan was very happy with his lad, they were all very happy.

“The winner was green for a minute when he dropped him down but then when he got it together he picked up well.

“He won't have any problem going up in trip but seven (furlongs) probably won't be a problem next time as he'll be way more clued in.

“When he quickened he just got caught a little bit but then he got organised. The Futurity could be an option for him.

“Seamus (Heffernan) said that he thought the third horse felt like a very smart horse.”

Paddy Power gave Iberia a first show of 33/1 for the Derby.

Classy Mohawk smoothly takes the Meld Stakes (Group 3) at Leopardstown

It proved straight-forward for favourite Mohawk in the Group 3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown this evening as he ran out a convincing two-length winner of the feature event.

Donnacha O'Brien produced the 9/4 shot to claim front-runner Ancient Spirit over a furlong from home and the Ballydoyle colt soon settled matters.

Up Helly Aa stayed on to give chase in the closing stages without threatening the winner, who posted a two-length winning margin.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Mohawk was taking a drop in grade having contest Group Ones on his last two outings. He became the first three-year-old in six years to win the race.

“It was nice and smooth, they went a nice gallop, I got a nice slot the whole way and when I asked him to quicken up he did,” said Donnacha O'Brien.

“He probably got a little bit idle in front but he's a nice solid horse.

“They went a nice gallop and I think the leader was just starting to crack and my lad had form over further. He stuck at it well up the hill.”


Confrotable for Turnberry Isle in Sauternes Cup At Killarney


Turnberry Isle gained an overdue first win of the year at Killarney today as the son of Galileo landed the five-runner Sauternes Cup Rated Race, under Champion Jockey Donnacha O'Brien.

The Aidan O'Brien trained colt won his maiden on his final start as a juvenile and while he had failed to win in six handicaps this year, today made all when beating Tony The Gent comfortably by three and three parts of a lengths.

Jockey O'Brien later said “he can be a little keen at home but the track suited and he was able to put it to bed before he came off the bridle.

“He is out of a top class sprinter (Rosdhu Queen) and whether he has maybe more of a sprinter's brain than body and that could be a lot of it (his temperament).”

Quick-witted O'Brien never misses an open-goal and when asked “do you think smaller fields suit him better?” his succinct reply was “smaller fields are always easier.”


Sussex Stakes under strong consideration for Circus Maximus 

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16th July 

St James's Palace Stakes winner Circus Maximus could bid to confirm superiority in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on July 31.

“The Sussex is still under strong consideration,” said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family, part-owners of Circus Maximus together with Coolmore.

“He doesn’t have to be supplemented until the end of next week, and Aidan will make a decision then. The horse is in good form, he’s versatile.

“You’d like to think he has plenty of options – but he showed at Ascot that he enjoyed a mile, so that is the plan for the moment – to go for the Sussex and then take it from there.

“As he doesn’t have to be supplemented just yet there’s no final decision, but it looks like it’s going to be a nice race.”


More than comfortable for Dunkirk Harbour in EBF Race at Killarney


Dunkirk Harbour was the ready victor of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race under Donnacha O'Brien in Killarney.

The 9/4 favourite was easy-to-back having been 6/5 in the morning.

The grey son of Declaration Of War tracked Rhydwyn in this extended mile contest and travelled well into the lead with less than a quarter of a mile to travel.

He was ridden to assert inside the final furlong and forged on to draw two and a half lengths clear at the line for Aidan O'Brien.

Rhydwyn could make no impression in second at 3/1. He was half a length in front of fast-finishing Hillwalker at 20/1.

Donnacha O'Brien said: "He wasn't doing a lot in front but he was rated to win the race and I had a grand position on him, and he quickened up and put it to bed early."

Additional reporting by Tom Weekes

Thanks to Anthony Murphy 


Pink Dogwood headlines Ballydoyle 6 Left In Irish Oaks 

16th July 

Aidan O’Brien is responsible for six of the 13 fillies confirmed for Saturday’s Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

The Ballydoyle maestro has saddled five previous winners of the fillies’ Classic – first striking gold with Alexandrova in 2006 before adding to his tally with Peeping Fawn (2007), Moonstone (2008), Bracelet (2014) and Seventh Heaven (2016).

His chief contender this year appears to be Pink Dogwood, who was only narrowly denied by the John Gosden-trained Anapurna in the Investec Oaks at Epsom last month, before finishing third behind Joseph O’Brien’s Iridessa in the Pretty Polly Stakes here four weeks later.

