Beyond Brilliance Wins Fairyhouse Maiden 

A Big Thumbs Up From Aidan


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Anna is very happy with that 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Thomas Weekes, quotes from Gary Carson


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DANEHILL DANCER FILM

 

 



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                            AIDAN OBRIEN G1 WINNERS GALLERY PAGE UPDATED



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Australia heads O'Brien four

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

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


Australia: Heads O'Brien quartet

Australia: Heads O'Brien quartet

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

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

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

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



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O'Brien five in Oaks frame

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

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


Marvellous: In the Oaks picture

Marvellous: In the Oaks picture

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

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

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

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


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

 

 

 


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Chaucer defects from Chantilly

  • Last Updated: May 28 2014, 12:47 BST

Leading Investec Derby candidate Geoffrey Chaucer has been taken out of Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.


Geoffrey Chaucer: Been taken out of the French Derby.

Geoffrey Chaucer: Been taken out of the French Derby.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt attracted plenty of Epsom support last week and he has now been ruled out of the French Classic, but Dante hero The Grey Gatsby still remains for Kevin Ryan while Roger Varian has Ayrad in the mix.

Prince Gibraltar, a Group One-winning juvenile and Prix Greffulhe hero, heads the field for Jean-Claude Rouget, who won the Classic with Le Havre back in 2009. The trainer also has Gonna Run under consideration.

French 2000 Guineas Karakontie remains on course for trainer Jonathan Pease, with Longchamp runner-up Prestige Vendome a possible to reoppose along with fifth-placed Galiway.


Shamkiyr is the Aga Khan's only contender.
Stillman and Wild Chief could add a German flavour to the 10-furlong showpiece.



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Australia set to champion O'Brien into racing folklore

Australia set to champion O’Brien into racing folklore












When the time comes, racing’s adoring faithful will look back on Aidan O’Brien as arguably one of the greatest trainers of all time.

His name will undoubtedly be etched in the folklore of our great sport alongside the likes of his Ballydoyle predecessor Vincent O’Brien, the inimitable riding sensation Lester Piggott and the late, great and much-loved Sir Henry Cecil.

All of the above had their defining moments in racing.

Vincent O’Brien trained Nijinsky to Triple Crown success in 1970 - a feat not repeated since - Lester Piggott rode an incredible nine victories in the Epsom Derby and Sir Henry Cecil will forever be synonymous with the world’s all-time highest-rated racehorse and QIPCO British Champions Series legend, Frankel.

Now, Aidan O’Brien has a chance to ensure that he has his place amongst the greats with his own unique and career-defining feat with Investec Derby hope, Australia.

The likes of legendary Victorian handler John Porter, record-equalling seven-time Derby winner Fred Darling and more recently Sir Michael Stoute, managed to win back-to-back Derbys. However, no-one has ever been able to saddle three consecutive victories in the British Classic’s fine 233-year history.

Having saddled Camelot in 2012, to a comfortable five-length win, and Ruler of The World to triumph last year, the ability of Australia on Saturday 7 June is likely to determine whether the Ballydoyle master can claim a masterful hat-trick at Epsom Downs.

By a Derby champion, Galileo, and out of an Oaks heroine, Ouija Board, Australia is certainly bred for glory at Epsom’s illustrious and undulating course. His racecourse performances thus far have also signalled potential stardom.

Australia's exploits in Ireland as a two-year-old, especially when coasting to a six-length Group 3 success at Leopardstown last September, led O’Brien to proclaim that he was the ‘best horse they had ever had’.

Putting that into context, that’s better than Classic winners High Chaparral, Henrythenavigator and Rock of Gibraltar.

That’s more impressive than Royal Ascot victors So You Think, Duke of Marmalade and Fame and Glory.

That’s more superior than four-time Ascot Gold Cup hero, Yeats, three-time Coronation Cup champion St Nicholas Abbey and Australia’s father, the stunning Galileo.

O’Brien’s words should never be taken lightly.

Australia’s reappearance to the track earlier this month saw him finish half a length behind Night of Thunder and Kingman in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, despite having the disadvantage of not having had a preparation run before the British Classic, unlike Kingman and Night of Thunder.

His performance, which he will be stronger for, demonstrated and emphasised the necessary traits of a potential Derby icon.

With a steely determination and excellent balance, if Australia is as good as O’Brien believes him to be – his star could well be a comprehensive winner at Epsom.

Australia will now head straight to the Surrey-based track for the British Classic. His likely competitors will come in the form of stable mate Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gosden’s Western Hymn – neither of which have a profile that screams a Derby champion.

The lack of serious challengers that have emerged from the host of Derby trials around Europe have pointed in one direction. That direction being towards Australia.

If he can cast aside the camber and take in his stride Tattenham Corner, Australia could provide Ballydoyle’s supremo with his place in racing’s rich and prestigious tapestry of heroes.

That place for Aidan O’Brien and Australia beckons.


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O'Brien on the War path at Naas

Wed 28th May 2014, 17:06
War Envoy winning at Naas last month
War Envoy winning at Naas last month
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien has entered his unbeaten juvenile pair The Great War and War Envoy in Monday's Alfred Nobel Rochestown Stakes at Naas.

As their names would suggest, both are by the increasingly influential stallion War Front, and the former has already scored at Tipperary and the Curragh, while the latter won his only start over this course and distance.

The Great War was taken out of the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh last weekend because of the ground.

Richard Hannon picked up the Naas Listed event in 2011 with Lilbourne Lad and has entered Kool Kompany, Wild Tobacco and Dr No, who are all maiden winners.

Jim Bolger used the Rochestown as a springboard to the Coventry Stakes win of Dawn Approach two years ago, and the County Carlow trainer can choose from Intense Style and the unraced Letter Focus.

Andy Slattery is looking to run Sors, a maiden who found only long odds-on favourite Cappella Sansevero too strong in the Marble Hill.

"I was actually a bit disappointed. He was a bit green early on and stayed on stronger than any of them at the end. He's a big lazy and backwards, but he's absolutely super after the race and it seems to have brought him a lot," said Slattery.

"He's entered in the Phoenix Stakes, but he's that well that I want to get him out quick enough. There's a race over six furlongs at Naas next Monday and that's where we'll be going, I think."

Cappella Sansevero's trainer Ger Lyons can choose from Dandyleekie and Convergence.



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After 16 hours working on it i have finished GALILEO'S EMPIRE (New Version) Really pleased how it turned out Superior to the last One




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Don't write off O'Brien's second or third strings in the Derby at Epsom

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Danehill Dancer Retired From Stud Duties (Will make Video of his best offspring over next few days)


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Ballinrobe double for McManus/O'Brien/Power


Tue 27th May 2014, 19:43
King Leon (Robbie Power) is followed around the bypassed last by Keppols Queen and Most Peculiar
King Leon (Robbie Power) is followed around the bypassed last by Keppols Queen and Most Peculiar
(Healy Racing Photos)
J P McManus, Aidan O'Brien and Robbie Power completed a short-priced double at Ballinrobe when King Leon made just about all in the McHale Fusion Vario Maiden Hurdle.

When they had to bypass the final hurdle in the two and a half miler (Westend Music took a heavy fall there with a circuit to go) King Leon looked a bit vulnerable but he kept up the gallop to see off Keppols Queen and Most Peculiar by a length and half a length.

Power, earlier a winner in the green and gold on Plinth in the first, disclosed: "We always thought he was a jumper and this will be his game. Whatever he does over hurdles will be a bonus as he will make a lovely chaser. He stays really well.

"I didn't want to make it but he jumped the first two hurdles so well that he ended up in front and we know he stays really well.

"He was jumping so well that I would have preferred to have jumped the last, he had a good auld look at the orange flags. He is going to make a lovely chaser one day."

Meanwhile McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "That was grand - he got it done grand. He battled away well and he jumped well.

"He is big enough to jump a fence down the road and we will see where we'll go from here. He goes on that ground." (DM & EM)


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Plinth makes the most of opportunity

Tue 27th May 2014, 18:25
Plinth lets fly at the last under Robbie Power from Ningbo Express
Plinth lets fly at the last under Robbie Power from Ningbo Express
The Grade 1 placed Plinth (1/6 out to 1/5) achieved what was expected of him with a win in the opening McHale Fusion 3 Hurdle at Ballinrobe.

A quick jump took Aidan O'Brien's Montjeu gelding to the front at the third last.

However it wasn't long before sweet travelling second favourite Ningbo Expresswas on his tail. < Plinth launched himself at the last though and fended off Ningbo Express on the run-in, by a length and a half with twenty nine lengths back toRufino in third.

Winning rider Robbie Power said: "He done it well but he was in front on his own for a long time and he just got very lairy. I had loads of horse left.

"He was good and long at the last and he was brave and you couldn't ask for anymore really.

"He'll probably go further as he'd get two and a half no problem."

Frank Berry, racing manager to successful owner J P McManus, stated: "I'd say an extra half mile won't go astray on him somewhere down the line. At the minute we'll stick to around this.

"It was grand to get it out of the way and he kept it simple and he jumped well and Robbie was happy with him." (DM & EM)


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       Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight 27-05-14

 


 

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Adelaide has Chantilly option

  • Last Updated: May 27 2014, 13:57 BST

Sunday's impressive Currragh scorer Adelaide is among 21 horses going forward for this weekend's Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.


Adelaide:French Derby option

Adelaide:French Derby option

Aidan O'Brien's charge was narrowly beaten in Longchamp's Prix Hocquart on his three-year-old debut and returned to Irish soil to slam stable companion Mekong River in the Group Three Gallinule Stakes.

The Galileo colt could turn out quickly for the French Derby, although the master of Ballydoyle also has Johann Strauss and Geoffrey Chaucer in contention.

The latter is expected to join stable companion Australia in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday week.

 



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Major Oaks move for magic Marvellous 

Marvellous

Marvellous: the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner is all the rage for Epsom

 

SUNDAY'S Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous turned into a major Investec Oaks gamble on Monday leaving bookmakers scrambling to slash the filly's odds.

Having opened the day a best-priced 8-1 chance for the June 6 race at Epsom, Aidan O'Brien's filly was no bigger than 6-1 by 6pm and as short as 4-1 with some firms.

Previously a 20-1 outsider for the British Classic and only O'Brien's second-string on Sunday, Marvellous rocketed into consideration for Epsom with a devastating three-length win over Lightning Thunder at the Curragh.

Her odds tumbled following that victory and punters have reportedly continued to support the filly, whose late charge and pedigree both suggest a horse who will be well-suited by the Oaks trip of 1m4f.

Ladbrokes cut the filly to 5-1 (from 7) and their spokesman Alex Donohue said: "Marvellous has continued to prove popular as punters digest the form of her Guineas victory. In a similar fashion to Geoffey Chaucer in the Derby it seems they have identified Marvellous as one of the principal threats to the favourite."

Liam Glynn of Boylesports, who are just 4-1 about Marvellous, said: "We cut Marvellous into 10-1 from 16-1 following her Irish 1,000 Guineas win on Sunday but punters believed that she was still over priced for the Epsom Classic and latched onto her."

While Marvellous's odds were tumbling the favourite Taghrooda was eased out to as big as 5-2.


 



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Duke Of Marmalade

Duke Of Marmalade: son of Danehill has sired 23 stakes performers

 PICTURE: Mark Cranham

Duke Of Marmalade sold to stand in South Africa

DRAKENSTEIN STUD in South Africa has purchased five-time Group 1 winner Duke Of Marmalade from Coolmore in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.

Duke Of Marmalade, a ten-year-old son of Danehill, has three crops of racing age and has sired 23 stakes performers, headed by Aidan O'Brien's high-class filly Venus De Milo, who landed the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes last year and was second in the Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks.

Duke Of Marmalade, a half-brother to last year's Derby hero Ruler Of The World and from the sire-making family of A.P. Indy and Lemon Drop Kid, was a model of consistency during his racing career with O'Brien.

He displayed a smart level of form at two, winning a maiden before finding only Strategic Prince too good in the Vintage Stakes.

After several placed efforts in Group 1 company at three, he went on to develop into a top-class older performer, landing five Group 1 races as a four-year-old, including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Juddmonte International.

Drakenstein Stud owner Gaynor Rupert said: "I am absolutely delighted that a horse of the quality and calibre of Duke Of Marmalade is coming to Drakenstein to stand alongside Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist and What A Winter.

"We went to see the horse last week at Coolmore Stud and we loved him. He started quarantine yesterday and he will ship to Cape Town next month ready for the next southern hemisphere covering season.

"Given what his progeny have achieved on the track already and that he has 234 two-year-olds to race this season, I believe he is an outstanding addition to both the Drakenstein Stud stallion roster and the South African stallion ranks."

Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock said: "I believe this is a landmark moment both for Drakenstein Stud and for the South African breeding industry.

"I cannot remember when a horse with so many of the high-quality attributes that this stallion possesses went to stand in South Africa.

"He is a fantastic physical specimen and was a truly great racehorse by the mighty Danehill. He has a superb pedigree that was matched by his great turn of foot and he has made a hugely promising start to his stud career.

"I greatly look forward to seeing his progeny in South Africa."



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Guineas-finish

Australia (right): Guineas second is favourite to win at Epsom

 PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)

Magnier gives Australia vote of confidence 

AUSTRALIA backers were given encouragement on Sunday when co-owner John Magnier backed the colt to win the Investec Derby despite strengthening support for stablemate Geoffrey Chaucer.

Speaking after Marvellous, another Ballydoyle filly, had won the Irish 1,000 Guineas in scintillating fashion Magnier gave the odds-on Derby favourite his backing, although he added Geoffrey Chaucer had been a big price before he came in for support on Thursday.


"But having said that, Geoffrey Chaucer was a big price. He was a good each-way price for the Derby but I would say people in Ballydoyle will be surprised if Australia doesn't win - but racing isn't that straightforward.
"Aidan has made no secret about what he thinks about Australia and as far as I know, and speaking to him recently, nothing has changed in that view," Magnier said.

"It is no secret we hold this horse in high esteem and we wouldn't swap him for any other horse."

Geoffrey Chaucer finished third on his sole start this season, in the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown, but had a troubled passage and has been quietly popular for the Derby since.

Having been as big as 25-1 after his trial on May 11 and 12-1 at the beginning of this week, he is now no bigger than 7-1.

Australia, the 2,000 Guineas runner-up, is a best-priced evens shot but remains odds-on with most firms.

 


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                                   Marvelous Irish 1000 Guineas 

 


                                  Adelaide impressive in Gallinule

 



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Rock gets off the mark

 By Gary Carson

Sun 25th May 2014, 17:59
Table Rock and Joseph O'Brien
Table Rock and Joseph O'Brien 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Table Rock looked a tricky ride but never-the-less gained an overdue win in the Newstalk EBF Maiden at the Curragh this afternoon, bringing up a treble for Aidan O'Brien and a double for son Joseph.

