Marvellous Gleneagles & Cooolmore's Full brother has been named Taj Mahal, A Great name I think you will agree - Ballydoyle 2YO Page Latest News (4 x 2YO Colt & 1 Filly Just named) > http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/ballydoyle-2yos-2016.php



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Ballydoyle Entries Leopardstown Wed, 6th Apr, 2016



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HIGHLAND REEL Could run Next at Hong Kong in the QEII Cup at Sha tin on 24th April.


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Washington DC set for seasonal reappearance at 7.30 & Long Island Sound (WF) set for debut at 6.30 both at Dundalk tomorrow night. 

LONG ISLAND SOUND is an Unraced 3 Year Old by War Front a $800,000 purchase at Keeneland 2013. Dam is half-sister to superstar mare, Zenyatta.



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GALILEO Turned 18 yesterday here are just some of his amazing achievements



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Found looking for Curragh Stakes prize


Updated: Thursday 31 Mar 2016 15:02 | 

Found and jockey Ryan Moore

Found and jockey Ryan Moore

Breeders' Cup heroine Found could make her seasonal reappearance at the Curragh on Sunday after starring among 12 entries for the Coral.ie Alleged Stakes.

Aidan O'Brien's filly was runner-up in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in the first half of last season.

She went on to chase home Golden Horn in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, before finding Fascinating Rock too strong in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

She gained her revenge on Golden Horn in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland in October.

Her potential rivals in this weekend's 10-furlong Listed event include Ken Condon's high-class colt Success Days, who won the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial last season before disappointing at Epsom and in Germany.

Jessica Harrington's Bocca Baciata and the Jim Bolger-trained Parish Hall also feature.

A field of 20 has been entered for the preceding Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes on the same afternoon.

Possible contenders include Endless Drama, who has not been seen since being touched off by Gleneagles in last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas, O'Brien's Cougar Mountain, Bolger's Herald The Dawn and Irish Lincolnshire winner Sruthan, trained by Paul Deegan.

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Happy 18th Birthday to the one & ONLY Galileo the champion of champions

Special memory for me Galileo Vs Fantastic Light Love the Commentary Galileo is cruising GGGGGALILEO went on.

What a Horse What a Sire adore him.


Epsom Derby 2001 Equine Perfection = GALILEO

 



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5 In the Lockinge for Team Ballydoyle



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She has a Big year ahead 


 


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Air Force Blue (Ryan Moore)

Air Force Blue and Ryan Moore winning the Dewhurst Stakes

 PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)

Air Force Blue could be Ballydoyle's sole 2,000 Guineas runner

AIDAN O'BRIEN expects to be represented solely by hot favourite Air Force Blue in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas next month, while leading fancy Ballydoyle could sidestep the fillies' equivalent.

Air Force Blue, a best-priced even money for the April 30 Classic at Newmarket - bookmakers go 14-1 bar him - worked at the Curragh last week after racing, along with a battalion of stablemates. He is set to go straight to the Guineas, and O'Brien, unusually, does not feel the need to fire any more than one bullet at the contest.

O'Brien said: "Air Force Blue has wintered well. He's a naturally athletic horse and we're happy with him. Tempera­mentally he's very good, really solid, relaxed and happy in himself. We were excited about him last year and are looking forward to him starting.

"He did everything asked of him last year. He has a lot of speed, winning a Heinz [Phoenix Stakes] last year, and when he was beaten in the Coventry he was green. I think he'll be our only runner in the Guineas. That's what I'm thinking at the moment.

"All the top races, like the Irish Guineas, are open to him, but we'll look at Newmarket first."

O'Brien, who has won the 2,000 Guineas seven times, added: "Hit It A Bomb could go for the French Guineas. We were delighted with him last year and he progressed from run to run."

Ballydoyle could head for France

O'Brien underlined that Ballydoyle, one-­time market leader and still second favourite in some lists for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, is not a guaranteed runner. But stablemate Minding, who defeated Ballydoyle in the Moyglare last year and is a best­-priced 11­-4 favourite for the Guineas, is set to head to Newmarket, while Alice Springs, an eye­taking third in the Moyglare, is another possible.

"The plan is to go straight to Newmarket with Minding," said the trainer. "Ballydoyle could then go to the French Guineas. Bally­doyle would want it good or faster. If it's slow, Minding will handle it. She wouldn't want concrete but she's ground­ versatile. She kept progressing last year. Alice Springs will go for the fillies' trial at Leopardstown and we'll see after that."




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One For Your Notebooks lads




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Happy Retirement Cirrus des Aigles You are a warrior

from us all at the AOBFS Team



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Cook rates top Derby dark horse

  • By: Matt Brocklebank
  • Last Updated: March 28 2016, 20:59 BST

Matt Brocklebank highlights six unheralded Aidan O'Brien Derby entrants who could make a major impact on the 2016 Flat season.

Cook Islands (far right): Strong form and open to bundles of improvement

Cook Islands (far right): Strong form and open to bundles of improvement


Having won the Investec Derby five times in the past, and come close on a number of other occasions, it's no great surprise that Aidan O'Brien generally dominates the market for the Epsom Classic from a very early stage.

This year the ante-post landscape looks a little different, however, with no standout candidate from the Ballydoyle yard and no representative whatsoever inside the top six in the betting.

Criterium International winner Johannes Vermeer is the shortest-priced O'Brien-trained Derby horse around the 16/1 mark, but here Matt Brocklebank delves a little deeper in an attempt to unearth six potential gems hidden away among the trainer's 36-strong list of entries for the June 4 spectacle.

Deauville (Sky Bet odds: 20/1)

Galileo won the Derby for Aidan O'Brien in 2001 and has since become the world's leading sire so it should come as no surprise that the trainer looks to aim the pick of the great horse's progeny towards Epsom every year and he's twice pulled it off, with Ruler Of The World in 2013 and Australia the following season.

It almost goes without saying that Galileo's current three-year-old crop are extremely well represented among the Ballydoyle entries for 2016 and Deauville is perhaps one of the more obvious candidates for middle-distance honours this season having ended his juvenile campaign with a lofty official rating of 110.

His season ended with something of a flop when fifth of seven under Joseph O'Brien in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster but his profile prior to that was one of a steadily improving colt. He dotted up for Seamie Heffernan first time out in a Listowel maiden last May before edging out subsequent Dewhurst third Sanus Per Aquam in Leopardstown's Tyros Stakes - a race the stable has landed in the past with real top-notchers Rip Van Winkle, Cape Blanco and Gleneagles.