Pink Dogwood could be joined by Chablis, Credenza, Ribblesdale Stakes runner-up Fleeting, Goddess and Peach Tree.

O’Brien said: “We are very much looking forward to the Kerrygold Irish Oaks this weekend and have left six in the race at the moment

“We would be thinking that Fleeting, Pink Dogwood, Peach Tree and maybe something else will run.”


Flowering Peach roars away with the Fillies Handicap At Killarney

Flowering Peach made a winning handicap debut at Killarney today as the Aidan O'Brien trained daughter of Galileo landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap under jockey Wayne Lordan.

By top stallion Galileo and out of a half-sister to leading sire Medaglia D'Oro, Flowering Peach failed to make the grade at Listed and Group 3 level on her latest starts but today comfortably made all to beat runner-up Ciao by a length and a half.

Afterwards Lordan stated “she likes the trip, I got to make the running and she bowled away well and stayed at it well. She ran respectably in a Listed race the last day and was dropping back to a handicap today so hopefully she can step back up to Listed company in the future.”


Ten Sovereigns Could Run In Nunthorpe next

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April 15th 

Aidan O'Brien has nominated the Coolmore Nunthorpe as a potential next target for his July Cup hero Ten Sovereigns.

The No Nay Never colt looked another Ballydoyle superstar in the making after rounding off an unbeaten juvenile campaign with victory in the Middle Park Stakes.

However, he could only finish fifth when favourite for the 2000 Guineas on his seasonal reappearance - and then failed to live up to expectations again when fourth in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Despite the doubts, Ten Sovereigns was heavily backed for Saturday's Newmarket feature - and that support proved fully justified as he emphatically reversed the form with his Ascot conqueror Advertise to run out an impressive winner.

"We were delighted with him. We felt he had made very good progress since Ascot," said O’Brien.

"We knew we had to step up from Ascot, but we felt that his work was very good and we were looking forward to seeing him run.”

While wary as yet about committing to future targets, O’Brien confirmed a first run over five furlongs in the Nunthorpe at York on August 23rd is a serious possibility.

"I think the lads will decide that (where he goes next), but he would have the option of the Nunthorpe,” he added.

"We’ll see how he comes out of this race first."


Japan Takes 4th Grand Prix De Paris For Aidan O'Brien

Japan won the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris – delivering a second consecutive success in the race for Aidan O’Brien.

The 1-2 favourite, who took the spoils by half a length to follow up subsequent St Leger hero Kew Gardens’ victory in the same ParisLongchamp Group One last year,  was also completing an outstanding weekend for Ballydoyle – after Ten Sovereigns’ July Cup win at Newmarket on Saturday.

Japan, winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, bided his time in third under Ryan Moore behind pace-making stablemate Western Australia before going to the front more than a furlong out and holding on from home hope Slalom.



Ten Sovereigns Gallops clear in the Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1) At Newmarket


Ten Sovereigns landed a Darley July Cup gamble when running away from his Newmarket rivals in style under Ryan Moore on Saturday.

Available at 10/1 on Friday evening, a Saturday morning plunge saw Ten Sovereigns' odds cut to 7/2 generally, even though he drifted to 9/2 on the off.

Quickly into his stride under Moore, he led and was prominent throughout before kicking away from his rivals on the rising ground.

He scooted clear in sensational fashion at the business end of the race, winning by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Advertise with stablemate Fairyland third.

The one-two-three were all three-year-olds, landing a significant blow for the Classic generation.

Moore told ITV Racing: "Aidan had him in tip-top shape, he liked the faster ground and was just a bit rusty at Ascot.

"He jumped, travelled nicely and when I gave him a squeeze, he picked up well.

"The other side were ahead of me, he was a bit babyish and I could have done with some help, but he quickened very well. He's very nice."

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Aidan expecting Better From Ten Sovereigns in July Cup

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12th July 

Aidan O’Brien senses Ten Sovereigns can make his presence felt in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

The No Nay Never colt looked a potential superstar after rounding off an unbeaten juvenile campaign with victory in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket last September — but he has finished unplaced in the 2000 Guineas and the Commonwealth Cup so far this term.