The son of Fastnet Rock had been beaten when sent off favourite for his previous two starts this season.

The 5/4 market leader was produced to lead inside the final furlong today, claiming front-runner Starchitect.

The winner ran around under pressure, however, appearing to veer away from the whip with O'Brien switching it several times in an effort to keep him straight.

“He wants good ground and the step up to a mile-and-a-quarter suited him,” said O'Brien senior afterwards.

The master of Ballydoyle also had news about plans for some of his other charges.

War Command is set to go for the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot while Eye Of The Storm will run in the Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown on June 6th.

Leading Light will head straight for the Ascot Gold Cup.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)



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                   GALILEO'S Empire just keeps Growing 


 



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Marvelous Wins Irish 1000 Guineas Aidan's 30th Irish Classic & Galileo's 100th Group Winner

 


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Marvellous claims Irish 1,000 Guineas

Sun 25th May 2014, 16:02
Marvellous and Ryan Moore beating Lightning Thunder
Marvellous and Ryan Moore beating Lightning Thunder
(Healy Racing Photos)
Marvellous swooped inside the final furlong to run out an impressive winner of the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh this afternoon.

Ryan Moore sat out the back in the early stages on the Galileo filly and she ran on strongly in the closing stages to claim the classic from 10/3 favourite Lightning Thunder.

Wonderfully set the pace up the straight mile but gave way over two furlongs out as Avenue Gabriel hit the front.

Lightning Thunder, runner-up at Newmarket, was produced to win her race over a furlong out but couldn't hold the late charge of 10/1 shot Marvellous.

Moore hit the front inside the final 150 yards and his mount soon stretched clear, despite drifting slightly right, to record a comprehensive three-length winning margin.

Vote Often, who had raced prominently throughout, was four-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.<Marvellous was making just her third career start. She had won over her debut at Navan last year and had been sixth behind stable-mate Bracelet in the Leopardstown Guineas trial in late March.

“The plan was to come here and then go to Epsom. Obviously the boys will decide what they want to do now,” said O'Brien.

“She's a filly we always thought would stay well. Joseph had to decide between her and Palace and obviously at declaration time the ground was much better.

“Seamus was always a big fan of this filly. Obviously the ground turned the way it was but what could we do. We wanted to run and weren't going to take them out.

“She had form on easy ground, winning her maiden on it, and ran very well at Leopardstown the day Seamus rode her.

“I'm delighted. She's a very well-bred filly – by Galileo. She got a good clear run. Seamus went a good gallop up front, Ryan just let her warm into it and she came home very well. She's a very nice filly.

“I'd imagine she'll definitely get 1m2f the way she went to the line today. Obviously 1m4f is another step into the unknown but it looked very positive.

“She's a sharp filly but when she gets to half-speed she gets lazy. She'll cruise away forever and is happy to do that.

“Ryan said if he was going to ride one he'd like to ride one that had a chance of going to Epsom so he would know her.”

Moore added: “It was only the third run of her life and she was still a bit babyish early in the race but when I got stuck into her she found plenty and lengthened really well at the end.”

Palace, who looked the stable's first choice, finished fifth and O'Brien commented: “The ground went against Palace and we knew that but wanted to run her. She'll stay much further and wants much better ground.”

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)



  • Last Updated: May 25 2014, 16:29 BST

Marvellous gave Ryan Moore a first victory in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas by cutting down 100-30 favourite Lightning Thunder at the Curragh.


Marvellous: Ran out the impressive winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas.

Marvellous: Ran out the impressive winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas.



Trained by Aidan O'Brien, the daughter of Galileo (10-1) was having only the third start of her career in the Classic, having finished only sixth on her latest appearance in the Leopardstown trial on March 30.

Lightning Thunder, agonisingly beaten by Miss France at Newmarket, ran a fine race once again but simply had no answer to the thrust of Marvellous, who shot three lengths clear.

Sky Bet were impressed and cut the winner to 8/1 (from 20/1) for the Investec Oaks.


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Adelaide impressive in Gallinule

 By Gary Carson

Sun 25th May 2014, 15:09
Adelaide pulls clear under Joseph O'Brien
Adelaide pulls clear under Joseph O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Adelaide powered clear in the closing stages to run out an impressive winner of the Group Three Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh.

Ballydoyle stable-mate Mekong River made the running in the ten furlong contest but gave way at the two furlong pole as Tommy Stack's Boqa hit the front.

His lead was short-lived, however, as 4/6 favouriteAdelaide was produced to challenge, by Joseph O'Brien, and soon hit the front.

The son of Galileo, and Queen Mary winner Elletelle, really started to motor inside the final furlong and was pulling clear at the line for a three-length success.

Mekong River kept on again to snatch the runner-up spot close home.

The winner had been narrowly beaten on his seasonal debut in a Group Two contest at Longchamp a fortnight ago. He won his sole start last year in a Leopardstown maiden.

Aidan O'Brien was maintaining his remarkable record in the race and has now saddled nine of the last 11 winners:-

“We were always worried about soft ground with him as he's a lovely moving horse but he's done everything we've asked of him so far.

“He could go to Ascot for the King Edward or there is a chance he could go for the French Derby next week – although it does come up very soon.

“The problem with the French Derby is that it's 1m2f around Chantilly and if you're drawn wide it's very difficult.”


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AOBFS Horses to Follow History & Stats

 



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Joseph has key of the door to Cork success


Fri 23rd May 2014, 21:19
Joseph O'Brien gets Just Gorgeous (nearside) up to beat Ode To Psyche
Joseph O'Brien gets Just Gorgeous (nearside) up to beat Ode To Psyche
(Healy Racing Photos)
Up in distance Just Gorgeous let her backers down on debut at Naas nine days ago but the market support arrived again for the Galileo filly (15/8 into 11/8) and she was able to supply Joseph O'Brien with a twenty first birthday present in the concluding Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden at Cork.

Ode To Psyche proved a tough nut to crack in front but with the dual champion jockey putting his whip down close home he forced Just Gorgeous up to register a short head success.

Joseph said of the Ballydoyle three-year-old: "She ran okay first time out and the step up in trip suited her.

"Hopefully she'll progress. They went quite slow today and it was a tactical sort of race." (TW & EM)




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O'Brien looking to defend 2000 Guineas


Fri 23rd May 2014, 15:19
War Command
War Command
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien is looking for his 10th victory in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh and his five-strong team is headed by Newmarket disappointment War Command.

The colt will be aiming to follow in the recent footsteps of Power and Roderic O'Connor, who flopped in the English Guineas before bouncing back to win in Ireland.

O'Brien has stopped short of putting blinkers on War Command, but has opted for cheekpieces.

He said: "Before the Guineas he wasn't working as impressively as Australia and the way they finished is the way they worked at home.

"He's a lazy worker and we had debated about putting blinkers on him at home last year, but then he won the Coventry and we didn't have to. Ryan (Moore) said at Newmarket 'he didn't wake up at all for me'. There is a chance (with headgear) he'll step up, and he needs to."



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BetVictor sold to Michael Tabor

Fri 23rd May 2014, 16:39
Michael Tabor (second left)
Michael Tabor (second left)
(Healy Racing Photos)
Michael Tabor has acquired ownership of the BetVictor group for an undisclosed sum following a restructuring of the Gibraltar-based operation's holding company, it has been announced.

Victor Chandler, who has led the group since its incorporation, is to step down as chairman but will continue to serve as a consultant.

Michael Carlton, CEO, is also to step down, and alongside Chandler will continue to work with the company as a consultant.

Coolmore partner Tabor made his fortune when selling the Arthur Prince chain of betting shops to Coral for a reported £27million in 1995, and was a founding shareholder in BetVictor.

The changes have received in principle regulatory approval from the Gibraltar Gambling Licensing Authority.

Chandler said: "Having owned and led this business for more than 40 years, I looked towards the future and I decided that the company would be best served under new ownership and leadership.

"I have known Mr Tabor for many years and I am confident that the company will continue to thrive under his ownership."

Tabor said: "I believe the BetVictor brand has enormous potential and is well placed to continue its expansion with further investment and strategic development."

Tabor has been a prominent figure on the racing scene for many years, with his colours associated with such great horses as Montjeu and High Chaparral, as well as numerous others in partnership with John Magnier and Derrick Smith.



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Kingman faces barrage from O'Brien


James Doyle riding Kingman
James Doyle riding Kingman

JOHN GOSDEN'S Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas hot favourite Kingman will face 13 rivals in tomorrow's €300,000 Group One, but Sunday's fillies' equivalent will be without Rizeena after Clive Brittain ruled her out yesterday morning.


Kingman remains a best-priced 8/11 to go one better at the Curragh than he did in the season's first Classic. He will face a barrage from Ballydoyle, as last year's Dewhurst hero War Command – sporting first-time cheek-pieces – heads a team of five for
 Aidan O'Brien.Last year's Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine was vying for the market lead at as low as 4/1, but she won't feature among this morning's final declarations after Brittain reported that she was found to have blood in her nose after working yesterday.

Dermot Weld will saddle the current second-favourite Mustajeeb (6/1), after opting not to declare Alkasser. Shifting Power (8/1), fourth at Newmarket, will take its chance for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes after being supplemented at a cost of €30,000.

Ger Lyons has reiterated that he'd "love to run" Obliterator if the ground is good enough. The going remained yielding yesterday, despite showers falling at headquarters in the morning.

A market move has emerged in the Derby market for O'Brien's Geoffrey Chaucer. He was cut to 7/1 from 12/1 by Ladbrokes, sparking speculation that he could be ridden by Ryan Moore, who had been linked with the stable's Chester Vase victor Orchestra.

The same bookmaker, often reckoned to be the firm with the most pertinent link to the Coolmore operation, eased O'Brien's odds-on favouriteAustralia to 4/5 from 4/6.

Meanwhile, Fethard-based handler Thomond O'Mara has been disqualified from holding a licence for two years, but the ban is to be suspended provided that he commits no further breaches.

O'Mara was found to have intentionally given inaccurate evidence and sought to mislead the Turf Club in an investigation into an incident at Down Royal in 2011.

A referrals committee found that O'Mara "appeared" to concede that his original evidence at a 2012 inquiry into the transport and access of his horses to the stable yard at Down Royal was wrong and incorrect.

O'Mara had originally stated that Conor O'Donnell had unlawfully taken his stable pass card and denied that O'Donnell ever worked for him, before suggesting in mitigation that he had been "overwhelmed" at the 2012 hearing.

He said that he had issued a written apology to O'Donnell for misleading the committee with incorrect evidence about him and for wrongly alleging that he "unlawfully and without authority stole or otherwise took from (O'Mara's) wallet his stable yard pass". He also accepted that O'Donnell had worked for him in the past.

As well as the suspended disqualification, O'Mara received a €1,000 fine and was ordered to make a contribution of €4,000 to the Turf Club's costs.


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Coolmore 
 
www.coolmore.comFriday 23 May 2014
 
     
  
 




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Derby support for Chaucer

Thu 22nd May 2014, 15:16
Geoffrey Chaucer winning the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last year
Geoffrey Chaucer winning the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last year
(Healy Racing Photos)
Geoffrey Chaucer has been proving popular in the ante-post market on the Investec Derby.

William Hill reported a "sizeable" each-way bet on the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt on Thursday.

A son of the late Montjeu, he won both his starts at two before reappearing in what proved to be a dramatic renewal of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

Not suited by a race that essentially turned into a sprint and ultimately saw first-past-the-post Ebanoran demoted to second behind Fascinating Rock, O'Brien's charge was not disgraced in third, beaten two and three-quarter lengths.

Hills cut his price for Epsom on June 7 to 8-1, having been 10-1 and 12-1.

His stablemate Australia remains the 4-6 favourite.

William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: "Large bets on Ballydoyle inmates aren't uncommon, but given this is a sizeable bet against the favourite, it's really captured our attention."

In a market without Australia, Hills make Geoffrey Chaucer the 4-1 favourite.

Reflecting on Geoffrey Chaucer's Leopardstown return at Ballydoyle press day earlier this month, O'Brien said: "They walked first of all and then it was bumping cars in the straight. It was just a pity.

"You're happy enough when you get beat if you learn something but nobody learned anything.

"We are very happy with him. He's doing everything very well.

"There was plenty of hustle and bustle and he won't get that at Epsom."


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                                 Timeform Grestest Horses Of The 21st Century 

 

 



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2YO Page Updated



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Unbeaten European Champion 2yo, Triple Classic 

Winning Champion at 3. Camelot. Watch a true legend 

in action.


Coolmore 
 
www.coolmore.comThursday 22 May 2014
 
     
  
 


 
 



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Ballydoyle Epsom Entries 

DERBY - Australia, Orchestra, Kingfisher, Geoffrey Chaucer, Adelaide & Gypsy King.

OAKS - Bracelet Dazzling Wonderfully Palace Tapestry & Marvelous 

CORONATION CUP - Ruler of the World & Magician




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Tapestry among Ballydoyle 6 for Oaks


Tapestry: Could be put away for the season

Tapestry:


Aidan O'Brien still has six fillies in the Investec Oaks including Bracelet, who disappointed when favourite for the 

QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Blue Wind Stakes third Dazzling, Group Three 1,000 Guineas Trial runner-up Palace

Group One-placed Tapestry and Wonderfully, who was a close ninth in the French 1,000 Guineas after 

encountering trouble in running & Navan Maiden Winner Marvelous




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  Ballydoyle Home of 10 Epsom Derby Winners Film (19 Days To Go To Number 11 Hopefully)

 

 


 

 

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Australia heads Derby field 

  • Last Updated: May 21 2014, 15:25 BST

Aidan O’Brien’s red-hot favourite Australia heads a field of 27 three-year-olds for the Investec Derby on June 7 following the latest scratching deadline.


Australia: One of 28 horses left in the Investec Derby

Australia: One of 28 horses left in the Investec Derby

The son of 2001 Derby winner Galileo and 2004 Oaks heroine Ouija Board, who 

finished a close third on his seasonal debut in the first Classic of the season, the 

QIPCO 2000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket on May 3.

O'Brien, seeking his third consecutive Investec Derby success and fourth in all, has 

left six colts in the Epsom Downs Classic over a mile and a half. Ballydoyle could 

also be represented by Chester Vase scorer Orchestra, Dee Stakes winner Kingfisher

Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial third Geoffrey Chaucer, Prix Hocquart runner-

up Adelaide and Gypsy King.



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           Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spolight 

 

 


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Great could be in Curragh reckoning

  • Last Updated: May 20 2014, 14:38 BST

The Great War, hugely impressive in two starts to date, could put his reputation on the line in Saturday's Cold Move EBF Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh.