Deauville then made his first visit to the UK and pushed Foundation to three-quarters of a length in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket, form which highlights the fact he was well below par on Town Moor, where he finished around five lengths adrift of John Gosden's horse.

O'Brien jnr later reported that his mount stumbled slightly on leaving the stalls before being coaxed into a lead around two furlongs from the finish and ultimately fading out of contention.

He wore cheekpieces for the first time that day and it's an experiment that clearly didn't work but it would be foolish to judge the horse too harshly on one performance at the end of the season and, being a half-brother to The Corsican, moving up in distance looks certain to bring about a degree of improvement.

Idaho (25/1)

Along with the likes of Deauville, Idaho is one of the Ballydoyle Derby brigade to have dipped their toe in at Group One level as a two-year-old, only to have come up short on the big stage.

The obvious difference with Idaho, however, is that he was stepping right up to the top table having won a Curragh maiden in mid-October.

France was the scene of his baptism of fire, where he was sent off the 6/4 favourite under Ryan Moore for the Criterium De Saint-Cloud. Those who got involved at skinny prices had their fingers burnt but there was certainly enough promise in his staying-on fourth to suggest Idaho may well have learnt enough on the outskirts of Paris in November to develop into a very smart three-year-old.

"Not as precocious as his brother" Highland Reel, according to Joseph O'Brien, Idaho possibly found competing in his first Group One on ground much softer than he'd encountered first time out at the Curragh all too much for him, but he was travelling as well as anything turning into the straight and found himself on the wrong part of the track when the race developed, getting caught out nearer the middle of the course as the winner - Harry Dunlop's Robin Of Navan - scooted along next to the hedge on the stands side.

He still boxed on very bravely for such an inexperienced horse to only narrowly miss out on third and it was a perfectly encouraging note on which to end his 2015 campaign.

Pietro Testa (25/1)

There's only one place to start with Pietro Testa and, unfortunately for the horse, that's his pricetag.

The thoroughbred racing archives are littered with big-money buys that didn't come close to their sales expectations, but there's at least a smidgen of hope that this 2.6million guineas purchase, a half-brother to 2010 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Harbinger, could be the real deal once stepped up in trip.

He didn't look blessed with a massive amount of natural speed when fifth under Seamie Heffernan on his sole start at two but the market vibes (sent off an easy-to-back 8/1 chance) strongly hinted he'd be much wiser for the initial outing and in the circumstances he ran fairly well, racing handily in third before getting tapped for toe in the home straight.

Seven furlongs was highly unlikely to be his bag anyway as his pedigree screams middle distances and, with another winter on his back, it will be fascinating to see which way he heads ahead of a potential Classic crack.

Cook Islands (25/1)

Whereas Pietro Testa is very much all about potential, Cook Islands has genuine substance to his juvenile form and could easily become a major Derby force come the first weekend in June if making the expected amount of improvement.

He was one of five winners to emerge from Hit It A Bomb's Curragh maiden having finished like an express train to take fourth behind the subsequent Breeders' Cup hero first time out during September.

He also had three subsequent scores in behind when blitzing a field of 13 rivals at Navan the following month and the way he finished the race suggested he had loads left in the locker at the line. He had a little look around when a burst of speed took him to the front a furlong and a half out but Joseph O'Brien was at pains to keep his mind on the job and he galloped on strongly to win by three and a half lengths.

A quick glance at his pedigree suggests 10 furlongs might be as far as this Fastnet Rock colt wants to go at three, but there's more stamina on the other side of the family, with his dam Tree Chopper a half-sister to 2003 Arc runner-up Mubtaker, who also won at a mile and three-quarters.

Beacon Rock (33/1)

Beacon Rock is a full brother to Wedding Vow, who won a Group Two over nine furlongs at the Curragh for the O'Brien team last summer, and looks another son of Galileo who could take his form to new heights once granted a real test of stamina.

He didn't have to improve much between his first two starts to make it second time lucky in a Curragh maiden in August but his subsequent efforts in defeat were without question of a much higher standard.

He let down favourite-backers on both occasions but flashed home from near the back of the field to claim third in the Beresford Stakes, then again missed out by just half a length after finishing strongly when second to Hugo Palmer's Gifted Master in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on his last public outing.

O'Brien has surprisingly never won the Autumn Stakes but defeat in the race didn't stop Dylan Thomas (second when run at Salisbury in 2005) and Order Of St George (fifth in 2014) going on to taste success at Group One level and Beacon Rock may well have shuffled his way up the ante-post Derby markets once the dust has settled after all the trials.

Subsequent Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Dylan Thomas, to whom Beacon Rock's dam Remember When is closely related, took the Derrinstown Stakes at Leopardstown en route to finishing third in Sir Percy's Derby and this colt could be the selected incumbent to head down a similar path this season.

Bravery (40/1)

O'Brien runners are notoriously a note or two short of concert pitch for the opening meeting of the year at the Curragh and with that firmly in mind it's worth keeping a close eye on Bravery in the coming weeks and months. He could never get on terms with the principals having been waited with in midfield in the mile maiden won by Dermot Weld's well-backed Embiran last Sunday, but he wasn't entirely disgraced by any stretch and made up some late ground close home. Another son of the all-conquering Galileo, he made a most promising start to his career when second at Leopardstown in October where found only Awtaad, now rated 106 following his reappearance victory in a handicap on the same Curragh card last weekend, too good, while the aforementioned stablemate Pietro Testa was back in fifth. Bravery is closely related to four black type performers who did the majority of their winning at a mile but he looks ready to tackle a bit further now and is expected to leave his comeback run well behind in due course.


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Three for Ballydoyle in the 7f Listed Patton Stks. Washington DC, Lieutenant 

General and Jaqen H´Ghar. - Schubert (Long Island Sound & Black Hawk War 

both War Front Unraced 3YO's) are all entered in the 1 mile 3YO Maiden - All at 

Dundalk on Friday Night.


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Australia's World Class Foals 





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AIR FORCE BLUE at Curragh Last Sunday Pictures by Poster Design By Paul Rhodes




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Sword Fighter 2nd Sean O'Casey 5th at cork Sean travelled better than the winner but that ground is very testing and just faded out of it but he has a big future.



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HIGHLAND REEL 4th in the 2016 Sheema Classic at Meydan a solid start to the season tried to do it the hard way just got tired more to come from him later on.



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SEAN O'CASEY Set for his Debut today he was given a name that was kept for years here's what the pro Journo's think.