He has two and a half lengths to find on Saturday with Martyn Meade’s Advertise, on that most recent run at Royal Ascot, but O’Brien believes his charge is capable of improvement.

“We were very happy with his run at Ascot. It was his first run back, after running over a mile,” said the Ballydoyle maestro.

“He was a little bit rusty, coming back sprinting. He travelled, though, and kept going very well. We thought he would come forward for the run.”

O’Brien also runs the fillies Fairyland and So Perfect.


Peach Tree wins the 7.55 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Stanerra Stakes (Group 3) At Leopardstown

Healy Racing Photos (c)

Peach Tree gained a deserved success after being highly tried this summer when taking Group Three honours in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Stanerra Stakes at Leopardstown.

Well-beaten in the Investec Oaks at Epsom and the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, the daughter of Galileo found her niche when tackling a mile and three-quarters for the first time.

Peach Three (7-1) was one of four runners from the Aidan O’Brien stable and was giving jockey Wayne Lordan a notable double after he steered Royal Lytham home for the Ballydoyle trainer in the July Stakes at Newmarket.

Peach Tree was quickly away but soon gave up the lead as the 8-11 favourite True Self went on, but Willie Mullins’ charge could not keep up the gallop and was the first beaten in the straight.

Cimeara looked like repeating last year’s victory when she hit the front but Joseph O’Brien’s charge was quickly collared by Preach Tree who asserted in the final furlong.

The John Oxx-trained Moteo was the last to put in a bid but she had to settle for second place, half-a-length behind the winner.

Lordan said: “She’s a grand filly and has been competing at a high level.

“She ran well in a Group Three in Cork (second in the Munster Oaks) and, back in that grade going that trip, she travelled smooth and got to the line well.”


Brave Love holds on to break her maiden tag in Leopardstown Maiden 


Love made it third time lucky at Leopardstown today as the Aidan O'Brien trained filly landed the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Fillies) Maiden under the trainer's son and jockey Donnacha O’Brien.

A neck runner-up on her previous start at the Curragh in June, she today made virtually all the running but had to battle to see off the strong challenge of Soul Search inside the final furlong when eventually scoring a head win.

Afterwards jockey O'Brien said “she’s done it well. She was actually still a bit green and was hanging off the fence on the wrong leg for a bit.

“She just got lonely in front and when Colin (Keane on runner-up Soul Search) came to me she found another gear and went on. I’d say there was plenty more in there.

“Another furlong would suit her.”


Mighty Royal Lytham Takes The July Stakes To Give His Sire A First Group Win 


Royal Lytham swept home late to account for Platinum Star in a thrilling photo-finish finale to the Group 2 Tattersalls July Stakes at Newmarket to score at odds of 11-1. 

The son of Gleneagles, a winner on debut who shaped better than the bare form when seventh in the Coventry Stakes when last seen, took a marked leap forward to arrive with a wet sail under Wayne Lordan. 

Visinari, the well-backed 4-6 favourite who was ultra impressive on his debut in a course-and-distance maiden last time, was caught for a lack of experience but performed encouragingly to finish a close third. 

Lordan said of the winner: "He raced a little bit lazily but he found for pressure and even when I passed the line he pricked one ear. It was only his third start and I definitely think he'll get further.

"He was a bit unlucky in the Coventry Stakes last time and not a lot seems to bother him, which is a big plus." 



Ten Sovereigns & 3 Stablemates remain in July Cup 

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9th July

Ten Sovereigns is one of four Aidan O’Brien possibles for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

An unbeaten juvenile, Ten Sovereigns failed to stay in the 2000 Guineas and was then behind Advertise — one of 15 fellow confirmations for the July Cup on Saturday — when the latter won the Commonwealth Cup last month.

Ballydoyle also still has All The King’s Men, Fairyland and So Perfect in the Newmarket reckoning this weekend — while Joseph O’Brien may run Speak In Colours.


Barbados sent on Bahrain Mission 

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9th July

Aidan O’Brien’s Queen’s Vase runner-up Barbados will bid to go one better in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket on Thursday.

The Galileo colt was a largely unconsidered 20-1 shot for the one-mile-six-furlong Group Two at Royal Ascot last month, but ran a fine race in defeat — going down by just half a length to Andrew Balding’s Dashing Willoughby.

Plenty of punters will fancy him to go one better in this Group Three contest, which is a recognized trial for the St Leger.