The Great War: Possible runner at the Curragh

The Great War: Possible runner at the Curragh

O'Brien has also entered another War Front colt, War Envoy, who won on his debut in taking fashion at Naas. The Ballydoyle team also have Timbuktu and Dick Whittington in the frame.Aidan O'Brien's youngster, by sire-of-the-moment War Front, has notched effortless victories at Tipperary and the Curragh already this season and could be part of O'Brien's Royal Ascot team if he comes through this latest test.

Ger Lyons has also entered two smart youngsters in Cappella Sanservero and Dandyleekie, with both unbeaten to date and also under Ascot consideration.

Blackbriar, Coto, Primo Uomo, Sexy Legs and Sors make up the 11 entries.



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3 for O'Brien as MacBride wins the bumper

 By Donal Murphy

Sun 18th May 2014, 17:58
MacBride comes home in front under Sarah O'Brien from Mm Dazzler in second
MacBride comes home in front under Sarah O'Brien from Mm Dazzler in second
(Healy Racing Photos)
MacBride made it a cross-card treble for Aidan O'Brien (two winners at Navan), as he took the last at Limerick, the Saturday Night Fever 7th June (Pro/Am) Flat Race, scoring under O'Brien's daughter Sarah.

Having finished a close-up third on his debut at Punchestown last November, the five-year-old son of Oscar then disappointed when finishing seventh to Noble Endeavour at Leopardstown on St Stephens Day.

Friendless in the market today, the five-year-old gelding was returned a 9/2 chance, having opened this morning at 5/2.

Having led from the start in a first time hood, the JP McManus owned victor was joined and headed by Mm Dazzler as they raced towards the home straight.

The duo had a great battle in the straight, withMacBride just gaining the upper hand close home, going on to score by two and a half lengths at the line.< Mm Dazzler (12/1) ran a fine race in second under Finian Maguire for his father Adrian, while the 8/13 favourite Maniero proved a big disappointment, finishing a well-beaten fifth under Patrick Mullins for Tony Martin.

Nineteen year-old Sarah O'Brien, who was recording her fourth winner, said afterwards: "He gave me a great ride and he finished really well.

"I dropped him in before and he was a bit green in front today and that is why he had a look going past the stands."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes


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                                     Superstar Stayer

 

 




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Table Rock (Who Finished 2nd) & Team O'Brien at Navan

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John Constable off the mark at last at Navan


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John Constable finally got off the mark, as he took the sixth at Navan, the Excelebration Maiden, providing Aidan and Joseph O'Brien with a quick double (won the previous contest with Leading Light).

The son of Montjeu, who is a full-brother to Leading Light, was having his sixth start this afternoon, and his first over the trip of a mile and five.

The bay colt went off favourite on his first five starts, and he went off the market leader again today at 5/4.

Settled in mid-division, he made progress in the early straight and was ridden to lead under two furlongs out.

He kept on well under pressure inside the final furlong, going on to score by three parts of a length.

Kerzak ran a fine race on his seasonal debut to finish second at 20/1 under Declan McDonogh for John Oxx, while Snowmane (7/1) was a further eight and a half lengths back in third under Colin Keane for Ger Lyons.

Aidan O'Brien said afterwards: "We might have ran him a bit short the first couple of times. He only ran over seven furlongs twice as a 2yo.

"When we stepped him up to a mile and two it appeared to help.

"The Queens Vase at Royal Ascot could be an option now."


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Leading Light & Joesph 1st Navan,Vintage Crop Stakes


Leading Light beats Royal Diamond in the Coolmore Vintage Crop Stakes

Embedded image permalink



Embedded image permalink


Doncaster Leger hero Leading Light put in an excellent display on his seasonal debut, as he took the Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes under Joseph O'Brien for his father Aidan.

The four-year-old son of Montjeu won five in-a-row between 2012 and 2013, culminating in the St Leger win.

He then never managed to land a blow when finishing twelfth in the Prix De L´Arc De Triomphe at Longchamp in October on his last start.

Having opened at 7/4 last night, he was available at just 6/5 on-course, and while he touched 10/11, he went off the even money favourite.

Having raced in a share of third throughout, the bay colt improved to take closer order on the outside from over three furlongs out.

He was ridden along and produced wit his challenge a furlong and a half from home, getting to the front inside the furlong pole before keeping on well to score by three lengths.

Royal Diamond (7/1), who attempted to make all, plugged on to take second underNiall McCullagh for Johnny Murtagh, while Pale Mimosa (2/1) was just out of the placings, a further half a length back in third.

Aidan O’Brien said afterwards: “You’d have to be very happy, we couldn’t be happier really.

"We were very happy with him at home. He had got stronger and was doing all the right things.

"He had a penalty and everything, it was his first run and it was properly run race. We haven’t seen the bottom of him yet.

"At the end of two miles at Ascot last year he didn’t seem to be stopping. We will look forward to the Gold Cup now and he could run in the Saval Beg before it.

"When he get there he pulls up and that’s why he wears the cheekpieces.

"It is lovely that they went a gallop as he could take his time and he didn’t have to make his own running.

"He settled well, he travelled well and he quicken twice in the straight."

Boylesports were impressed by Leading Light and they shortened him from 7/2 to 9/4 for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, while Ladbrokes also shortened him from 5/2 to 2/1.



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   A Debut Full of Promise From Verrazano 

 

 


 


 



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WOW listen to Aidan Talk about Australia & why he believes he is so so special


 




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Verrazano is on the verge of making his Debut for AOB we take a look at his career highlights to date in this Video.

 

 


2yo Page is near to completion a lot of them named today check out 2yo page 


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Johann gets it right in first time hood

 By Donal Murphy


Fri 16th May 2014, 18:43
Johann Strauss goes clear of Atlantic Sea over a furlong out
Johann Strauss goes clear of Atlantic Sea over a furlong out
(Healy Racing Photos)
Johann Strauss got off the mark on the sixth time of asking as he took the opener at Dundalk, the Dundalk Racecourse Of The Year Maiden, scoring under Joseph O'Brien for his father Aidan.

The son of High Chaparral finished second on his third start in the Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last October, and he surprisingly suffered defeat on his seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown last month, when not getting a clear run.

He could only manage seventh when sent off favourite for the valuable Tattersalls Millions 3yo Trophy at Newmarket on his last start, and dropped back to maiden company again today, he was sent off the 4/11 favourite, having opened this morning at 2/5.

Wearing a hood for the first time today, and racing over seven furlongs for just the second time, he was settled in second.

He improved to dispute the lead with Atlantic Sea turning for home, and when shaken up he went to the front a furlong and a half out, keeping on well from there to score convincingly by five and a half lengths.

Atlantic Sea kept on to take second at 5/1 under Chris Hayes for Paul Deegan, while Sunlit Rome was a further five and a half lengths back in third at 66/1 under Ian Queally for Pat Flynn.

Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "It's about time I got it right on him!

"He has always worked very well but he has disappointed a few times. To be fair to him maybe he doesn't stay very far.

"He shows plenty of pace and he can be keen. We might have been running him over the wrong trip, he was entitled to win today and hopefully he will progress.

"He seemed to relax well today and the hood might have helped him.

"All the time I've been riding him I've been missing the kick on him and have been trying to get him to relax, but today I through the reins at him and let him race up there.

"It might have been a combination of the hood and the trip that made him relax better.

"Seven furlongs or a mile might be his trip. He has plenty of ability and hopefully we will get a bit more out of him."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson


 & we get another Huge Plug before the race from our friends Attheraces

 

 



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O'Brien excited about Verrazano

Fri 16th May 2014, 12:38
Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien is anticipating big things from his US import Verrazano, who has his first run for the yard in the JLT Lockinge at Newbury on Saturday.

A dual Grade One winner in America, he faces an altogether different test in Berkshire, as he will be racing on grass for the first time and the straight mile presents another new challenge for him.

"He's a very exciting horse. For us to get a horse like him is incredible," said O'Brien.

"He's been very natural and very relaxed. He's a big powerhouse of a horse. I'd say his trip is around a mile and he could end up at the Breeders' Cup again."







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Strauss bidding to get off the mark at Dundalk

Fri 16th May 2014, 08:56
Johann Strauss (purple) pictured on his way to finishing second to Sniper at Naas last October
Johann Strauss (purple) pictured on his way to finishing second to Sniper at Naas last October
(Healy Racing Photos)
Johann Strauss is the stand-out name on the card at Dundalk on Friday evening as the Racing Post Trophy runner-up bids to open his account at the sixth time of asking in the Dundalk Racecourse Of The Year Maiden.

The son of High Chaparral was partnered by Ryan Moore when staying on into second behind Kingston Hill at Doncaster last October but has failed to build on that promise in two starts so far this term.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt was unlucky in running when reappearing on very testing ground at Leopardstown, and later last month kept on at one pace into sixth behind Sudden Wonder in the valuable Tattersalls Millions 3yo Trophy at Newmarket.

He still holds entries in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby but nothing less than a win will suffice on this occasion if those engagements are to be justified.




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Aidan O'Brien expects to field four runners in Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas


Trainer Aidan O'Brien
Trainer Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien expects to field four runners in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday week.


O'Brien said: "That is our likely line-up for both Guineas and they are all in good form and working well."
War Command is set to be joined by Michaelmas, Fountain Of Youth and Great White Eagle in the one-mile Classic while Marvellous and Palace are likely to represent Ballydoyle in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas a day later.

Magician is also due to contest the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Guineas fixture while Darwin, who has been off the track since finishing third in a one-mile Group Three last September, is due to step down to six furlongs.

O'Brien added: "Darwin is working well and is on course for the Greenlands Stakes."

Dermot Weld has Alkasser, Free Eagle, Weld Arab and Mustajeeb in the 2000 Guineas but only the latter is due to run at present after beating older horses to land the Amethyst Stakes on his return.

He said: "The plan is to run Mustajeeb but we will make a final decision early next week."

Weld also has seven entries in the 1,000 Guineas, including Afternoon Sunlight, Balansiya, Tested and Vote Often.

He said: "I not sure which of them will run at the moment, but as is the case with the 2,000 Guineas, we will make a decision early next week."

Jim Bolger has four entries for the 1,000 Guineas in Heart Focus, Ceisteach, Peony Fairy and Plamas, with the first-named likely to take her chance in what would be her first run since last July.

"Heart Focus will be our representative in the race," said Bolger, who has last year's Irish Derby hero Trading Leather in the Tattersalls Gold Cup frame.

Paul Deegan's Prince Of All is on course for the 2,000 Guineas, with Avenue Gabriel lined up to contest the fillies' Classic.

"That is the plan but he needs good ground to be seen at his best so hopefully the weather will pick up," Deegan said.

"Avenue Gabriel will definitely contest the 1,000 Guineas. She has come on a good deal for her last run and I could not be happier with her."

Bookmakers Racebets make John Gosden's Kingman their 4-5 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas with War Command next in the betting at 7-2.

Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas - Racebets bet: 4-5 Kingman, 7-2 War Command, 10-1 Karakontie, Mustajeeb, 12-1 Obliterator, 14-1 Great White Eagle, Muwaary, 16-1 Michaelmas, Prince Of All, 20-1 bar.



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Verrazano bids to give Ballydoyle shot in arm


Trainer Todd Pletcher
Trainer Todd Pletcher

AMERICAN import Verrazano will endeavour to spark Ballydoyle's relatively slow start to the Flat season into life on its European debut in tomorrow's JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury 

The More Than Ready colt concluded its first campaign with a record of six wins from 10 runs, and trades at up to 5/1 to lower the colours of Richard Hannon's Olympic Glory, which is now as low as 10/11 to prevail for Frankie Dettori at Newbury .A dual Grade One winner Stateside for Todd Pletcher the four-year-old suffered its first defeat in five starts when fading badly in the closing stages of last year's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. 


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Australia expectations rise as True Story flops in Dante


Australia is now favourite for the Investec Derby
Australia is now favourite for the Investec Derby

AUSTRALIA shortened to 8/11 favourite for the Investec Derby as Godolphin's True Story, his chief rival in the ante-post market, finished a disappointing third in the Dante Stakes at York.


Victory went to The Grey Gatsby, the most exposed of the six runners and considered suspect at the Derby distance of a mile and a half. The Kevin Ryan-trained colt is to be aimed at the two-furlong shorter Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly on June 1.
The Ballydoyle colt is now likely to go to Epsom with a level of expectation to rival that which surrounded Camelot two years ago.

True Story, the seven-length winner of the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket last month, was seen as the one colt on the horizon with the potential to challenge Australia, the 2,000 Guineas third, at the head of the Derby betting.

In a strongly run race he had his chance, but could not overhaul the winner, which had three-quarters of a length to spare on the line.

The Grey Gatsby, which finished six places behind Australia in the 2,000 Guineas, took an erratic course in the final furlong, veering sharply right in front of True Story, proving a distraction to those behind and inconveniencing the Godolphin runner without actually costing him his chance.

Ryan Moore, his jockey, received a two-day ban for the incident. Kieren Fallon, True Story's rider, blamed the going for the defeat. "He is a top-of-the-ground horse," Fallon said.

"It was only a trial. The ground is very important for him. We had to run somewhere. It was not ideal that one horse (Odeon) went off in front, with the chance that he would stay on."

Despite the litany of excuses, True Story failed to run up to the promise of his two previous outings when it was crucial that he did so.

DRIFTED

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor confirmed that Godolphin would press ahead with plans to run the colt in the Derby on June 7, but he's drifted in the betting to between 14/1 and 16/1, having been as short as 5/1 only 24 hours earlier.

The one positive pointer from the Dante was that runner-up Arod, a son of Teofilo, will go to Epsom and, provided that he gets his ground, he should hold a decent each-way chance.

Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, who won the Derby with Dr Devious and Authorized, said Arod was improving rapidly and "still had time to measure up".




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Verrazano  in Lockinge line-up

Thu 15th May 2014, 13:24
Sruthan (centre) winning at the Curragh last month
Sruthan (centre) winning at the Curragh last month
(Healy Racing Photos)
Verrazano will have his first start for Aidan O'Brien in Saturday's Group One JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

A dual Grade One winner in America, he finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile when with Todd Pletcher and was last seen taking third in the Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct in November.

Further Irish interest is added to the Lockinge mix by Paul Deegan's unexposed Sruthan, who has won his last two starts in Group Three company.

The home team is headed by Olympic Glory, who claimed the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last October but was then unsuited by the fast ground at the Breeders' Cup. His trainer Richard Hannon also runs a useful second string in Montiridge.

Brian Ellison's Top Notch Tonto chased home Olympic Glory at Ascot but could finish only fourth on his comeback at Sandown. He will clash again with the Andrew Balding-trained Tullius, who ran out a three-and-three-quarter-length winner at the Esher venue.