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The Reel Deal HIGHLAND REEL Working at Meydan


 




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Joseph Article in tomorrows racing post




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     RYAN MOORE - REEL is my best chance of a winner 

 


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Cork Entries Saturday include the very exciting unraced Galileo Colt SEAN O'CASEY



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Queen Anne option for New Recruit Vancouver

  • Last Updated: March 21 2016, 13:49 GMT

Aidan O'Brien is considering a tilt at the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with his exciting Australian recruit Vancouver.

Aidan O'Brien: Exciting plans for Vancouver

Aidan O'Brien: Exciting plans for Vancouver

The Medaglia D'Oro colt showed his worth over shorter distances during his juvenile campaign Down Under when trained by Gai Waterhouse, most notably landing the Golden Slipper at Rosehill.

However, O'Brien feels his charge is capable of stepping up in distance and the Royal Ascot curtain-raiser is a potential target.

"He's been with me three weeks and he's doing one canter, he'll step up to two and we'll prepare him hopefully for Ascot," said the Ballydoyle handler.

"We'll be thinking six furlongs or a mile with him. I thought he would be a miler and I'd be thinking about the Queen Anne, even though he has shown six-furlong pace in Australia."


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O'Brien team work at Curragh

  • Last Updated: March 20 2016, 19:40 GMT

Leading Classic contenders Air Force Blue, Hit It A Bomb and Minding were among those to work after racing at the Curragh as Aidan O'Brien put 50 horses through their paces. -

Heffernan aboard Tattersalls Gold Cup hope Found 

Heffernan aboard Tattersalls Gold Cup hope Found 

Horses from Coolmore Stud on a post race gallop at Curragh Racecourse

Horses from Coolmore Stud on a post race gallop at Curragh Racecourse

Air Force Blue and Seamus Heffernan 

Air Force Blue and Seamus Heffernan 

Air Force Blue heads the betting for the Qipco 2000 Guineas after completing a hat-trick of Group One successes as a two-year-old in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Fillies' Mile heroine Minding is likewise at the top of the market for the 1000 Guineas, while Hit It A Bomb looks set for the French 2000 Guineas having finished his juvenile season with victory at the Breeders' Cup.

O'Brien, who sent his runners out in five groups, said: "They probably went a bit quicker this year, the ground was a bit better. It's probably the first year we've come here and the ground has been a bit drier. Obviously it's still testing, but not as deep.

"Seamus (Heffernan) was very happy with Air Force Blue. He cruised up the middle. It's five weeks to the Guineas and we'll probably go straight there. He was very happy with where we're at.

"Hit It A Bomb might go to the French Guineas if the other horse goes to Newmarket. He might go for a trial there if he's going. He's done very well and he's carrying plenty (of condition) - a trial would help him.

"General Macarthur, Port Douglas, Idaho, Beacon Rock will all get middle distances and we'll look at trials for them. Johannes Vermeer has pace, but might start off in a Derby trial. Landofhopeandglory and Shogun will definitely stay."

Aidan O'Brien"Ballydoyle will stick to fast ground and could go for the French Guineas if the other one (Minding) goes for the English one. Seamus seemed very happy with Minding, we'll look to the English Guineas but she wouldn't want it like concrete."
Aidan O'Brien

He went on: "Somehow looks a nice filly, she's a maiden. How High The Moon will probably go for a Guineas trial, Coolmore looks like she'll stay. Dean Gallagher said she's lazy but came home very well.

"Even Song will probably go for the mile Guineas trial, Alice Springs a seven-furlong Guineas trial. Ballydoyle will stick to fast ground and could go for the French Guineas if the other one (Minding) goes for the English one.

"Seamus seemed very happy with Minding, we'll look to the English Guineas but she wouldn't want it like concrete.

"Cook Islands, Pat (Smullen) liked him, he won at Navan. Kingfisher will start off in the stayers' trials and so will Bondi Beach. Father Christmas will probably end up at Ascot in a mile-and-a-half race. Sir Isaac Newton, we are trying to think what his trip is, Joseph (O'Brien) thinks he will get a mile and a quarter if he settles.

"The Ghurka came up in front of his group, he's a horse we always liked and he had colic surgery last year. Seventh Heaven, Colm (O'Donoghue) liked her a lot. Found, Seamus was very happy with her. She might come back here for the Mooresbridge or to work, with a view to getting her ready for the Tattersalls (Gold Cup)."

Assessing the progress of his string, O'Brien said: "The filly ran well in the Group race (on Sunday), she just got a bit tired and the two horses in the maiden ran well. I think they are forward enough."

COOLMORE from Our Friend Sue Maguire 


AIR FORCE BLUE from Our Friend Sue Maguire 


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Claudio Monteverdi & Bravery getting ready to roll from Our Friend Sue Maguire 




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Ballydoyle After Racing work groups and Jockeys




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Fluff finishes 5th in the Lodge Park Group 3 at the Curragh she needed the run looked a bit ring rusty plenty more to come from her.

Fluff Getting ready for her run in the Lodge Park Stakes G3 Picture from Our 

Friend Sue Maguire




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GOLDEN MOMENT 



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After Racing work Groups Curragh Sunday



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Colm O’Donoghue will ride for Jessica Harrington “Colm is going to ride more or less everything we run on the flat this season.”


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Sea caps off great day for the O'Briens

Donnacha O'Brien (orange, on the rail) gets Sea Of Blue home from Locus Standi and Maple Hill
Donnacha O'Brien (orange, on the rail) gets Sea Of Blue home from Locus Standi and Maple Hill
(Healy Racing Photos)

The O'Brien family's Sea Of Blue was popular in the betting this morning, even before Ivanovich Gorbatov did them proud in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. The Fastnet Rock filly capped off a great day for the record-breaking clan in the finale at Dundalk, the Crowne Plaza Dundalk Race & Stay Handicap.

The successful four-year-old eventually went off the 13/8 favourite, and she responded well to Donnacha O'Brien's urgings to get up close home to defeat second market choice, Locus Standi, by a neck, with the same margin back to Maple Hill in third.

"She's idle but she was gutsy when I asked her, and hopefully there is another one in her," commented the winning rider.

(AM & EM)


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The United States Wins The 2016 Ranvet Stakes

Coming off a tough run in the Blamey Stakes, The United States took inside splits to win the Ranvet Stakes.

 The United States gets a G1 in the Ranvet

                              The United States gets a G1 in the Ranvet Photo by Racing and Sports



Backing up after a long neck second last Saturday over the 1600m in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes at Flemington, the Robert Hickmott-trained The United States settled at the tail of the field on the inside of Chris Waller’s Weary.

With a solid tempo set up front by the lone mare in the field, the Waterhouse-trained Bohemian Lily, Kool Company settled in second position while Dibayani was slightly over racing in third.