King Neptune & Royal Lytham to run in July Stakes

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9th July

Aidan O'Brien sends 2 colt over to conest Thursdays July Stakes Group 2 at Newmarket. 

King Neptune who was last seen when finishing 6th in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. The son of War Front has solid form he was second in listed race at the Curragh 2½ lengths behind Siskin in May. 

Aidan's Other runner will be Royal Lytham who was 7th behind stablemate Arizona in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot only finishing 3 and a half lengths off the winner. 


Aidan Updates on Japan AVD Sir Dragonet Magna Grecia Circus Maximus & Ten Sovereigns. 

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Sun 7 Jul 2019

“We are thinking of going to the Grand Prix de Paris with Japan at the moment, That could change, but that is what we are thinking of. He seems to be in good form, he seems to have come out of Ascot well and everything seems well with him so far.”

Anthony Van Dyck 
“We’re thinking Anthony Van Dyck might go to the King George, with Sovereign. It could change, but that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”

Sir Dragonet 
“He is on a little bit of break and is just starting to come back off it. We might have a look at running him in the Irish Champion Stakes or sometime around then.

“He could have run before that, but at the moment he is starting to come out of a little bit of a break.

We are thinking of dropping him back in trip, but he could keep at a mile and a half. We have to start him somewhere and he could also run on Arc trials weekend in France. There are plenty of options for him.”

Magna Grecia
“He has had a break and he is in good form now,” He has just started back doing good canters again. We are looking at something like the Irish Champion with him and he is another that could have a run before it.”

Circus Maximus 
“We are thinking of the Sussex Stakes with him at the moment, but that is not yet written in stone. It was possible that he could have gone to Sandown but Magical just came out of Ascot very well. We thought we might have been giving Magical a break after Ascot, but she came out of it so very well that is why we ran her. n the end we felt the Eclipse might have come too soon Circus Maximus, as he did have a tough race at Ascot.”

Ten Sovereigns 
“The plan is to run Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup and he seems to have come out of it very well. 

We have others in it, but we are thinking he is the main one at the moment.”


Off The mark at a canter as Year Of The Tiger Impresses at Naas 

Healy Racing Photos (c)

Year Of The Tiger opened his account with the minimum of fuss at the third attempt when readily landing the odds in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Naas.

The 4/9 favourite, trained by Aidan O’Brien for the Coolmore partners, cruised into contention in the straight leading just over a furlong out and quickly settled the issue.

He stretched clear under Donnacha O’Brien to score by four and a quarter lengths from stablemate Innisfree who made a pleasing debut.

Innisfree was held up in rear before switched out at the two-furlong pole, and came home nicely inside the final furlong to be a clear second best.

Free Solo, trained by Jessica Harrington for the Niarchos Family, also showed promise on his first outing finishing a further three lengths adrift in third.

Donnacha O’Brien said, “He did it easy. He’d a few decent runs and ran well in Ascot. He was very uncomplicated today, travelled smoothly and feels like he has a touch of class.

“He was still green when he hit the front. He pricked his ears and rolled around a little bit towards the fence but he has plenty of ability.”

Aidan O'Brien said he has left in I Can Fly and Happen at the confirmation stage as he bids to win the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes for the third time in four years at Newmarket on Friday.

The Ballydoyle handler took this Group One contest with Alice Springs in 2016 and Roly Poly last year, but his run was halted 12 months ago when Clemmie was beaten into third place as the Jessica Harrington-trained Alpha Centauri lifted the prize.

On her latest start, I Can Fly was third to Move Swiftly in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Happen was sixth to Watch Me in the Coronation Stakes.


Breandán Ó hUallacháin photos of Royal County Down at Tipperary



Aidan bids for glory in the Belmont Derby & Oaks on Saturday

O4.07 Healy Racing photos 

Aidan O’Brien bids for more Classic glory on Saturday when he targets the Grade1Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks. 

Aidan landed the Belmont Derby with Deauville three years ago and returns with Cape Of Good Hope and Blenheim Palace. 

Cape Of Good Hope won the Blue Riband trial in April but bypassed the Epsom Derby in favour of a tilt at the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, in which he finished a pleasing fourth.

He finished down the field in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot and will be partnered for the first time by Wayne Lordan, his stable companion Blenheim Palace, will be the mount of Michael Hussey, the colt finished second in the Group 3 International Stakes at the Curragh last month.