Chopin, trained in Germany by Andreas Wohler, ran in the Derby and the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer and was supplemented for the Lockinge earlier this week.

The field is completed by Michael Attwater's Empire Storm, formerly trained by Wohler.


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AUS 4/6

For The

Espom Derby 


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O'Brien as good as his word with Diligence

Wed 14th May 2014, 19:23
Due Diligence (Joseph O'Brien) sees it out well from Wind Inher Sleeves
Due Diligence (Joseph O'Brien) sees it out well from Wind Inher Sleeves
(Healy Racing Photos)
Given the strong word emanating from Ballydoyle about Due Diligence, his price held up pretty well at 6/4 in the face of concerns about the ground in advance of the Woodlands 100 Club Handicap.  Joseph O'Briens mount brushed aside that worry with an all-the-way success in the third at Naas.

The American-bred put the six furlong event to bed from over a furlong out and he eventually crossed the line a length and a half in front from Wind Inher Sleeves.

Aidan O'Brien explained: "We were worried about the ground and he was lucky to get away with it.

"He wouldn't have been liking it but we felt he needed the run for experience before we step him up in grade.

"I would say he's a fast ground horse over five or six furlongs. He got six well there but seven might be too far for him.

"He has the Greenlands and all those races. Darwin is a possible for that as well but he could turn up in it.

"I thought we might keep Guerre to five furlongs. Darwin might go six as he's coming back from seven and a mile." (GC & EM)


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Due Diligence gets the Job done 

 



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Geoffrey Chaucer has Arc Entry with 6 stablemates Australia Chicquita Leading Light Kingsbarns Magician Ruler Of The World


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Will Due Diligence win at Naas?

 By Vincent Finegan

Wed 14th May 2014, 11:01
Due Diligence on Monday
Due Diligence on Monday
(Healy Racing Photos)
The eyes and money of the majority of racing hacks in Britain and Ireland will be on Due Diligence when he runs in the Woodlands 100 Club handicap at Naas this evening.

The American import was the talk of a press open day at Ballydoyle on Monday.

Aidan O'Brien picked out the son of War Front for special mention on more than one occasion and even used the electrifying phrase 'thrown in' when assessing the mark allotted by the handicapper for this evening's event.

Due Diligence won over 6 furlongs on debut in America last August before finishing fourth in a Group 3 contest on his only other start before joining the string at Ballydoyle.

The colt made his Irish debut at Dundalk last month when a respectable third to the useful Prince Of All over 7 furlongs but the form of that contest has taken some knocks with the horses finishing either side of Due Diligence both running poorly at the Curragh.

Of greater significance however is the trainer's observations that Due Diligence is 'a sprinter' and has been producing some remarkable work on the four-furlong all-weather gallop at home.

O'Brien tells us that Due Diligence is beating fellow sprinter Guerre by five lengths.

Guerre, another three-year-old son of War Front, is no slouch. He was too quick for Group 1 winner Maarek at Naas three weeks ago when winning a Listed contest and is now officially rated 110.

Due Diligence makes his handicap debut tonight off a mark of 97 so if all above holds true he should be back in the winner's enclosure by about 6:47pm and all will be well in the world.


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Darwin given sprinting assignment

Tue 13th May 2014, 11:07
Darwin
Darwin
(Healy Racing Photos)
Darwin is likely to revert to sprinting for his seasonal reappearance in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on May 24.

The Big Brown colt made a most impressive start to his Irish career at the Curragh last July and then claimed the significant scalp of Gordon Lord Byron in the Group Three Minstrel Stakes over seven furlongs.

The step up to a mile proved beyond Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old when he was beaten on his final start of the year in the Solonaway Stakes and he will come back to six furlongs on Saturday week.

"He'll probably go back in trip and that might work out as he has plenty of speed," said O'Brien.

"He could be a very good sprinter and could start off in the Greenlands on Guineas weekend."

One Ballydoyle inmate unlikely to be in action in the coming weeks is Kingsbarns.

The Galileo colt looked a potential superstar when winning the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster as a juvenile, but he made just two appearances in 2013 and was beaten at odds-on on his return at Leopardstown last month.

O'Brien said: "We were hoping to go to Leopardstown then on to Newbury (for Lockinge) but it was bad ground and I shouldn't have run him. He'll be back in the autumn"

Three-year-olds Carlo Bugatti and Giovanni Boldini have both fluffed their lines in the last week.

Carlo Bugatti finished tailed off in the Chester Vase behind stable companion Orchestra, while Giovanni Boldini was seventh in Sunday's French 2000 Guineas.

"Carlo Bugatti disappointed at Chester. I shouldn't have put the blinkers on and I'll leave them off next time. He wants fast ground and might go to Ascot," said O'Brien.

"He (Giovanni Boldini) ran OK. The ground was too soft - he wants it fast. He wants to take his time over a mile."


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Venus De Milo aimed at Yorkshire Oaks

Tue 13th May 2014, 11:31
Venus De Milo, near side
Venus De Milo, near side
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien has nominated August's Yorkshire Oaks as a potential long-term target for exciting filly Venus De Milo.

The daughter of Duke Of Marmalade was unraced as a juvenile, but won three times from six starts last year and filled the runner-up spot in both the Yorkshire Oaks and the Irish Oaks at Group One level.

O'Brien considered letting his charge make her return in the Middleton Stakes at York this week, but has decided to wait a little longer.

He said: "She wants a mile and a half plus. She's hard to get fit and is a big bull of a mare. She was in at York but wasn't fit enough to go.

"We'll be looking at the Yorkshire Oaks and those type of races with her."

The Ballydoyle handler also had news of Wonderfully, who he plans to step up in distance after she finished ninth in Sunday's French 1000 Guineas.

"She ran respectably in France and needs a step up in trip. She had a bad draw and couldn't get in," said O'Brien.


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O'Brien still riding high

  • Last Updated: May 13 2014, 10:07 BST

Joseph O'Brien admits it is impossible to predict how long his career in the saddle will last.


Joseph O'Brien: Admits he's unsure over length of career in saddle (Caroline Norris: Coolmore)

Joseph O'Brien: Admits he's unsure over length of career in saddle (Caroline Norris: Coolmore)

Backed by the might of father Aidan's formidable Ballydoyle juggernaut, O'Brien has been champion jockey in Ireland for the past two seasons.

However, as one of the taller jockeys in the weighing room, he does not ride below 9st and acknowledges his weight may eventually get the better of him.

O'Brien said: "I'll ride as long as I can, whether it's another year or 10 years I don't know.

"My weight is pretty much the same as it has been the last couple of years. I keep fit and healthy.

"I don't do less than 9st and try and kill myself.

"Realistically I'm not going to ride until I'm 50 but hopefully I can get another couple of years. I'll keep going as long as I can."

O'Brien will soon have more competition for rides from within his own family.

Joseph's sisters, Sarah and Anna, have already had a taste of racecourse action and his younger brother, Donnacha, will receive his riding licence in the near future.

The jockey said: "Donnacha is well able to ride and I might have to give up when he starts as he's a better rider than I am! He's been riding work as long as I have. He gives me plenty of stick and he'll get plenty when he starts riding."



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Campaign planned for The Great War

Tue 13th May 2014, 10:21
The Great War
The Great War
(Healy Racing Photos)
Exciting juvenile The Great War is likely to put his unbeaten record on the line in the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday week.

The American-bred colt showed he possesses speed to burn when justifying long odds-on favouritism over five furlongs at Tipperary at the end of April and he was just as dominant on his second start at the Curragh earlier this month.

A third victory on Irish Guineas weekend will surely earn him a place in trainer Aidan O'Brien's Royal Ascot squad.

The trainer said: "He'll probably go for the Marble Hill. I think we'll keep him to fast ground.

"The ground was unusually good (at the Curragh) for this time of year and we wanted to get a second run into him."


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Embedded image permalink



Australia whispers into Joseph's ear so how many 

lengths do you think i will win the Derby By 10 11 12?


Embedded image permalink


Team Australia 


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Ruler all set for Epsom return

  • Last Updated: May 12 2014, 16:16 BST

Last year's Derby hero Ruler Of The World remains on course for a return to Epsom in the Investec Coronation Cup next month.


Ruler Of The World: All set for Coronation Cup bid.

Ruler Of The World: All set for Coronation Cup bid.

The four-year-old disappointed in the Irish Derby following his career-defining victory on the Downs last June, but rounded off his year with a narrow defeat in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

He was unable to make an impact in the Dubai World Cup at the end of March, but as many of his string were under the weather earlier in the year, trainer Aidan O'Brien his happy to forgive his charge that disappointing effort on Tapeta at Meydan.

He said: "He did his first piece of work back the other day and we were very happy with him. He's on course for Epsom.

"We were taking a bit of a chance in Dubai as he'd never raced on the surface but we felt it was worth the chance.

"The horses went to Dubai very healthy but maybe not as fit as other years with what had happened."

Ruler Of The World is part of a strong team of older horses for Ballydoyle this season.

O'Brien confirmed last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders' Cup Turf winner Magician will take in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on Sunday week ahead of a potential trip to Royal Ascot.


Ernest Hemingway is a useful stayer at his best, but has been ruled out of this week's Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup due to testing conditions on the Knavesmire.
He said: "He'll go for the Tattersalls Gold Cup and then might go to Ascot for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes."

O'Brien has also welcomed two exciting two additions to the team in American ace Verrazano and crack French filly Chicquita.

The latter has not been seen in competitive action since winning the Irish Oaks for Alain de Royer-Dupre last July.

O'Brien said: "She's on a little break and we've always had it in our minds that she'll be an autumn filly.

"Obviously she's a very good filly. Her previous trainer was a very good trainer and I wouldn't say we'll improve her but if we got her back to that pitch we'd be very happy."


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Command could wear blinkers

  • Last Updated: May 12 2014, 16:05 BST

War Command could be fitted with blinkers for the first time by Aidan O'Brien when he bids to get his season back on track in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas on Saturday week.


War Command: Could wear blinkers in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

War Command: Could wear blinkers in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Last year's Dewhurst Stakes winner was supported ante-post for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, but finished ultimately well beaten in ninth.

Ryan Moore reported the American-bred colt raced lazily during the one-mile contest and O'Brien will considering using some headgear at the Curragh on Saturday week.

O'Brien said: "There is a chance we'll put blinkers on him to wake him up a bit and there is a chance he could run in them.

O'Brien is also likely to be represented in the following afternoon's Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas, with Palace among those under consideration following a good run in defeat at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The trainer told the stewards prior to her appearance in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial the filly was showing signs of coming into season in the parade ring, but she ran with plenty of credit, going down by just a head to Afternoon Sunlight.


"I'd say she's not too bad and we'll look at the Irish 1,000 Guineas."
O'Brien said: "When we were tacking her up she was showing plenty of signs of being in season. Joseph said she was lying back on the stalls and when they broke she raced lethargically.

The Irish Guineas is among a number of options for Terrific, who O'Brien is confident will bounce back from a disappointing run in last week's Cheshire Oaks at Chester.

He said: "She got a little bit back and she tends to be shy and get intimidated. That's why she wore the hood.

"She should probably leave that run behind."



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Moore set to conduct Orchestra bid

  • Last Updated: May 12 2014, 15:48 BST

Aidan O'Brien believes there is a "big chance" Ryan Moore will keep the ride on Chester Vase hero Orchestra in the Investec Derby at Epsom next month.


Orchestra: Booked his place in the Derby with victory at Chester.

Orchestra: Booked his place in the Derby with victory at Chester.

The Galileo colt justified favouritism with a narrow victory on the Roodee last week and looks set to join stable companion and hot favourite Australia at Epsom on June 7, with O'Brien expecting considerable improvement.

"We were happy with him. He travelled well and was just ready to start," said the trainer.

"Ryan said when he got the gap he had to go, around Chester, but ideally he would have waited longer as he needed the run. He quickened but got tired.

"The way he travelled he should have no problem with Epsom and Ryan was happy with him.

"There is a big chance Ryan will ride at Epsom."

Orchestra could be part of a significant Ballydoyle supporting cast to Australia on the Downs.

Last year's Beresford Stakes winner Geoffrey Chaucer could be counted a little unlucky when third on his return to action in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown and could now head to Epsom.

Mekong River was unable to cement his Derby claims in the Lingfield Derby Trial on Saturday, but his disappointing run is easily explained by his trainer.

O'Brien said: "Lingfield was a disaster. The blinkers slipped down over his eyes and you could see halfway through the race he started stepping as he couldn't see."

Reflecting on Geoffrey Chaucer's Leopardstown return, O'Brien said: "They walked first of all at and then it was bumping cars in the straight. It was just a pity.

"You're happy enough when you get beat if you learn something but nobody learned anything.

"We are very happy with him. He's doing everything very well. We've got four weeks now and he got a day out.

"There was plenty of hustle and bustle and he won't get that at Epsom."

Perhaps the last of the significant Derby trials takes place at York on Thursday, with Table Rock O'Brien's only entry.

However, he appears unlikely to make the trip to the Knavesmire and is not entered at Epsom.


"Some of the other trial races often suit us better as they are a bit further out."
O'Brien said: "I'm not sure if he'll run in the Dante as it looks like it will be soft ground.

Having saddled four previous winners of the Epsom Classic in Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012) and last year's hero Ruler Of The World, O'Brien is better placed than most to assess what is required to win the race.

He said: "It's the hardest race for a thoroughbred to win. It takes speed, staying and you have to adapt to tactics and the undulations. It's the ultimate test.

"Some horses don't survive it and don't do anything after.

"It's like the Olympics. You have to have a go with the Classic generation - it's what the breed is all about."



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O'Brien keen on Tapestry Oaks bid

  • Last Updated: May 12 2014, 15:56 BST



Aidan O'Brien is hoping Tapestry can put her disappointing Qipco 1000 Guineas effort behind her if she recovers in time for a second shot at Classic glory in the Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 6.


Tapestry: Could form part of Aidan O'Brien's Oaks team.

Tapestry: Could form part of Aidan O'Brien's Oaks team.


The Galileo filly was sent off favourite for her seasonal reappearance on the Rowley Mile, but trailed home a well-beaten last of 17 runners.

The Ballydoyle handler immediately blamed himself for doing too much his filly before Newmarket.

O'Brien said: "As I've said she was just light enough for the Guineas. She's put on some weight and will possibly make it back for the Oaks.


Bracelet fared only slightly better in the Guineas, but she too is likely to benefit from a step up in trip at Epsom.
"She was dallying along great (before Newmarket) but I worked her with Bracelet and I probably shouldn't have. After that she dropped a little too much weight."

"Ryan (Moore) said she wants a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half. We thought she had a bit more pace than she has," said O'Brien.

"She'll step up in trip and be trained for the Oaks."