Mongolian Khan started to come along the rail to track the leader, putting himself in a challenging position.

Race favourite Hauraki settled back in the field for jockey James McDonald, with the son of Reset coming into the race off the back of a third behind Winx in the Group 1 Chipping Norton StakesAs the leaders Bohemian Lily and Kool Kompany began to weaken on the point of the turn, Dibayani began to work into the race strongly, while it appeared as if we would see the Criterion (NZ) of old as the $7 million earner commenced his run on the outside of the field.

With all the eyes on the runners down the outside, McEvoy took the opportunity to steer The United States (Galileo) towards the inside of the track and surged between Mongolian Khan and Bohemian Lily to hit the lead and take the race by three parts of a length from favourite Hauraki (Reset) in a time of 2:03.17, with a final last 600m in 34.52 on the good 4 rated track.

Starting at $5.30 on the NSW TAB and $5.50 on fixed odds the win was the first at Group 1 level for The United States.

Three and a quarter lengths back in third was the multiple Group 1 winner Criterion, indicating that next time in the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth should see him spot on for his final race start before retirement to stud.

Off the back of the results, Hauraki firmed from $26.00 to $15.00 for Queen Elizabeth betting, while Criterion and Mongolian Khan stayed at their prices of $11.00 and $15.00 respectively.

Speaking on behalf of the owners, Nick Williams clearly highlighted the Cox Plate as the next target for the six-year-old entire.

“It’s fantastic all of these guys have been in a lot of horses with us and we have had a bit of luck along the way and to win this race which is one of the biggest days of racing in NSW in the autumn is a real honour and to have all my mates in it is great,” stated Williams.

“I’m not sure I was confident but the horse came through last week well and just bounced straight off it and that made the decision very easy to come up here, we would not have brought him if he wasn’t in perfect order even off that hard race.

“He is very, very tough, you saw he had seven runs in the spring he can go to the paddock now as a Group 1 winner and we can get him ready for the Cox Plate.

When questioned about a possible run in the Melbourne Cup, Williams turned the focus clearly back to the success in the Ranvet.

“He didn’t get a very good ride last year but I guess there was probably 21 bad rides in last year’s Melbourne Cup but it’s not about the Melbourne Cup it’s about winning this race and to win a time honoured race like the Ranvet.”

Riding The United States for the first time, McEvoy was confident of a forward showing.

“He was third up today but backing up within a week so it was a great job by Rob (Robert Hickmott) and his team and Lloyd and Nick (Williams). It looked a nice race on paper.

“Well played Lloyd and Nick (Williams) for picking out this race after last start where he was only just beaten. It was a nice race for him today.”

“We came here quietly confident that he would run really well.”

“We were awkwardly placed, last on the rail but I thought to myself I would cut the corner because I’ve got a better turn of foot than these.

“He really quickened up through a gap and I was in front within 100 yards. He showed good acceleration.

“He was full of running on the line and he is a handy horse in his own right, he showed that in the spring when he was great in the Moonee Valley Cup. His two runs back have shown he has been in good order.”

“He is great to ride. Rob (Robert Hickmott) said he was push button and that is exactly what he was.”

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After Racing work Groups Curragh Sunday



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Just 3 runners on Open day at the Curragh on Sunday id imagine only one will run in the maiden



Gorbatov takes Triumph for O'Briens



Gorbatov takes Triumph for O'Briens

 Ivanovich Gorbatov (right) tackles Apple's Jade


Ivanovich Gorbatov gave Aidan O'Brien his first Festival winner since the mighty Istabraq when storming home in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.

O'Brien has very much concentrated on the Flat since Istabraq captured the third of his Champion Hurdles in 2000, but Ivanovich Gorbatov (9-2 favourite) was well worth the wait.

O'Brien's son Joseph, who has recently retired from riding, has been supervising the young hurdler's preparation ahead of getting his full training licence and Ivanovich Gorbatov, owned by JP McManus, delivered in style to give jockey Barry Geraghty his first success of the week.

Relishing the better ground, Ivanovich Gorbatov made up for his defeat at Leopardstown to account for two horses from the all-conquering Willie Mullins stable, with Apple's Jade beaten a length and a quarter in second and Footpad six lengths away in third.

Geraghty said: "I've been banking on this lad all week. I've had a couple of good rides and they've been running well, but it's good to get a score on the board.

"He's only had two runs over hurdles and three on the Flat, I'd say he's a horse who can do it well and it's nice to do it for the boss. Joseph has done brilliantly, he told me the first day what he was, he loved him and he loved him for today. He had him so well schooled - I'd say he (Joseph) can only do well (training)."

Joseph O'Brien said: "It's unbelievable, I don't think it's sunk in yet. It's very hard to put into words what I'm thinking right now.

"I was very hopeful but Barry was more confident than anyone, he rode him the last day and was happy to put a line through it, he just said the ground was to blame. We were very happy today because the ground was very different.

"It's not really sunk in yet. It's hard to compare (to winning the Derby) but it's right up there."

Aidan O'Brien added: "It's unbelievable to be here and it's happened. The last time I saw him was in Ballydoyle and I've just seen him at the races since. It's a great team effort. I'm delighted for Joseph, JP and everyone.

"Joseph rode him to win on the Flat and I always thought this was the closest to him (Istabraq) that we have had."

McManus said: "It's nice to get Barry off the mark and it's good for the lads down at Piltown.

"He's had to make a bit of a comeback after Leopardstown (beaten at odds-on in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle), but they never lost faith. Joseph thought he was a bit heavy that day, that he could have taken more off him, so he had him much fitter today.

"Joseph's record already speaks for itself. I don't think it's any surprise to Joseph that he's won today."





Barry Geraghty guides Ivanovich Gorbatov (right) home in front in the JCB Triumph Hurdle

Aidan O'Brien




      












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How a colt called Galileo became the horse of a lifetime

Galileo, ridden by Michael Kinane, is one of the most impressive Epsom Derby winners for years. Photo: Martin Lynch/Racingfotos.com
Galileo, ridden by Michael Kinane, is one of the most impressive Epsom Derby winners for years. Photo: Martin 

 


MARCH 17, 2016

With the Irish flat season getting under way for 2016 at the Curragh on Sunday, Donn McClean salutes the phenomenal stallion who has dominated racing there for years and has just become only the second horse to be inducted into Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s Hall of Fame.

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When Galileo was inducted into the ITBA Hall of Fame earlier this year, it was just another accolade bestowed on a horse of a lifetime.