TJ, assistant trainer to Aidan said “The ground didn't help Cape Of Good Hope at Ascot as it was soft for the first two days and he likes hard ground. He won at Epsom on hard ground going a mile and a quarter, where was ridden patiently and came home well. He's a grand horse and he's arrived well. A mile and a quarter really seems to have helped Blenheim Palace. He’s improved with each run and his form is there.”

Just Wonderful and Coral Beach will bid to give Aidan another winner in the Belmont Oaks after his success with Athena last year. Just Wonderful finished sixth in the Group 1,1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on her seasonal debut but has failed to fire in two subsequent starts in top-level company.

She is the mount of Wayne Lordan, while Coral Beach, ridden by Michael Hussey, bounced back to form when fourth in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot.


South Sea Pearl Bolts up in Bellewstown Maiden

Healy Racing Photos (c)

Donnacha O'Brien kept up the pressure on Jockeys' Championship leader Colin Keane with a double at Bellewstown today, completing the feat on his father Aidan O'Brien's trained South Sea Pearl in the concluding Tote (Fillies) Maiden.

The daughter of Galileo, returned the 5/4 favourite having drifted markedly late-on to over 2/1 on the exchanges, appeared to run in snatches with jockey O'Brien resorting to the whip with five furlongs to race.

However South Sea Pearly had plenty left and in the end quickened clear of her rivals to score an easy nine lengths win over Lady Olenna.

Afterwards Donnacha O’Brien, earlier successful on Jupiter Road for his brother Joseph O'Brien, said “she doesn’t do a stroke but she stays very well. She had her ears pricked for the last two furlongs.

“She’d go as far as you’d want and is still learning and still raw. Hopefully she’ll learn plenty around a track like that.”

O'Brien now trails Colin Keane, who earlier partnered Ado McGuinness' Highly Approved to win, by nine winners, 48-39.



Flag Of Honour to Defend Irish St Leger + News Round Up 

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1st July 

Flag Of Honour and Sovereign are among Aidan O'Brien's prospective candidates as 70 entries were published for the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

The Ballydoyle contingent contains Kew Gardens, Japan and Sir Dragonet as well as last year's winner Flag Of Honour and Saturday's surprise Irish Derby hero Sovereign.

Circus Maximus, successful in the St James's Palace Stakes features among the 13 contenders for Staurday's Coral Eclipse on Saturday at Sandown Park. 

Aidan O'Brien has also left in Magical, who was second to Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Magic Wand, Flag Of Honour and Hunting Horn.

Aidan O'Brien has entered Ten Sovereigns, Fairyland and Sergei Prokofiev among others in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on 15th September.


Irish Derby Number 13 for Aidan and 20 in total for Ballydoyle



July Start

Sovereign makes all to stun Irish Derby field a 1,2,3 for Ballydoyle with Anthony Van Dyck in 2nd & Norway in 3rd and a 13th Irish Derby for Aidan 

Sovereign made most of the running to land the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at odds of 33/1 under Padraig Beggy at the Curragh on Saturday.

The son of Galileo was one of the least fancied of the Ballydoyle quintet after helping to force the pace in Derby trials at Leopardstown and in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Set the role of pacemaker again at the Curragh, he set a strong gallop along with Norway but he didn't see another rival after shrugging off his stablemate in the home straight.

Epsom winner and 5/4 favourite Anthony Van Dyck emerged from the chasing pack to run into second, but he was six lengths adrift of the winner at the line.

Jockey Beggy was bagging a second Classic success after his Epsom win on 40/1 chance Wings Of Eagles in 2017. It was his first win from 10 rides this season.

O'Brien has won the Irish Derby more times than Beggy has had rides this season, Sovereign's win taking his tally to 13. 

Breandán Ó hUallacháin photos 



Aidan Says that Circus Maximus & Magical are under consideration for next Saturday's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown

Anthony Van Dyck, Broome, Cape Of Good Hope, Circus Maximus, Constantinople, Flag Of Honour, Hermosa, Hunting Horn, I Can Fly, Japan, Magic Wand, Magical, & Pink Dogwood all have entries in next Saturdays Coral Eclipse - 43 horses left in 

Cape Of Good Hope & Van Beethoven under consideration for the Belmont Derby Coral Beach & Fleeting under consideration for the Belmont Oaks - Both races are on July 6th

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