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Our Aidan O'Brien stable tour

Last Updated: 12/05/14 2:51pm




The Great War: Could be given another run before Royal Ascot

The Great War: Could be given another run before Royal Ascot


Older horses: 
Our man Will Hayler was at Ballydoyle to get the latest on Aidan O'Brien's stable stars - and some dark horses too.

Kingsbarns: I should never have run him at Leopardstown on ground that testing. I wanted to get a run into him with an eye on the Lockinge but it was a mistake. He'll now have the mid-summer period off before coming back for an autumn campaign. Going doesn't really matter to him.

Leading Light: The plan is for him to run at Navan next weekend, before going for the Saval Beg at Leopardstown and then on to Ascot for the Gold Cup. He's ready to rock and should be a nice staying horse this season.

Ernest Hemingway: He was going to go to Chester or possibly York but the ground's gone against him. He wants fast ground. He's a real fast-ground horse, in fact, and we'll plan things around that. He's in the mix for the Saval Beg and those sort of races.

Magician: Joseph managed to just drop him in front on the line at the Curragh last week and that was what we wanted as we didn't want him to have too hard a race. He goes for the Tattersalls Gold Cup and then possibly on for the Prince of Wales's Stakes too. He stays a mile and a half but he's got speed and a mile and a quarter is probably his trip.

Ruler Of The World: Dubai was a bit of a chance. I'd say that maybe I hadn't had those horses as ready for Dubai as might have been the case in the past. They went healthy without maybe having been as fit as I would have liked. The surface might not have suited him either. He did his first piece of work since the other day and we're very happy with him again. He'll go back to Epsom for the Coronation Cup. Knowing that he handles the track certainly isn't a disadvantage for him. He can go over a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half and there are a lot of options for him, probably ending up in the Arc again.

Venus De Milo: She's a big mare and I'm finding it hard to get her fit. She really is as big as a bull. When we get nearer, we'll start thinking about where to run.

Verrazano: He'd want the ground good or quicker and I just don't know if we'll get that at Newbury for the Lockinge. We could do with getting a run into him if we're going to go for the Queen Anne as we could do with learning some more about him. It's all well and good watching the videos, but we need to find out a bit more tactically, and that's why you'd want to run him if you could. That's what happened with Declaration Of War, who it turned out we did everything wrong with at Newbury, but at least we were able to sort those things out in time for Ascot. If we don't go for the Lockinge, we'll be looking at all of the other options. The alternative is to go for a gallop at Dundalk. He has half-speeded here and looks very good. He's exciting. He could well end up back at the Breeders' Cup again. He's a big powerhouse, but also a lovely straightforward horse.

Chicquita: She's on a little break at the moment. I don't have a particular race in mind for her, but she'll have an autumn campaign and could be an Arc contender. She was trained by a very good trainer [Alain de Royer-Dupre] last season and I've got something to live up to there.

Cristoforo Colombo: He's ready to run again over six and seven furlongs in Listed and Group Three races. He's been a little bit lame since his last run, but I think he's all right again now.

Eye On The Storm: As he has no left eye, he's probably better going right-handed, so that will influence our plans. He's another one for those staying races and he could go to Navan at the weekend for the Vintage Crop Stakes and he's in the Gold Cup at Ascot.

Festive Cheer: He was third in the Irish Derby last year, then went to Dubai where I hoped he might go well, but he came back lame. I had hoped I might be able to get him back in time for the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot but we're a little up against it. A mile and a half is his trip on good ground.

Three-year-old colts:

Adelaide: I thought he ran well in France and if he doesn't make it to the Derby, he could go to Ascot.

Australia: We were excited by Australia ahead of the Guineas as he had really come on and treated his lead horse Oklaoma City with total contempt. He's done nothing since the Guineas but I couldn't be more pleased with him. He is a very natural horse and has a great mind so he is like both his dad and his mum in that respect. He is a horse that has always excited us. When he turned up in the Guineas, he ran well – there were just so many variables in that race. He might be best at a mile and a quarter but there's certainly reason for thinking that he will stay a mile and a half. He's a Derby horse we've not had the like of before. I thought Camelot was the best horse we had for the Derby, but this horse is another step up. I've never had a horse like this. I'm not trying to blow him up, I'm just saying how it is. For a horse by Galileo to be doing what he's doing, we've never had that before. He's a very relaxed horse. If you put him in the starting stalls, he'd happily stand there all day.

"He's a Derby horse we've not had the like of before. I thought Camelot was the best horse we had for the Derby, but this horse is another step up. I've never had a horse like this. I'm not trying to blow him up, I'm just saying how it is." 
Aidan on Australia

Blue Hussar: He ran well at Lingfield but Ryan thought he might be too babyish for a Derby and he could wait for Ascot.

Century: I think he wants better ground than he had at Chester and we'll probably stay at a mile and a quarter. Ryan liked him but said he was a bit of a baby.

Cougar Mountain: We still haven't managed to get a run into him, but I think he's a very good horse and he has all of the entries. He could be very smart. I had hoped to run him in a maiden and then go for the Jersey, but we're slightly running out of time.

Giovanni Boldini: He wants fast ground and to take his time over a mile. He didn't run a bad race in the French Guineas, considering that a couple of things went against him. He travelled all right.

Indian Maharaja: He came home stiff after running poorly in very soft ground last time out. He stays and could be a horse for the Great Voltigeur.

Johann Strauss: He'll probably go for a maiden next. He has some very good form but might appreciate getting his head in front - it's just been a bit difficult with him. He's not there yet, but hopefully we'll go there.

War Command: Before Ascot last year [the Coventry Stakes] we debated as to whether we should put blinkers on him. When he won, we didn't talk about it again, but he is a very lazy work horse and it might just be that we try him in some sort of headgear at home and if that goes well, run him in them in the Irish 2000 Guineas. There's a chance of that. We'll know more later this week. Ryan said the same at Newmarket. He said 'He just didn't wake up for me' and it was the same when Joseph rode him in the Heinz last year. He just needs something to shift him up.

Kingfisher: He's a very solid horse, a straightforward horse, and he could go for the Derby. He's a solid Group Three horse, who likes to race handily and we could have him up there at Epsom.

Michaelmas: A nice horse who ran well in the Tetrarch. He'll go for the Irish Guineas.

Annus Mirablis: Could make his debut at Naas this week. He'll win a maiden. He works a little bit lazily and I think he might just be better than he has been showing.

Bazaar: A nice Galileo colt, unraced but he'll win his maiden. His main job at the moment is leading Johann Strauss.

Darwin: He's going to be interesting. I don't know how good he could be as a sprinter, but he could be very good if he can handle going back in trip. He doesn't want soft ground so won't go to York, but could run in the Greenlands Stakes on Irish Guineas day.

Geoffrey Chaucer: We had to get a run into him if we were going to get to Epsom, but it's a shame that we learned nothing. Things just didn't go right for him. Joseph had to go up the inside having been drawn where he was. He didn't want to ask him to quicken up suddenly and he was just slowly accelerating when the horse on his outside got him. Then he was staying on again when the same horse came off his inside and he had nowhere to go. He's fine though and the Derby is still the plan.

Juniper Tree: He's a grand horse who ran well first time out behind Australia then fractured his cannon-bone at Naas. He's on the way back now and should win a maiden over a mile and a quarter before we look further forward.

Mekong River: We were a bit mystified by his run at Lingfield but when he got back we found the blinkers had fallen over his eyes and he'd effectively been running blind. You can see if you watch the replay that he takes a few false steps around the bend and it's no surprised when you know why! We might bring him down in trip next.

Orchestra: He travels well and I know Ryan was very happy with him at Chester, which isn't always the case. If anyone had seen him there, they'd have seen that he had a bit of a tummy on him, and he'll come on for that. He has been a bit of a baby but he's coming there now and Ryan might well ride him again at Epsom. That's always the thought when you put Ryan up in one of those trials. I wasn't sure going into Chester that he'd get a mile and a half, even though his pedigree is quite stout, but I'm more inclined to think he will now after that race. I think Ryan thought that he'd gone for home a little too soon at Chester but the gap opened for him and he didn't have any choice but to take it.

"I wasn't sure going into Chester that he'd get a mile and a half, even though his pedigree is quite stout, but I'm more inclined to think he will now after that race." 
Aidan on Orchestra

Table Rock: I'm inclined to miss the Dante now with the ground having gone soft. I think he wants the step up in trip at some stage, but if he misses the Dante he might just run in the Irish Guineas instead.

Three-year-old fillies:

Bracelet: It just didn't go for her at Newmarket. We said to Ryan to drop her out and she never got into the race. He said afterwards to try her at a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half and she'll probably be trained for the Oaks.

Tapestry: I worked her with Bracelet before Newmarket and I probably shouldn't have done. She just came up a little bit light there and she empted out, but Joseph was easy on her as he didn't want to give her a grueller. She looks an Epsom filly as she's light and lean.

Marvellous: She might run at Naas this week in a Group Three. She'd be a possible for Epsom.

Dazzling: She's in the same race at Naas and I liked her win at Navan. She or Marvellous might have run in the Musidora but soft ground isn't in her favour so we've taken them out. She's in the mix for Epsom.

Terrific: She's a bit of a strange lady, who gets intimidated by other horses, which is why we ran her in the blinkers at Chester. She missed the break a bit and I don't think she was ever going after that, but we'll sort her out. We might go back in trip with her next, but we'll see. If she'd run as we expected her to at Chester, she'd have been right in the Oaks picture, But she didn't.

Just Gorgeous: She could run at Naas on Wednesday. She's a lovely Galileo filly and we think she's very nice.

Palace: I thought she ran a very good race at Leopardstown on Sunday, especially as saddling her beforehand she was showing plenty of signs of being in season. Joseph said that in the stalls all she wanted to do was lean back into them, so in the circumstances I was pleased with her run. She could run in the Irish 1000 and the Oaks - I think there's two weeks between them again, which gives you enough time to do both if you want.

Wonderfilly: She ran respectably from a bad draw in the French Guineas. She needs to step up next time, but I didn't think it was a bad run at all.

Two-year-olds:

Dick Whittington: He could run at Naas this week. He's a Rip [Van Winkle colt] and as a group I like them a lot. They're sharper than you might have expected.

John F Kennedy: He's a full brother to Duke Of Marmalade and Ruler Of The World and he's ready to rock.

Ol'Man River: He's Finsceal Beo's second foal. He's in full work and doing everything right.

The Great War: He's won both of his starts in good style and he could go for the Marble Hill next before Royal Ascot. It wasn't necessarily the plan to run him three times, but he didn't learn much first time out and I wanted to get a little more experience into him.

Timbuktu: She just got beaten at Naas on her first start, but she runs at Naas this week and she'll be hard to beat. She's a lovely filly.

War Envoy: He's a Royal Ascot possible. I think he'll run at Naas this week and hopefully he will win again.



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From Our Friends at Timeform who are not convinced that Aus can get to the summit and be the highest rated ever

 




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AIdan O'Brien audio interview about Australia


 




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O'Brien hails Australia

  • Last Updated: May 12 2014, 10:03 BST

Aidan O'Brien has described Australia as "a Derby horse we've not had the like of before" ahead of his tilt at the Investec-sponsored Classic at Epsom on June 7.

Australia (right): Exciting his trainer ahead of Investec Derby

Australia (right): Exciting his trainer ahead of Investec Derby

A son of Galileo out of the brilliant racemare Ouija Board, Australia burst onto the scene with a scintillating victory at Leopardstown last September and despite his stout breeding, was strongly fancied for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month.

Although he came up short on the Rowley Mile, beaten three-quarters of a length into third, he ran a perfect trial for Epsom and he is highly likely to be a strong favourite on the Downs next month.

O'Brien has saddled four previous Derby winners in Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012) and last year's hero Ruler Of The World.

Camelot had previously won the Guineas and almost went on to complete the triple crown in St Leger, but O'Brien feels Australia is even better.

Speaking at a press morning at Ballydoyle, the trainer said: "He's a Derby horse we've not had the like of before. I thought Camelot was the best horse we had for the Derby, but this horse is another step up.

"I've never had a horse like this. I'm not trying to blow him up, I'm just saying how it is. For a horse by Galileo to be doing what he's doing, we've never had that before.

"The reason we were excited before the Guineas (was that) his lead horse was Oklahoma City and he was treating him with contempt every day.

"Even in March and April, he was doing half-speeds with horses he shouldn't have been able to go with. When Frankie (Dettori) was over last year, he jumped off the ground after he sat on him."

For that reason, he is expecting Australia to improve considerably for his comeback run at Newmarket.It has been a slow start to the season for Ballydoyle team, with O'Brien revealing some of his string were under the weather earlier in the year.

"At the start of the year we were struggling a bit, it hasn't been straightforward. We had a bit of a cough around for a long time. I think it's more or less gone now, we're happy with where the horses are now. We've trained our way gently through it," said the trainer.

"If the horses are going to a Classic, they have to run in a prep race. We're not complaining about it, everyone gets a run of it sometimes.

"Australia was sick six weeks before the Guineas - he was probably the first horse to show signs of the cough and then it spread like wildfire through the yard."



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One of Our Horses to Follow Australia (nearest) leads the string ready to Work at Ballydoyle

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Australia

Australia: Derby trials have failed to yield credible challengers

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

Little opposition to Australia for Derby glory

Report: Leopardstown, Sunday

Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (Group 3) 3yo, 1m2f

AUSTRALIA was cut again at the head of the market for the Investec Derby after the latest trial for the Epsom race failed to produce an outstanding contender.

The Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown may have produced a dramatic result, with Fascinating Rock awarded victory in the stewards' room after Ebanoran was originally first past the post, but it failed to rock Derby markets.

The lack of a clear-cut, dominant victor meant Australia hardened as favourite while safely at home at Ballydoyle, with several firms going 5-4 and Ladbrokes shortest at evens (from 6-4).


Attention will now switch to York and the aforementioned Betfred Dante, in which Derby second-favourite True Story is set to be in action.
Paddy Power went 5-4 (from 6-4) and said: "Apart from the English 2,000 Guineas with Australia keeping on well into third, this year's Derby Trials, including Leopardstown today, appear to have been fairly uninformative and it remains to be seen if any pretender in Thursday's Dante Stakes can add some momentum to a fairly stagnant market."

Back at Leopardstown however and Dermot Weld was pleased with Fascinating Rock's performance in the Derrinstown, stating that there is more to come from the colt who is now a general 14-1 shot for the Derby.

"It's pretty certain he'll go for Epsom, I know the class of the horse and the best is yet to come," Weld said.

Fascinating Rock's win completed a clean sweep of Group 3 races on the card for Weld and Pat Smullen, but the last leg had to be gained in the stewards' room following a lengthy inquiry.