There were accolades from the start. Galileo was given every chance in life, a son of Coolmore’s peerless stallion Sadler’s Wells (the only other horse to be inducted into the ITBA Hall of Fame) out of David Tsui’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea, who would become one of the most prolific broodmares of the modern era. Add to that the fact that he was trained during his racing career by Aidan O’Brien, and that he was ridden in all but one of his races by Michael Kinane, and it would have been surprising if Galileo had not been successful.  

But this successful? As successful as he was? As successful as he is?  Even with all that in his favour, you could still only have dreamed.  

Galileo didn’t make his racecourse debut until October of his juvenile year, a bout of coughing keeping him off the track until then. Of course, his reputation had preceded him, so when he walked into the parade ring at Leopardstown on that winter’s day at the end of October in 2000, the bookmakers chalked him up at 2-5.

But confidence ebbed.  The ground was heavy and the opposition packed promise. All the top Irish yards were represented. By the time the stalls opened, you could have backed the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt at even money.

But those who did never had a moment’s worry. Galileo eased his way through the ground under Kinane, hit the front well outside the furlong pole and coasted to a bloodless victory, 14 lengths clear of his closest pursuer.

Then the dreaming started in earnest.

Galileo was not prepared for the Guineas as a 3-year-old, Aidan O’Brien preferring instead to tread the Derby path that Sinndar had trod the previous year: Ballysax Stakes, Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Epsom Derby. He duly danced in in the Ballysax, then stayed on strongly to land the Derrinstown.  

That was the only occasion on which Kinane did not ride Galileo. The champion jockey was on duty in France, busy riding Rose Gypsy to victory in the French 1,000 Guineas. So Seamie Heffernan deputised on Galileo at Leopardstown, and gave him a copybook ride.

 

Recipients of the ITBA Hall of Fame award

2015

Galileo

2014

Sheikh Hamdan

2013

Jim Bolger

2012

Denis Brosnan

2011

Sir Edmund Loder

2010

No inductee (special award given in respect of Urban Sea)

2009

Sadler’s  Wells  

2008

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

2007

Tim Hyde

2006

Liam Cashman

2005

Michael Osborne

2004

David Pim

2003

Stan Cosgrove

2002

Alan Lillingston

2000

Sonia Rogers

1999

John Magnier

1998

Mr and Mrs Walter Haefner

1997

The Aga Khan

 

Kinane was back on board at Epsom, however, when Galileo beat the Guineas winner Golan by three and a half lengths. It was a landmark victory, not just because he was one of the most impressive Derby winners we had seen in years, the best in 10 years according to Timeform, but also because he was Aidan O’Brien’s first, and Ballydoyle’s first since Golden Fleece in 1982.

Galileo followed up in the Irish Derby – providing Kinane with his first Irish Derby – when he had Golan even further back in third place than he had been at Epsom, before he lined up against older horses for the first time in his life in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot.

There was drama before the race and drama during the race. The pre-race drama centred on Michael Kinane, who succeeded in getting a High Court order that would allow him ride in the race. The order prevented the Turf Club from upholding a two-day ban imposed on the rider earlier that month for careless riding, the first ban he had picked up in a year and a half.

The duels with Fantastic Light

It was a cracking King George. There were six G1 winners in the line-up, and the drama unfolded in the home straight, as it came down to a dual between Galileo and the Godolphin horse Fantastic Light, the Hong Kong Cup winner, the Tattersalls Gold Cup winner, the Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner.  

Fantastic Light had to go wider than ideal as Galileo wheeled into the straight one horse-width off the inside rail, before the pair of them engaged in toe-to-toe combat that lasted for half a furlong. In the end, it was the younger horse who proved the stronger, forging forward inside the final 100 yards to record a famous victory and keep his unbeaten record intact.

Six weeks later, in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, the Godolphin horse exacted his revenge.

It was a home game for Galileo, but he was dropping back down to 10 furlongs, probably Fantastic Light’s optimum, for the first time since he had won the Derrinstown. Also, this time, it was Galileo who had to go wide into the home straight as Fantastic Light stuck to the inside rail.  Both horses ran their lungs out, but Fantastic Light prevailed by a head that was at once both thrilling and agonising, thereby inflicting on Galileo his first defeat.

It is interesting to listen to Michael Kinane speak about Galileo now.  He says that that race bottomed Galileo, that he had to dig deeper into his reserves than he ever had had to dig before. Galileo did go to Belmont Park for his swansong. He ran in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.  But that was his first run on dirt, at the end of a long, hard season, and he could never get competitive. He finished just sixth behind Tiznow and Sakhee.

The beginning of his enduring legacy

That was the end of Galileo’s racing career, but it was just the beginning of his enduring legacy. Numbered among his first crop of foals were Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime and St Leger winner Sixties Icon, who was chased home in the fifth Classic by two more sons, The Last Drop and Red Rocks. And Red Rocks went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs two months later.

Jim Bolger was an early Galileo fan. He said that he used to have to race against him often enough, so he got to see plenty of him. He used to watch him in the paddock, and he always thought that he would make a stallion.

Fellow Hall of Famer Bolger followed through too. He sent Affianced to Galileo and he bred Irish Derby and Coronation Cup winner Soldier Of Fortune. He sent Speirbhean to him, and he bred champion 2-year-old Teofilo. He bought Derby winner and Champion Stakes winner New Approach, a son of Galileo, at Goffs as a yearling.

When you start listing Galileo’s offspring, it is difficult to know where to stop. You can start with Frankel, that’s probably a good place to start, and you can list Rip Van Winkle and Australia and Gleneagles and Found and Magician.  

When Order Of St George won the Irish St Leger last September, it was the 50th time that a son or daughter of Galileo had landed a G1. And, when Galileo was crowned champion sire in Britain and Ireland last year, it was the sixth time in a row, and the seventh time in total, that he had won the title.

A measure of Galileo’s prolificacy lies in the fact that, on the evening on which he was inducted into the ITBA’s Hall of Fame, three of his offspring – Found (3-year-old filly’s award), Order Of St George (3-year-old colt) and Minding (2-year-old filly) – were also honoured.

That’s three more accolades then.




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Epsom Derby Fancy BRAVERY is out on Sunday one of 4 entered & a big team working after racing too im hearing



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      Rest In Peace Jacqueline O'Brien       

 

Was not around yesterday to post the sad news of the passing of Vincent's wife Jacqueline she was a LADY Rest In Peace Jacqueline.


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Uncle Mo at Breeders' Cup 2010

Uncle Mo: popular young sire was campaigned by Mike Repole

 PICTURE: Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos

Coolmore and Repole buy $1.3m Uncle Mo colt


THE Ocala Breeders' Sales Company kicked off its two-year-olds in training sale on Tuesday with across-the-board declines as a striking son of Uncle Mo topped the day's trading at $1.3 million.
The sales company reported 160 juveniles sold for a total $25,718,500, down 16 per cent compared with a $30,704,000 total for 169 sold in the first session in 2015.