It was Ebanoran who passed the line first after Declan McDonogh made what appeared to be a race-winning move at the top of the straight, blazing to the front.

However, he caused interference to Geoffrey Chaucer when going past and cutting across, and there was further interference close to the line.

Geoffrey Chaucer was again involved, this time left with nowhere to go between Ebanoran and Fascinating Rock, who had come from last to challenge.

Ebanoran had drifted off the rail, and gave Fascinating Rock a bump, with the evens-favourite going down narrowly as Ebanoran went past the post first.

But John Oxx's runner was demoted to second when Fascinating Rock was handed the race by the stewards.

Weld felt the right decision had been made, and said: "I don't like to win a race in the stewards' room and I feel for John Oxx. With a better pace he would have won outright and I thought it was inevitable he'd get it.

"It was an inconclusive race, we didn't expect it to be a three furlong sprint and it was an excellent run. This is the first time he's had to sprint and he'll have learned a lot."



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No Luck for Geoff in Derrinstown 


Fascinating Rock (left) and Ebanoran pass the line together
Fascinating Rock (left) and Ebanoran pass the line together



Geoffrey Chaucer ran with plenty of credit in third on his first appearance since the end of September, also suffering interference.



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Boldini seventh as Karakontie delivers

Sun 11th May 2014, 15:33
Giovanni Boldini finished seventh of twelve in the French 2,000 Guineas
Giovanni Boldini finished seventh of twelve in the French 2,000 Guineas 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Hot favourite Karakontie repelled the challenge of Prestige Vendome to run out a determined winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) at Longchamp.

Karakontie won the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at the Paris track for English-born, French-based trainer Jonathan Pease last October and having suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Ectot on his return, he was a 6-4 favourite to take Classic glory.

Having travelled well on the heels of the leaders, Stephane Pasquier's mount quickened up well and had enough in the tank in the final furlong to hold off Prestige Vendome and Thierry Thulliez.

Pornichet just held on for third ahead of the best of the British contingent, John Gosden's Muwaary.

The dual Newbury winner pulled fiercely for his head in the hands of Paul Hanagan in the early stages and did well to finish as close as he did.

Marco Botti's Lat Hawill and the Andrew Balding-trained End Of Line were the back pair turning for home and neither made inroads, with Lat Hawill finishing tailed off.

Aidan O'Brien's challenger Giovanni Bolidini was well placed at the top of the straight for Ryan Moore, but his finishing effort was disappointing.



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                       Not to be today for Palace who ran with great credit


 

 



 



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Chaucer can write name up in lights


Geoffrey Chaucer and Joseph O’Brien can land tomorrow’s Derby trial

GEOFFREY CHAUCER is Aidan O'Brien's sole runner in tomorrow's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, though that no longer implies that he is the stable's chosen one for Epsom.


Over time, however, O'Brien's strategy has evolved, with Camelot going via the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and Ruler Of The World taking in the Chester Vase before securing his shock Classic victory.
Galileo and High Chaparral, the current Ballydoyle operation's first two Derby heroes, both took in Leopardstown's 10-furlong Group Three en route to glory.

Given that Orchestra and Kingfisher both threw their names into the hat on the Roodee this week followingAustralia's immensely satisfying Guineas defeat last Saturday, O'Brien's Epsom hand once again looks potent.

He has farmed nine of the last 13 editions of this €100,000 contest, and Geoffrey Chaucer warrants his position at the head of the market now.

In making it two wins from two outings in the Curragh's Beresford Stakes in September, he dismissed Oklahoma City and the reopposing Altruistic with real authority.

Oklahoma City went on to claim a valuable race at Newmarket before then finishing second there to Kingston Hill, which subsequently had Altruistic back in third in a Doncaster Group One.

That is pretty serious form, so Geoffrey Chaucer, a half-brother to the dual French Classic winner Shamardal, is fancied to confirm his precocity under Joseph O'Brien tomorrow.

If he does prevail, he will surely emerge as a legitimate threat to Australia at the head of the ante-post market for Epsom, because this year's Derrinstown has far more depth to it than of late.





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O'Brien's Mekong River to make his presence felt at Lingfield


THE Aidan O'Brien-trained Mekong River is as high as 40/1 in the betting for next month's Derby, a long way behind his stablemate Australia which currently trades at 6/4 for the Epsom Classic.

This race was relegated from Group Three to Listed class last year so if the truth be told, it's a Derby trial in name only. Indeed, not one of today's nine entrants are priced any lower than 33/1 for the actual Classic itself.While Mekong River most likely lacks the talent to win Britain's most prestigious race, he should at least have what it takes to make his presence felt in this afternoon's Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield (2.55), priced in the region of 4/1.

Still though, the presence of Charlie Appleby's market leader Sudden Wonder (11/4) will ensure that Mekong River is not the only horse rated above 100 going to post so hopefully we'll get a reasonably good race from a field that lacks any real star quality.

In fairness to the organisers, an extra £40,000 has been added to the prizemoney to bring it up to £100,000 so it's a race worth winning in its own right.

O'Brien has won it three times since 2008 and Mekong River comes here in good shape following a successful juvenile career in which he won his first four starts, and he then signed off by finishing fourth in a French Group One in November.

That Criterium de Saint-Cloud loss came just six days on from his previous win at Leopardstown and should certainly not be seen in a negative light.

O'Brien also saddles Blue Hussar (5/1), which looked a bit green when winning his debut at Leopardstown although there would appear to be plenty of scope for improvement.


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Shield puts the opposition to the sword

 By Alan Magee

Fri 9th May 2014, 17:56
Fruits Of Molly leads at the last but is about to be collared by Shield
Fruits Of Molly leads at the last but is about to be collared by Shield
(Healy Racing Photos)
A maximum field of 24 lined up for the two-mile maiden hurdle at Cork but it appeared to boil down to a match between Shield and Ashjar, if the betting could be believed beforehand, and it was the former who came out on top.

Previously successful in a Leopardstown bumper and a two-mile maiden on the Polytrack at Dundalk, the Aidan O’Brien-trained gelding was produced to challenge at the final flight.

Robbie Power secured a fine leap at the last from the son of Dylan Thomas, and soon reeled in Fruits Of Molly on the run-in to record a three lengths verdict and justify 5/4 favouritism.

Ashjar was let down by his jumping at the final two hurdles and finished a further three and three quarter lengths back in third.

JP McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry said, “He jumped well and appreciated the better ground. He did everything right and will be kept on the go. He might jump a fence later in the year.”


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KINGFISHER strikes in Dee Stakes 

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The Aidan O'Brien-trained Kingfisher swooped late to collar Bow Creek and land the Betfair                                                                Cash Out Dee Stakes at Chester on Friday.


Kingfisher (centre) ridden by Joseph O'Brien wins the The Betfair Cash Out Dee Stakes.

Kingfisher (centre) ridden by Joseph O'Brien wins the The Betfair Cash Out Dee Stakes.


The 11/4 joint-favourite looked in trouble as the field turned for home and it looked as if Mark Johnston's three-year-old had given the field the slip but jockey Joseph O'Brien managed to galvanise his mount and the pair stayed on strongly to record a length victory.

" He jumped out nicely and we got a good position but the early pace was very slow," said O'Brien.

"Jamie (Spencer, on board Randwick) then kicked on and injected some pace which just caught me flat footed a bit. Once we straightened up, he started to fly and he'll be suited by another couple of furlongs.

"I think he's a lovely horse. Things didn't got too right in the race but he still got away with it. I would imagine he's not too far off our best - I quite like him."

Kevin Buckley, Coolmore's UK representative, echoed O'Brien's sentiments.

"Joseph was delighted with the way in which he galloped all the way to the line and he's finished off the race very well. We were happy with Century (O'Brien's other runner which finished fourth) and he finished off his race well as well.

"He'd have preferred a much stronger pace and, while he handled the ground, he'd be one that wants it a lot quicker."

Sky Bet quoted Kingfisher at 50/1 for the Investec Derby following the race and the firm's Michael Shinners felt that Coolmore have better options has they look to land the Epsom classic.

"It was a decent performance from Kingfisher but Coolmore look to have stronger candidates and it still looks like 2000 Guineas runner-up Australia is the one they all have to beat."



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Chaucer among Derrinstown runners

Fri 9th May 2014, 13:22
Geoffrey Chaucer winning the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh
Geoffrey Chaucer winning the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh
(Healy Racing Photos)
A high-class field of eight runners has been declared for the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The 10-furlong contest is a renowned Classic pointer for major events on both sides of the Irish Sea, and numbers the likes of Sinndar, Galileo, High Chaparral, Alamshar and Yeats on the roll of honour.

Twelve months ago Aidan O'Brien struck with Battle Of Marengo and this year he saddles the exciting Geoffrey Chaucer.

Unbeaten in two starts, his juvenile campaign culminated in victory in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in September. The son of Montjeu is around a 16-1 chance for the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Leading the opposition is Fascinating Rock for the in-form Dermot Weld.

Fifth on his sole outing as a two-year-old, Pat Smullen's mount won a 10-furlong maiden at Leopardstown in April before progressing again to land the Ballysax Stakes at Navan, beating Jim Bolger's Answered, who reopposes. Bolger also runs Mandatario.

Ger Lyons will have high hopes for Obliterator, second in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on his reappearance to the highly regarded True Story and a half-brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Just The Judge.

John Oxx's Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial third Ebanoran steps up in trip, with Highly Toxic (Pat Flynn) and Altruistic (Johnny Murtagh) completing the field for the Group Three showpiece.




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Australia on course for Derby bid


Fri 9th May 2014, 09:04
Australia stretches clear at Leopardstown last year
Australia stretches clear at Leopardstown last year
(Healy Racing Photos)
Australia is giving off the right signs as he charts a route towards the Investec Derby, according to jockey Joseph O'Brien.

Ballydoyle's inmate turned in a very encouraging performance in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last weekend when chasing home Night Of Thunder and Kingman to take third place.

Australia hardened as ante-post favourite for the premier Classic at Epsom, with his stout breeding giving every indication he will relish the step up to a mile and a half on June 7.

O'Brien said: "He ran a blinder and obviously hasn't done much since.

"We are very happy with him and hopefully we can get him to the Derby."



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Ryan Moore to ride Wonderfully, Giovanni Boldini and Adelaide in Longchamp on Sunday for French 1000 Guineas, French 2000 Guineas & Prix Hocquart & Jospeh stays in Ireland to ride Geoffrey Chaucer in Derrinstown Derby Trial At Leopardstown


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Aidan O Brien Leopardstown 04.09.2010

Aidan O'Brien: runs Century and Kingfisher in the Dee Stakes

 PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

O'Brien aims to continue Dee Stakes dominance

THE Betfair Cash Out Dee Stakes may have been downgraded to  Listed level this year but that has not stopped Aidan O'Brien bidding to maintain his recent stranglehold in this prestigious Classic trial.

The Ballydoyle maestro has won the race four times, winning the last two with Magician, who missed the Derby but landed the Irish 2,000 Guineas on his next start, and Astrology, who went on to finish third in the Epsom Classic.

Century  (Ryan Moore) and Kingfisher (Joseph O'Brien), maiden winners who have struggled when stepped up in grade and are 66-1 and 100-1 for Epsom, represent O'Brien in a race that last provided the Derby winner in 2003 with Kris Kin.

O'Brien said of the pair: "Century is having his first run of the year and won nicely first time out at the Curragh before running below expectations in the Racing Post Trophy.

"The ground was soft at Doncaster and, hopefully, conditions won't deteriorate. Kingfisher is in good form and we think he has come forward since his first run of the season in the Ballysax Stakes last month. We think the track might suit him."





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Ryan Moore can repeat the dose on Century


Jockey Joseph O'Brien

AS was the case at Chester yesterday, Joseph O'Brien has opted for the race-fit Kingfisher over the returning Century for his father Aidan in the Dee Stakes today.


O'Brien has won the last two editions of this 10-furlong Listed contest, with Moore driving the subsequent dual Group One hero Magician to an impressive victory 12 months ago.
Ryan Moore again falls in for the plum mount on the cast-off and his desperate Vase triumph on the well-backed Orchestra was a timely reminder that the Ballydoyle maestro will have his horses just where he wants them to be on any given day.

It remains to be seen what sort of Classic aspirations any of today's eight-strong field have, but it doesn't appear to be an especially hot race. Indeed, Kingfisher has looked well shy of the elite echelon so far, with just a Killarney maiden rout to his name.

He never threatened behind Fascinating Rock and yesterday's flop Carlo Bugatti on his Navan reappearance over this distance, when the one-paced manner in which he was defeated suggested a step-up in trip would suit.

If this turns into a slog and he handles the soft ground, then maybe Kingfisher will have a big say, but it is worth taking a punt on Century.

Drawn just inside Kingfisher in stall two, the son of Montjeu failed to raise a gallop when thrown into Group One company at Doncaster in the autumn, just 13 days after scoring on his Curragh bow.

Previously at headquarters, Century was a straightforward winner of a fair maiden, with the recent two-time winner Prince Of All well held in third. With the exception of Mark Johnston's Bow Creek and Somewhat, that is as good a piece of form as is on offer here.

Both of those two have some smart recommendations, but they are far more exposed sorts that have amassed an aggregate 17 runs.

In contrast, Century has the scope to leave his Doncaster turn behind and improve beyond everything, so odds of 10/3 are too big to ignore.

                            

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Orchestra edges out Romsdal in thrilling Chester Vase


Favourite Orchestra held on by a nostril to win a thrilling MBNA Chester Vase.


 




Orchestra (left) ridden by Ryan Moore wins the MBNA Chester Vase from Romsdal
Orchestra (left) ridden by Ryan Moore wins the MBNA Chester Vase from Romsdal

For much of the Investec Derby trial it seemed to be a case of how far the 3/1 Aidan O'Brien-trained colt would win by, such was the purpose he travelled with under Ryan Moore.

Nipping through a gap on the home turn he set sail for home and the race looked over - only for Romsdal (9/2) to emerge from the pack.

He closed hand-over-fist in the final 100 yards and only failed to get there by the narrowest of margins.

The pair were eight lengths clear of 7/1 chance Scotland in third.

Moore said: "It was a perfect trip but I was on the best horse. I was trying to be nice to him. He's a lovely horse. He travelled around beautifully. He's a big, strong horse and it's only his third ever run. The ground was probably a bit too loose for him. They think a bit of the second and third, so hopefully it will be (a strong race)."

O'Brien was winning his fifth Chester Vase in the last eight years, including 12 months ago with subsequent Investec Derby hero Ruler Of The World.

Kevin Buckley , Coolmore's UK representative, said: "We are very, very pleased with that. He was a bit keen for a little stage, but Ryan got him into a nice rhythm and travelled into the race.

"Ryan was very happy with the horse. He's a fine, big type of animal and typical of a Galileo. To do that around Chester, we have to be pleased.