The average fell 12 per cent from $181,680 to $160,741; this year's median was $115,000, compared with $120,000 a year ago.
Throughout the day, there was competitive bidding, especially on the top lots. Some of the highest-priced horses of the day were bought by partnerships formed at the last minute.

"It was a pretty solid day, and there are still a lot of good horses out there for tomorrow," said OBS sales director Tod Wojciechowski. "There was a lot of activity in the barns today and it wouldn't surprise me to see bigger prices tomorrow."

The Uncle Mo session-topper was bought by Mike Repole in partnership with Coolmore. Repole campaigned Uncle Mo, the champion two-year-old who stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud and was leading freshman sire last year.

Consigned as Hip 245 by Cary Frommer, the colt breezed an eighth of a mile in 10.2 seconds at the under-tack workouts before the sale.
"We loved him," said trainer Todd Pletcher, who accompanied Repole and representatives of Coolmore in the purchase. "He breezed phenomenally, was a beautiful horse on the shank and showed himself well back at the barn."

Out of the stakes-winning Sky Classic mare Setareh, the colt bred by Sierra Farm had been purchased by Frommer for $150,000 from the Paramount Sales consignment at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale. The colt was owned by Barry Berkelheimer, who has owned horses with Frommer for around ten years, and Rich Averill.

The sale of the colt marked a second huge pinhooking score by Frommer and Berkelheimer.
Earlier this month, an Uncle Mo colt bought by Frommer for $90,000 was sold for $1 million on behalf of herself and Berkelheimer at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale at Gulfstream Park. Twirling Candy colt in demand



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Mrs Jacqueline O'Brien

Jacqueline O'Brien: influential figure inside and outside racing

 PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)

Jacqueline O'Brien dies aged 89

JACQUELINE O'BRIEN, widow of Vincent O'Brien and matriarch of a family with extensive racing and bloodstock interests, has died aged 89.

A statement on Tuesday from the O'Brien family, said she passed away "peacefully this morning surrounded by her family".

Although having no previous knowledge of racing, O'Brien assisted her husband ably, and the statement added: "Jacqueline quickly became fully immersed in the business and was a tremendous support to Vincent throughout his training career.

"She was particularly good at entertaining owners allowing her husband to concentrate fully on his horses. It was fitting that Vincent's final Group 1 winner Fatherland - winner of the 1992 National Stakes - ran in Jacqueline's colours."

As well as supporting her legendary husband, O'Brien was a major figure in her own right, as an author, photographer and architectural historian.

Her publications included Great Irish Houses and Castles (1992) and Dublin, A Grand Tour, (1994), scholarly treatments of the history of her adoptive country written in collaboration with distinguished conservationist Desmond Guinness.,

Together with Ivor Herbert, she wrote Vincent O'Brien, The Official Biography (2006), a unique insight to the mind and methods of her husband, the most influential personality in the history of Irish racing and breeding in the 20th century. She also documented the colourful history of her ancestors in On We Go; the Wittenoom Way (2009).

The statement concluded: "A devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she will be sadly missed."

O'Brien is survived by her three daughters, Elizabeth [McClory], Susan [Magnier] and Jane [Myerscough], and two sons, David and Charles.



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 Good luck IVO we believe in you




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Updated By Andrew O'Brien 

Leading Sires, Top 2YO & Top 3YO Sire, First Season &, Second Season Sires, Broodmare Sire, All tables Updated > http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/latest-sires-championship…

Worldwide Group One results & Worldwide stakes results for 2016 > http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/worldwide-stakes-results-…

Coolmore Sire stats 2016 & Coolmore Sires Stakes wins by country > http://www.aidanobrienfansite.com/coolmore-sore-stats-2016.…


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He could be in for a BIG season ahead 



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APOB Gladness Stakes 2016 Entries - Air Force Blue Air Vice Marshall Dick Whittington, Cougar Mountain, The Happy Prince & Sir Isaac Newton 


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Kingfisher owned 75% Coolmore, 25% Lloyd Williams. - Bondi BeachO'l Man RiverOrder Of St George, 75% owned Lloyd Williams, 25% Coolmore & Navegante leased to Annus Mirabilis Syndicate. & Unraced 3YO Pretended - Zoffany x Delicate Charm will now run under the Derrick Smith Colours from the AMOB Colours


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3 Legends & the 3 most successful trainers of all time

This took a while to piece together but delighted how it turned out.



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Confirmed Ryan Moore will ride in the Hong Kong Derby on March 20th. Will not ride at Curragh opening meeting. & will also miss after race workers


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General Marshall and Group One Placed Duo Johann Strauss & Darwin,all going to 'ERA Horses in Training Sale' on the 28th March 16 In The UAE.


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Mick Kinane - Joseph O'Brien got the job done


Mick Kinane expects Joseph O'Brien to make a seamless transition from top jockey to successful trainer.

Kinane was one of Ireland's best-ever Flat jockeys, winning the title 13 times in a 34-year career that ended in 2009.

He was stable jockey to O'Brien's father, Aidan, between 1999 and 2003 in which he rode such stars as Galileo, Giant's Causeway and Rock Of Gibraltar. In 2001 alone they teamed up to win 17 races at Group One or Grade One level.

O'Brien was also number one at Ballydoyle and Kinane believes the 22-year-old did "remarkably well" in a difficult job, especially at such a tender age.

"For one so young he achieved an awful lot as a jockey. He can be proud of what he achieved," said Kinane, whose record tally for winners in an Irish season O'Brien broke in 2013. "It's all about success at Ballydoyle and they need stallions every year. He handled the pressure that goes with the job remarkably well. "It's a very powerful stable but he had to get the job done. "He should get the right support and he's training from a nice establishment. I'd expect him to be a success."


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New Flat Horse in Training 

 



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JUST THE JUDGE RIDDEN BY JAMIE SPENCER

Just The Judge: daughter of Lawman has a date with Dubawi

 PICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)

China Horse Club targets best suitors for mares

THE China Horse Club has come a long way in a short space of time. Not only does the operation, which is headed by chairman Teo Ah Khing, have a number of exciting racehorses on its books, but it also has an enviable squad of broodmares, writes Tom Pennington.

Inca Princess, who like many of the club's mares is owned in partnership, is the pick of the bunch.

The Holy Roman Emperor eight-year-old is responsible for last season's Criterium International winner Johannes Vermeer and she heads back to his sire Galileo this year.

"She's a very good young mare and a lovely one to be involved in," said agent Mick Flanagan, who advises the China Horse Club. "Johannes Vermeer is very exciting. I saw him a couple of weeks ago and he's filled out and put on weight. The team at Ballydoyle are very sweet on him for this year and the 2,000 Guineas looks likely to be his first target."

Classic-winning miler and Canadian Grade 1 winner Just The Judge, who the China Horse Club owns with Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, will be covered by Darley linchpin Dubawi for her first mating this year.

The Lawman mare made 4,500,000gns at Tattersalls in 2014 when Sheikh Fahad bought out the Sangster family before selling a 50 per cent share to the China Horse Club.

"We received a picture of Just The Judge recently and she looks great," said Flanagan. "She's letting down into a beautiful mare. She's a good mover and Dubawi will be a great match. We can't wait to see the resulting progeny.

"With regards to the future, I'm not sure what will happen with her offspring. We'll make the decision when they're born, but I wouldn't rule out either retaining them to race or selling.

"Both the owners like to sell and to race. She would be a fairly important cornerstone of the broodmare band for both camps and both principals have a little bit of a soft spot for her, so I wouldn't be surprised if her offspring were kept to race."

The China Horse Club also owns a 50 per cent stake in Muravka, the dam of Group 1-winning two-year-old The Wow Signal who visits last year's champion first-season sire Zoffany this season.

"She's a good young mare," said Flanagan. "Zoffany proved last year he's capable of producing speedy, precocious stock. We sold a Rock Of Gibraltar filly out of the mare to Mark Johnston last year. She didn't bring what we'd hoped, only making £80,000 at DBS, but she was very nice.

"Muravka has a No Nay Never colt foal on the ground who is a very good type - strong and correct."

Another mare destined for Zoffany is Group 3-winning sprinter Ponty Acclaim, who was bought by the China Horse Club and Marlhill House Stud for 300,000gns at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale in 2014.

"Ponty Acclaim has had a colt by Australia this year," said Flanagan. "She was a very quick mare and should be a good match for Zoffany, who's a proven horse with speed. She could produce a very quick offspring."

Melito, a dual Group 1 winner in Australia who the China Horse Club has a 25 per cent share in, heads to Galileo this year.

"She's by Redoute's Choice [a son of Danehill] and everyone knows how successful the Galileo-Danehill cross has been," said Flanagan. "She was trained in Australia by Gerald Ryan, who is a serious trainer of sprinters. She was quick and is a very good-looking mare. When you send Galileo a quick mare the resulting offspring could just change your life. We're doing the obvious and hopefully it works."

Fix, a multiple Group 2 winner in New Zealand, will also visit Galileo this year.

The Iffraaj mare was knocked down to Tom Magnier for A$1.25 million at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale last year and the China Horse Club owns a 25 per cent share.

"She was a high-class racemare," said Flanagan. "She's a gorgeous looker and went up to Coolmore well before Christmas in preparation for her first cover. She's exciting."

Several leading breeding operations have been quick to snap up shares in Siyouni, including the China Horse Club, which has two mares slated to visit the Haras de Bonneval resident.

They are Ultra Appeal, a seven-year-old daughter of Lawman who was bought by the China Horse Club for 110,000gns at Tattersalls in 2014, and the Acclamation three-year-old Soteria, who was secured as a yearling for 300,000gns.

"Ultra Appeal will be bred on the nomination we have with one of the shares," said Flanagan. "She's boarding at the Aga Khan's stud in Normandy and had a colt foal by Australia recently.

"Soteria was bought as a yearling and didn't set the world alight on the track, but she has a very good pedigree [half-sister to stakes performers Gallagher, Quick Wit and Roodeye] and is a good looker.

"Soteria went out for a race the other day but got messed about in the stalls. She was loaded but something started her off, she misbehaved and the handlers backed her out of the stalls, after which she wouldn't go back in. So we decided to call it a day with her and she's also in Normandy, letting down."

Australia, who Teo Ah Khing raced in partnership with Coolmore to win the Derby and the Irish equivalent plus the Juddmonte International, will receive a number of the China Horse Club's mares again this year, including Listed winner Thai Haku and maiden scorer Sugar House, whose dam Malibu Mint struck at Grade 1 level.

"The foals by Australia I've seen this year have been fantastic," said Flanagan. "I saw six last week and they were all very straightforward with good front legs and were great movers.

"Breeders sometimes get a bit cagey when it comes to a stallion's second season, but I'd have a lot of confidence breeding to Australia. He's all class; by a champion out of a champion, and I'd be very sweet on him.

"Every time I see him he looks better. He's a great mover with good balance and a great length of hip. He has everything and his foals are measuring up pretty well."

The China Horse Club will also be supporting Triple Crown hero American Pharoah at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and will be sending the Dixie Union mare Who Is Camille, who was bought for $290,000 in 2014, and Dundalk Dust, a nine-year-old daughter of the Danzig stallion Military.


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BEST IN THE WORLD Epsom Oaks Darkhorse




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Cant wait to see him in 2016 can see him dominating the mile division all season long TEAM-AFB




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One of my All Time Favorites SO YOU THINK the hype around him when he moved to Ballydoyle was unreal I thought he was unbeatable



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“Wesley Ward’s Thoughts On Three Coolmore Owned Horses”



HOOTENANNY (c, 4, Quality Road) From the first crop of multi group 1 winner Quality Road, Hootenanny boasts quite an impressive international resume for a lightly raced horse. Winner of Royal Ascot’s 2014 Windsor Castle, the Coolmore runner finished second next out when shipped to France for Deauville’s group1 Darley Prix Morny and capped off his juvenile campaign with a victory in the grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. A dominant 6 1/4-length winner of his sophomore bow in a Keeneland allowance last April, he was a disappointing 11th when last seen at Ascot in the group 1 Commonwealth Cup last June. Hootenanny has been working well over the Turfway Park all-weather since late December, most recently breezing five furlongs in 1:01.40 on the 27th February.  