"It was only his third career start and Aidan was happy with him at home and was looking forward to seeing how he got on here.

"Aidan probably left a little bit of work on him, and as I said it was only his third start and we were very happy with way he went around Chester."

Sky Bet cut the winner to 20/1 from 40s for the Epsom Classic, spokesman Michael Shinners saying: "He ended up scrambling home but I liked the way Orchestra travelled through the race. He's likely to form part of the O'Brien raiding party for Epsom and seems likely to handle the track - while we know he stays the trip."


 


                           

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O'Brien double-handed in Lingfield trial

Thu 8th May 2014, 12:55
Mekong River
Mekong River 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien will saddle both Mekong River and stable companion Blue Hussar in the Betfred.com Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield on Saturday.

The master of Ballydoyle claimed the Listed prize with odds-on favourite Nevis 12 months ago and has also struck with Alessandro Volta (2008) and Age Of Aquarius (2009) in recent years.

Mekong River won his first four starts as a juvenile, but was beaten into fourth when favourite for the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud in November, while Blue Hussar is far less experienced, with his victory in a Leopardstown maiden in November his only start to date.



                           

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                          ORCHESTRA

 

 



 




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Boldini tackles French 2000

Thu 8th May 2014, 14:33
Giovanni Boldini
Giovanni Boldini 
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien's Giovanni Boldini and the John Gosden-trained Muwaary feature among 14 horses declared for the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp on Sunday.

O'Brien has trained Landseer (2002), Aussie Rules (2006) and Astronomer Royal (2007) to win the Poule d'Essai des Poulains since the turn of the century, with Astronomer Royal the last Irish or British-trained runner to prevail.

Giovanni Boldini was narrowly beaten in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and was last seen finishing fourth in the UAE Derby at Meydan.

Muwaary is unbeaten in two starts for Gosden, making a winning debut in a Newbury maiden last summer and scoring in handicap company on his return to action at the same track last month.

He is joined on the trip from Britain by Marco Botti's Greenham Stakes fourth Lat Hawill and Andrew Balding's Esher Cup runner-up End Of Line.

The home team includes Jean-Claude Rouget-trained pair Kiram and Salai, Andre Fabre's Decathlete and Jonathan Pease's Karakontie.

A total of 16 fillies are set to go to post for the French 1000 Guineas, the Poule D'Essai des Pouliches.

Heading the raiding party is Brian Meehan's Fred Darling winner J Wonder and she will be reopposed by Botti's Al Thakhira, beaten just a head in the Newbury trial.

Nell Gwyn Stakes fifth Queen Catrine represents Charlie Hills, Rae Guest sends Bosra Sham Stakes winner Cape Factor across the Channel and O'Brien's sole runner is Wonderfully, who showed smart form as a juvenile.

Alain de Royer-Dupre has both Mintaka and Veda in contention, while Lesstalk In Paris and Avenir Certain are major players for Rouget.

The all-important draw for both races will take place on Friday.




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Ryan Moore: Exclusive thoughts on Orchestra 

 


14:45, Chester
Orchestra

I have won this race for Aidan in two of the last three years, most notably with Derby winner Ruler Of The World last May, and hopefully I am on another of his with a live chance in Orchestra, though I don't know much about him at the moment, to be honest. It is always difficult trying to get a handle on these types of horses - all impeccably-bred, lightly-raced and open to a lot of improvement, who tend to come to Chester after just a maiden win. The form of his 7f Tipperary win wasn't franked when the runner-up was well-beaten off a mark of 82 at Newmarket last week but that, to a large extent, doesn't mean a great deal as he is all about potential and clearly the step up in trip will suit this Galileo colt, and he is entered in all the right races. So let's see how we get on.


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Boldini pick of O'Brien trio for French Guineas


11 August 2013; Trainer Aidan O'Brien after the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE
Trainer Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien can choose from Adelaide, Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boldini in the French 2,000 Guineas (Poule d'Essai des Poulains) at Longchamp on Sunday.

Giovanni Boldini has the best form in the book after he was just denied in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, but the other two possible Ballydoyle representatives are still unbeaten.

Richard Hannon's Shifting Power still holds an entry after he finished fourth behind stablemate Night Of Thunder in last Saturday's 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Powerful Owners Qatar Racing could give End Of Line (Andrew Balding), God Willing (Ed Dunlop) and Lat Hawill (Marco Botti) the chance to shine.

John Gosden's unbeaten colt Muwaary is also in contention while Karakontie is one of the leading challengers from the home team, with Galiway a worthy ally for Andre Fabre, who could also run Godolphin's Decathlete.





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Orchestra can call tune and take Vase



Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILEPicture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien. 

Aidan O'Brien, who has done more than anyone else in recent times to salvage the Chester Vase's status as a legitimate Derby trial, relies on Carlo Bugatti and Orchestra in this afternoon's edition of the 12-furlong Group Three.


Quest For Fame was beaten in the Vase prior to enjoying
 Derby glory in 1990, as wins for O'Brien's subsequent Irish Derby heroes Soldier Of Fortune (2007) and Treasure Beach – narrowly denied by Pour Moi at Epsom in 2011 – finally began the process of rejuvenating its Classic credentials.When the Ballydoyle whiz saddled Ruler Of World to take the Epsom Classic last year after warming up with a runaway victory in the Vase, it was the first time any horse landed both races since Shergar famously did so in 1981.

Just five of today's nine-strong field are entered in next month's premier Classic, but the suspicion is that the two raiders are the ones best equipped to further enhance its reputation. Joseph O'Brien has opted for the first-time blinkered Carlo Bugatti.

However, the Montjeu colt's pedigree doesn't suggest middle distances will be his area of expertise, and the way that he folded behind Fascinating Rock in the Ballysax Stakes at Navan did nothing to refute that. The Ryan Moore-ridden Orchestra is a more appealing option at 4/1 from a favourable draw in stall two on the notoriously tight Roodee circuit.

Second to Free Eagle on its Leopardstown debut last August before running out a smooth winner at Tipperary, the son of Galileo is out of a sister to Moonstone and L'Acresse, which respectively won and finished second in an Irish Oaks for the Rosegreen stable.

That would suggest this sort of test will suit Orchestra ideally, although he has to overcome a lack of a recent outing here. Nonetheless, Australia's performance at Newmarket on Saturday confirmed that O'Brien will have his three-year-old colts as ready as he wants on any given day, so Moore's mount is fancied to be tuned up sufficiently for this assignment.



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Orchestra can call Vase tune

  • By: George Primarolo
  • Last Updated: May 7 2014, 20:24 BST

Orchestra can win the MBMA Chester Vase on the Roodee on Thursday.


Ryan Moore can land the Chester Vase with Orchestra

Ryan Moore can land the Chester Vase with Orchestra


Carlo Bugatti

Got off the mark at the first time of asking in a Galway maiden for Aidan O'Brien but wasn't seen again as a two-year-old. Made a seasonal debut in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes where he could only finish fourth behind Fascinating Rock but tired badly in the final furlong which suggested he may have needed the run. Connections opt for first time blinkers here and a similar trick worked last year when Ruler Of The World landed this race in first time cheekpieces. The booking of Joseph O'Brien would normally suggest he's the stable number one but given he's definitley going to ride Australia in the Derby, that might not be the case here.


Orchestra

The second of Aidan O'Brien's duo, this colt was beaten by Free Eagle on his debut (who then went on to finish behind Australia next time out) but made no mistake the week later when getting off the mark at Tipperary. His siblings haven't achieved much on the track to date but there's plenty of black type further back in the pedigree (including Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf runner-up L'Ancresse and Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Wareed) so he's a fascinating contender for last year's winning stable. May actually be the stable's number one choice even though Ryan Moore is on board.



Verdict

With Joseph O'Brien almost certain to partner Australia at Epsom, it's more than likely that Ryan Moore will ride the Coolmore first string in the upcoming Derby trials and ORCHESTRA can give the stable their fifth winner of the race. He looked just the type to improve considerably from two to three when winning at Tipperary last year and his pedigree suggests this sort of trip will be ideal.



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DEE DAY FOR AOB DERBY HOPES CENTURY & KINGFISHER
07 May 2014


Aidan O'Brien will be double-handed in Friday's Betfair Cash Out Dee Stakes at Chester.

The 10-furlong race has been downgraded to Listed from Group Three status this year, but the Ballydoyle handler still runs Derby entries Century and Kingfisher in a contest he landed last year with Magician.

Century won a maiden last term and was last seen finishing last in the Racing Post Trophy, while Kingfisher finished fifth in the Ballysax Stakes on his reappearance this season.



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Ruler has Coronation aim

  • Last Updated: May 7 2014, 13:04 BST

Ruler Of The World is on course to return to the scene of his finest hour, with next month's Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom his intended target.


Ruler Of The World: Heading back to Epsom

Ruler Of The World: Heading back to Epsom

The four-year-old won the Investec Derby last term but failed to strike gold in four subsequent outings, although he finished a creditable third behind Farhh when dropped back to 10 furlongs in the Champion Stakes on his final 2013 outing.

Al Shaqab Racing snapped up a 50 per cent share in the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt ahead of his run in the Dubai World Cup earlier this year and are now joint-owners with the Coolmore team.

While that investment did not pay immediate dividends, with Ruler Of The World only 13th of the 16 runners at Meydan, Al Shaqab racing advisor Harry Herbert believes the style of the race just did not suit.

He said: "The plan is to go for the Coronation Cup at Epsom.


"I think the World Cup just didn't suit him. We saw how strung out the field were, some horses can handle that and some can't. It was a shame, as he seemed in good form going into the race.
"Having acted around the track before in winning last year's Derby, it seems the obvious race for him. That was the plan Aidan drew up two or three weeks ago and I haven't heard of any changes.

"He is not a horse I know well yet, but looking at him in the paddock, you would have to have been really pleased with the way he looked and we'll go back to Epsom now."

 


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Terrific tuned up for Cheshire Oaks


Tue 6th May 2014, 17:59
Terrific
Terrific
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien is out to win his fourth Weatherbys Private Banking Cheshire Oaks in the last seven years with Terrific at Chester on Wednesday.

The 1.3million guineas filly won twice as a juvenile and stayed on for third place behind stablemate Dazzling in a Listed race at Navan on her return.

"She ran well in Navan and won't mind going round a bend. She is lazy, which is why she wears blinkers. It's just to keep her occupied as she doesn't do a lot - she was like that last year. She's in good form, she stays and she'll get the trip well," O'Brien told At The Races.

"Chester is a good, sharp track and it's not too hard on the horses. It doesn't bottom them out and sharpens them up mentally as they learn to switch on to their left leg. They do a good job on the ground in Chester."


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Ruler Of The World - Chester 9.5.13

Ruler Of The World winning the Chester Vase 12 months ago

 PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

O'Brien sets pair 
to follow Ruler path

AIDAN O'BRIEN saddled subsequent Derby hero Ruler Of The World to win the MBNA Chester Vase 12 months ago and will rely on Carlo Bugatti and Orchestra in Thursday's race.

Ruler Of The World became the first Chester Vase winner since Shergar in 1981 to follow up at Epsom and O'Brien will hope his pair can emerge as major players for the Investec-sponsored Classic.


O'Brien, who could have also declared Mekong River, Century and Kingfisher for the Group 3, expects Carlo Bugatti to improve from his fourth in the Ballysax Stakes last month, while he described Orchestra as a "fine, big colt" in a recent Racing Post stable tour.
Carlo Bugatti, 50-1 for the Derby, will be ridden by O'Brien's son Joseph, while Ryan Moore, who steered Ruler Of The World to victory at Epsom, is on Orchestra, a 40-1 chance.

They face seven rivals including the John Gosden-trained Romsdal and Festival Theatre, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

Telescope, one-time favourite for last year's Derby, tackles seven opponents in the Group 3 Betfair Price Rush Huxley Stakes on the card, while dual Grade 1 winner Wigmore Hall is back in handicap company in the opener.



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O'Brien trio in French Guineas

  • Last Updated: May 6 2014, 13:14 BST

Aidan O'Brien can choose from Adelaide, Geoffrey Chaucer and Giovanni Boldini 

in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp on Sunday.


Geoffrey Chaucer could represent Aidan O'Brien in France

Geoffrey Chaucer could represent Aidan O'Brien in France

Giovanni Boldini has the best form in the book after he was just denied in the 

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, but the other two possible Ballydoyle representatives 

are still unbeaten.



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Chaucer Among Ballydoyle Quintet For Derrinstown Trial 

Paul Rhodes for AOBFS 6th May 2014 17;00pm


Berresford Stakes Winner Geoffrey Chaucer has a couple of  Options this Weekend 

Aidan O'Brien holds his usual strong hand in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial

at Leopardstown on Sunday with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is also engaged in 

the French Guineas, Mekong River, who won four of his five starts last season, 

the once-raced pair of Blue Hussar and Red Rocks Point and Iniesta all 

possible.



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 Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight 06/05/14


 


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O'BRIEN DUO ON VASE DUTY
06 May 2014

Carlo Bugatti and Orchestra are the two chosen ones from the Ballydoyle stable in the MBNA Chester Vase on Thursday.

Aidan O'Brien has declared blinkers for Carlo Bugatti, the mount of Joseph O'Brien and fourth to the promising Fascinating Rock in the Ballysax Stakes on his return.

Ryan Moore will ride Orchestra, second to Free Eagle on his debut and an easy maiden winner next time out.

Mark Johnston runs Stars Over The Sea, a close third in the Classic Trial at Epsom.

Seagull Star, Romsdal and Scotland add further spice, while Automated, Belfilo and Festival Theatre make up the nine-runner field for the Derby trial over a mile and a half.


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Magician Leaves it Late 


Dual Group One winner Magician was made to work to justify his prohibitive odds in the High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.


Magician (right) beats Parish Hall in a thriller at the Curragh

Magician (right) beats Parish Hall in a thriller at the Curraght

The brilliant winner of last year's Irish 2000 Guineas before signing off his season with victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf, Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old was sixth when favourite for the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in late March.

Dropping in class and trip for his return to domestic action, the Galileo colt went on his way the 2-13 favourite and Joseph O'Brien was happy to give each of his four rivals start.

He was still last turning for home and when asked to close on his opponents, the response was not immediate.

Jim Bolger's 2011 Dewhurst winner Parish Hall, disappointing in two previous starts this year, set sail a over a furlong out and for a brief moment it looked as though the bird had flown.


It was a fifth consecutive victory in the race for the winning trainer following the previous successes of Fame And Glory, So You Think, Windsor Palace and Camelot.
However, Magician eventually found top gear and wore him down to take the Group Three prize by a neck.