His shoulder seemed to be bugging him [after Ascot]. He is a really big horse in the front end, so we just turned him out and we gave him five or six months off. He seems to be doing really good. No plans yet for his first start back. He’s training in Kentucky, so he will probably race at Keeneland.

hootmar.jpg


ACAPULCO (f, 3, Scat Daddy) Ward took a big leap of faith last year when sending Acapulco to Royal Ascot off a third-place effort in her debut on the dirt at Churchill last May, but the filly proved him right with a sensational victory in the grassy group 2 Queen Mary S. A victory so impressive in fact, that Ward decided to do the unthinkable once again and sent the Coolmore representative to York to face her elders of both sexes in the group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe that August. Setting the early pace, the chestnut filly was tagged late by the 4-year-old filly Mecca’s Angel and finished a valiant second. Given the rest of the year off, Acapulco returned a winner in a six-panel allowance over the Turfway synthetic February 19th. I thought her race [at Turfway] was really good. It was a little bit tougher of a race than I would have expected. The filly that was second ran a big race. I had to run a nine on the Ragozin sheets to win the race, which you wouldn’t expect at Turfway in February. My hats off to the filly that finished second. She made Acapulco run.

She came out of the race fantastic. It will probably be closer to 60 days from start to start when we get over to Keeneland and try to pick a nice race out for her. Her main goal is Ascot this year in whatever one of the three sprints that the Coolmore guys pick out. That’s the main target, so we are going to pick another spot here shortly and hopefully have two runs more before she goes over there, one at Keeneland and one somewhere else.


acapfeb.jpg

WAR ENVOY (c, 4, War Front) Owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and breeder Joseph Allen, War Envoy spent most of his career in Europe with Aidan O’Brien, winning an Ascot handicap there June 18th and returning just nine days later to finish fourth at the Curragh June 27th. Returning four months later in America, the bay finished last of 11 behind a sensational Liam’s Map when trying dirt for the first time in the grade 1  Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile October 30th and he was subsequently transferred to Ward. War Envoy finished second in his debut for this outfit in a Tampa optional claimer and is currently in Barbados preparing for the Barbados Gold Cup Saturday.


He’s done everything right. I’ve won a race down there in the sprint and I’ve raced in the Gold Cup before. He’s training excellent and he shipped down perfect. My rider Mario Pino knows the horse very well. He’s got some antics to him. He rode him [at Tampa] and he was beaten and he felt if he had known the horse as well as he does now, he wouldn’t have gotten beat. Mario is going to get on the horse every day up until the race, so hopefully we will have some luck. I am going to head down with my kids Thursday night. My boss Mr. Ramsey is in the race and he is tough to beat. He’s won a couple in a row, but we will give it our best go at my boss!

warenvoymar.jpg




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Another record breaking month for AOBFS hitting over 9,000 Unique visitors in Feb 2016 AOBFS Just keeps growing

                


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First outing for Australia Champion 2 year old Vancouver on the world famous 

Ballydoyle gallops Donnacha O'Brien in the Saddle



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35 entries for the 2016 Ivestec Derby from Ballydoyle 

A Year To Remember, Air Vice Marshal, Beacon Rock, Big Ben, Black Hawk War, Black Sea, Bravery, Claudio Monteverdi, Cole Porter, Cook Islands, Crocodile Shoes, Deauville, General Macarthur, Hit It A Bomb, Housesofparliament, Idaho, Johannes Vermeer, Kellstorm, Landofhopeandglory, London, Monarch, Pietro Testa, Port Douglas, Romanesque, San Francisco, Santiago de Cuba, Sean O'Casey, Shogun, Sword Fighter, The Gurkha, The Major General, Three Star General, Treasure Chest, Unicorn, US Army Ranger


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Minding heads 1000 Guineas hopefuls


The Aidan O'Brien-trained Minding
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Minding
(Healy Racing Photos)

The Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 1 has attracted an initial entry of 63, including European Champion Juvenile Filly Minding.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained daughter of Galileo was top of her generation last year thanks to victories in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Fillies' Mile.

Nathra, Hawksmoor, Coolmore and Beautiful Morning chased her home in the latter at Newmarket in October and they all feature amongst the possibles.

Cheveley Park Stakes winner Lumiere is also entered along with her three closest pursuers back in September - Illuminate, Besharah and Alice Springs.

Kenny McPeek is hoping Dothraki Queen can break new ground by becoming the first American horse to line up in the Guineas.

The daughter of Pure Prize has a turf success to her name, as well as a Grade Two dirt victory, and showed up well when finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland last October.

She subsequently disappointed at Churchill Downs but McPeek is eager to put a line through that run and focus on a Classic attempt.

He said: "To win the 1000 Guineas would be beyond special and Dothraki Queen has already shown enough class to justify giving it a shot.

"She's won a Grade Two race and been runner-up in a Grade One, so a win at the top level has to be her goal and going for the Guineas followed by the Epsom Oaks looks like a good option.

"She certainly has the talent to be competitive over a mile - you don't come to a gunfight with a water pistol.

"People don't know that I have been taking horses to England since long before Wesley Ward began to do so and almost every one of my runners there has pleased me. I think that English racing is very special, I have always been attracted to the history of the sport - and it is a life goal of mine to win an English Classic.

"Dothraki Queen has done most of her racing on dirt but she won her maiden by seven lengths on grass and the way that she moves, together with the number of top turf horses on the dam's side of her pedigree, mean that I believe that her career is best served as a grass horse.

"She shouldn't have any trouble handling the conditions at the Rowley Mile as I have my own grass gallops on my farm in Kentucky that are a bit like Warren Hill in Newmarket.

"In hindsight, I wish that I had not run her after the Breeders' Cup - she was over the top and ran flat - but she has rested and regrouped since then and is bigger and stronger now.

"She has had three workouts at Oaklawn Park and is about a month off her first run of the season. After that we will make a final decision about shipping her over."



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A Look Ahead: Ballydoyle’s Aidan O’Brien

AidanO'Brien

1) Horse you are most looking forward to seeing this season?

AOB: It’s impossible not to be excited about Air Force Blue (War Front). I’d say there’s no doubt that he’s the best 2-year-old we’ve had and we’re very happy with the way he has come through the winter. He’s got size, he’s got scope – he’s just a very special horse. I’m also greatly looking forward to another son of War Front in Hit It a Bomb. He’s another very talented racehorse.


2) A stallion who could feature prominently (doesn’t have to be first season)?

AOB: Excelebration (Exceed And Excel was a very good horse for us a few years ago and I really like what I’ve seen of the 2-year-olds we have from his first crop. They’re doing everything right so far. I see Power (Oasis Dream was quoted at 16-1 to be champion first-season sire last week. Judged on the ones we have here that looks to be a huge price.


3) Positive change you would like to see for the industry in 2016?

AOB: Irish Champions Weekend was a great initiative and has been very well supported in its first two years, both by trainers from at home and abroad and by the racing public. It would be great to see a similar promotional drive behind the Irish Classics. We’re seeing sizable prize-money increases for the best races all around the world so good prize-money is key to attracting the best horses.




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