The winning trainer said: "I nearly got a heart attack looking at him (before the race). He was away in Dubai and things didn't go right for him. We gave him a little rest and he had a good tummy on him today.

"He's going to come back here for the Tattersalls Gold Cup (May 25). He's in a good place now and Joseph was very happy and said he won snug. He's not gone right-handed that much before."


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Decent Ballydoyle Debut for Peace Burg there gave weight away all round

 

Flying Jib (right) beating Peace Burg in the Athasi Stakes
Flying Jib (right) beating Peace Burg in the Athasi Stakes


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Magician back to winning ways

Mon 5th May 2014, 16:42
Magician (Joseph O'Brien nearside) comes past Parish Hall
Magician (Joseph O'Brien nearside) comes past Parish Hall
(Healy Racing Photos)
Ballydoyle completed a short-priced double at the Curragh when Magician in the Group 3 High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes added to their gains earlier with The Great War.

The Irish 2000 Guineas and Breeders Cup Turf hero was ridden like the class horse that he is by Joseph O'Brien.

O'Brien took his time on the Galileo colt, at the back of the five runner field, and he always looked happy that the four-year-old would pick up when required through the last couple of furlongs.

Those with an investment in the 2/13 shot definitely had to sweat as Parish Hall made Magician challenge wide. The high-profile Dubai Sheema Classic beaten favourite really hit top gear under hands and heels inside the last to go on and prevail by a snug neck from his aforementioned opponent.

Aidan O’Brien said: "He's going to come back here for the Tattersalls Gold Cup now.

"He was away in Dubai and things didn't go right for him and we gave him a little rest after that.

"He's not gone right handed that much.

"He had a good tummy on him but he's in a good place now and Joseph was very happy with him, saying that he won snug." (AM & EM)



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War cruises to glory

  • Last Updated: May 5 2014, 14:51 BST

The Great War had little trouble securing his second victory from as many starts The Great War saunters to victory under Joseph O'Brien

The Great War saunters to victory under Joseph O'Brien

The Great War had little trouble securing his second victory from as many starts as he scooted clear of his rivals in the Most Improved EBF Race at the Curragh.

Having justified long odds-on favouritism with an impressive racecourse debut at Tipperary almost a fortnight ago, Aidan O'Brien's colt was a 1-9 favourite for his second assignment over five furlongs.

Arriana and Bluerince Lady were quickly away and disputed the early running, but The Great War was never too far from the pace and Joseph O'Brien cut a confident figure as he prepared to unleash his mount over a furlong down.

The $1million War Front colt quickly put the race to bed without being extended, cruising home three lengths clear of Cork winner Bwana.

Newcomer Intense Style ran with plenty of promise in third.

O'Brien snr said: "I'm delighted with that. He's fast and he's made a lovely progression from Tipperary. He could come back here for the Marble Hill Stakes, if the ground was fast. If not he could go straight to Royal Ascot."


 

 


Very easy for The Great War

Mon 5th May 2014, 14:28
The Great War (Joseph O'Brien) clears away from Bwana (grey) and Arriana (dark colours)
The Great War (Joseph O'Brien) clears away from Bwana (grey) and Arriana (dark colours)
(Healy Racing Photos)
As a starting price of 1/9 would suggest, there was no fuss for The Great War  and Joosph O'Brien in the opening Most Improved European Breeders Fund Race at the Curragh.

The Tipperary winner eased away inside the final furlong to defeat Bawana by three lengths.

Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "I'm delighted and he's fast. He's made lovely progression from Tipperary.

"He could come back here for the Marble Hill if the ground is fast and if not he could go straight to Royal Ascot.

"He'll only run on fast ground." (AM & EM)



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Aidan reports on Guineas runners 


On Australia:
"Joseph had to commit early after they split. Ran straight as a gun barrel. In good form and won't run before Derby".


On Bracelet:
"Ryan got off her and said she wants to go further which would be typical of a Montjeu".


On Tapestry:
“I left her too light. It was trainer error and I shouldn't have run her. Give her break and put condition back on her".


On War Command:
"He's a big, burly horse and will improve from the run. He'll go for the Irish Guineas here".




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Terrific in Chester mix

Mon 5th May 2014, 11:16
Terrific seen here in winning action
Terrific seen here in winning action
(Healy Racing Photos)
Terrific is Aidan O'Brien's only representative as the Ballydoyle handler bids for a fourth victory in the last seven runnings of the Weatherbys Private Banking Cheshire Oaks at Chester on Wednesday.

O'Brien has saddled Sail (2008), Perfect Truth (2009) and Wonder Of Wonders (2011) to take the Listed prize in recent years and this season's contender has sound claims having finished third behind stablemate Dazzling on her three-year-old debut in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan last month.

The home team is headed by the Roger Varian-trained Anipa, a winner at Wolverhampton and Windsor already this year, while John Gosden saddles impressive Newbury maiden winner Bright Approach.

Ed Walker's Full Moon Fever made a good impression when winning at Wolverhampton last month and takes to the turf for the first time and Roger Charlton runs Lady Tyne, last seen bolting up at Newbury in late October.

Sir Michael Stoute's Psychometry and Marcus Tregoning's Secret Pursuit were victorious on their most recent appearances.

Charlie Hills-trained maiden Brown Diamond and Peter Chapple-Hyam's Groovejet complete the nine-runner field.

 


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Owners Page Updated Including the New Magnier Grey Silks (Left) Which he recently purchased at Auction. THE ISLANDER will be carrying them for the 1st time this afternoon at The Curragh also new owner added Mrs P Shanahan & MV Magnier who Own Peace Burg Who Makes her Debut for Ballydoyle today

 



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Magician to maintain O'Brien dominance of Mooresbridge






MAGICIAN can justify short odds to secure a fifth successive triumph for Ballydoyle in the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh today.

Aidan O'Brien has saddled three similarly long odds-on shots to take the €75,000 Group Three since 2010, with Windsor Palace's 66/1 shock defeat of St Nicholas Abbey disrupting the run in 2012.

Just as St Nicholas Abbey had done, Magician comes here on the back of a frustrating defeat in the Sheema Classic at Meydan on World Cup night, having failed to find the gaps required to challenge in time after dropping in stone-last under Joseph O'Brien.

Magician should come on for that now, and the champion jockey will be anxious to get him back to winning ways ahead of what could be a massive season for the Classic-winning Galileo four-year-old.

Of his four opponents, only Jim Bolger's Parish Hall could be considered a worthy rival, but the 2011 Dewhurst hero looks a shadow of his old self.

In the Listed Tetrarch Stakes, the Ballydoyle stable jockey has opted for Michaelmas over Great White Eagle, Fountain Of Youth and The Islander.

While Michaelmas and Great White Eagle, in particular, were highly regarded juveniles, a watching brief is advised for now, with preference in this seven-furlong heat going to Paul Deegan's Shining Emerald.

SPRINT

In winning for a second time at the Curragh last autumn, the Clodovil colt beat Guerre, which showed himself to be no mug by landing a decent sprint at Naas last week.

Shining Emerald subsequently finished third to Craftsman when Michaelmas was second in the Killavullan Stakes, but the advantage of race-fitness might tip the balance his way now.

On his re-appearance at Leopardstown, he came clear with Go For Goal in the mile Classic trial. He lost little in defeat, but this drop to six furlongs ought to suit Chris Hayes' mount.

The Coventry Stakes ante-post favourite The Great War and debutant Household Cavalry, a brother to the Derby runner-up Eagle Mountain, could win at either end of the card for Ballydoyle, with Peace Burg and Beyond Brilliance their representatives in the Athasi Stakes.

However, the one to keep on side in that Group Three is Tommy Stack's Wannabe Better.

 



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Australia emerges with Guineas credit at Newmarket

O'Brien ace stakes Derby claim as Fallon steals Thunder at Newmarket


Night Of Thunder and Kieren Fallon (far right) edge out Kingman (near side) and Australia in the 2,000 Guineas

Despite all the hype beforehand, Aidan O'Brien will have been pretty satisfied with Australia's gallant Qipco 2,000 Guineas defeat on Saturday.

In a messy edition of the Newmarket Group One, the chestnut colt emerged with massive credit. From the highest draw, Richard Hughes opted to make a beeline for the stands' side rail from the get-go on Toormore, and Mickael Barzalona quickly decided to join him aboard Outstrip.

The Joseph O'Brien-ridden Australiawas then among a group of six riders that belatedly moved to follow suit after a furlong or so. The peloton, for want of a better name, had already established a natural line angling towards the far side rail, and it included the hot favourite, Kingman.

On quick ground, it's hard to understand why the six riders then felt a need to break away from that group. Given his draw, for good or bad, Hughes had a deliberate plan in mind, and Barzalona was entitled to stick close to a leading contender that was drawn directly alongside him.

Why the others belatedly changed tack is less easy to rationalise. It might sound ridiculous, but in the end you could nearly say that there were three moral winners of the one race, as opposed to the usual two when a field splits in similarly unsatisfactory situations.

CAREERED

Australia essentially prevailed on the near side. He led that delegation from two furlongs out, and, by the time the course narrowed and 40/1 outsider Night Of Thunder careered across from the opposite side, he simply didn't have time to respond with a meaningful challenge.

If you discount Night Of Thunder's late arrival, Australia passed the post clear of the stands' side group and was eventually just a head behind Kingman on the far side.

It's impossible to know how the race might have unfolded for Australia had the field converged in one single unit.

Either way, it was a cracking effort, so it was no surprise to see him cut from 5/2 to 7/4 favourite for the Derby.

Kingman, which is likely to turn up in the Irish 2,000 Guineas next, also did nearly everything right. While we may be guilty of reading too much into the fractured way that the race unfolded, the way that Night Of Thunder veered so dramatically so late also left him all on his own.




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Aidan O'Brien was thrilled with the fast-finishing Australia, who was shortened in price at the head of the betting for the Investec Derby at Epsom.

The Ballydoyle handler said: "Joseph (O'Brien, jockey) was always going to follow the pace, and with Toormore on his side it made sense to stay where he was. The field split, but you have to be delighted with him.

"We'll talk to the boys, but the Derby trip shouldn't be a problem. Obviously he was working like a Guineas horse. He has run well, but he should be able to step up for the Derby trip. He's still a baby."


 



 

 



 

 


 



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O'BRIEN DOMINATES VASE ENTRY
02 May 2014


Aidan O'Brien is responsible for five of the 17 entries in the MBNA Chester Vase next Thursday.

The Ballydoyle handler has won four of the last seven runnings of the Epsom Derby trial, including 12 months ago with Ruler Of The World, who went on to glory in the premier Classic.

Among his squad this year is the promising Tipperary maiden winner Orchestra, mentioned by O'Brien as a "Derby-type horse" when working after racing at the Curragh in March. Mekong River, Kingfisher, Century and Carlo Bugatti complete the Ballydoyle possibles for the mile-and-a-half contest.


 





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Ryan Moore on Australia "He could be special - The reports have been very positive - wouldn't be the greatest surprise if Australia wins. Ryan Moore on War Command - "I reckon my mount War Command has rock-solid claims in Saturday's Classic.has a big e/w chance



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"One race at a time" for Australia

Fri 2nd May 2014, 14:01
Australia
Australia
(Healy Racing Photos)
Connections of Australia are expecting a prominent showing in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday even though he is bred to be a Derby winner.

As a son of English and Irish Derby hero Galileo out of the brilliant racemare Ouija Board, who numbered the English and Irish Oaks among her victories, he certainly has the right pedigree to be a Classic contender over middle-distances.

A very slow start on his Curragh debut saw him suffer a narrow defeat, but he went one better at the same track at the second time of asking before annihilating another well-touted colt in Free Eagle at Leopardstown.

O'Brien, who has made no secret of the regard in which he holds the colt this spring, told At The Races: "Everybody knows he's bred to get the Derby trip. He has to start somewhere and it would be nice to start him at Newmarket on a nice bit of ground. We'll take it one race at a time and hopefully get him started and go from there."

Australia is one half of a formidable twin assault on the race for the master of Ballydoyle, with War Command another major contender.

The American-bred colt is the mount of Ryan Moore and won four of his five starts at two, including the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and most recently the Dewhurst at Newmarket.

Among the opposition is Toormore, who won all his three starts last year, completing his hat-trick with a brilliant display in the National Stakes at the Curragh in September. He was a workmanlike winner of last month's Craven Stakes over the Guineas course and distance.

Tim Palin, for owners Middleham Park Racing, said: "I don't think any of us are feeling any pressure, to be honest. There's certainly no pressure on Richard Hughes or Toormore. After Kingman won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury the way he did, all of the pressure was taken off our shoulders.

"If Kingman is the next Frankel we're not going to beat him and if Australia really is the best horse Aidan O'Brien has ever trained, as people are suggesting, we're not going to beat him either.

"Toormore cost £36,000, he was champion two-year-old and is lining up in a 2000 Guineas with a fighting chance. That in itself is a dream come true. I think it looks one of the better 2000 Guineas of recent years and it looks as though it will be a pivotal moment in the champion three-year-old miler division."



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1000 Guineas Jockey Bookings - Tapestry - Joseph O'Brien - Bracelet - Ryan Moore 

Alex Hammond: War footing

  • Last Updated: May 1 2014, 17:40 BST

Alex Hammond previews the forthcoming 2000 Guineas


War Command: Looks solid each-way bet in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas
War Command: Looks solid each-way bet in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas

 It seems to have come around very quickly, but the first Classics of the flat season are upon us. Saturday sees the running of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and then on Sunday it’s the turn of the fillies in the 1000.

On to Saturday’s Flat action now and the QIPCO 2000 Guineas is the highlight. Kingman has been all the rage for this since his reappearance win in the Greenham last month.

John Gosden’s colt remains unbeaten and his jockey James Doyle couldn’t be riding much better at the moment and should be full of confidence after an excellent week. We have been hearing the usual chat from his trainer that he wouldn’t want the ground too quick at Newmarket, but there were no plans in the week to water the Rowley Mile with rain forecast towards the weekend.

It was described as good to firm at the time of writing. I don’t expect it will be lightning fast whatever happens by Saturday and ground conditions wouldn’t be a worry as far as I’m concerned.

Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand though with both Australia (Joseph O’Brien) and War Command (Ryan Moore). The former has been the talking horse for the yard this winter, but it’s interesting they are running Coventry and Dewhurst winner War Command too.

I also like the fact that Moore will be on that colt which can only enhance his claims. He is a streetwise horse with proven form at the highest level and if there isn’t much rain around that will be in his favour.

"I also like the fact that Moore will be on that colt which can only enhance his claims. He is a streetwise horse with proven form at the highest level and if there isn’t much rain around that will be in his favour."

Australia was impressive when beating a below par Free Eagle on his last start at two and looked on good terms with himself in a racecourse gallop a few weeks ago. He has the pedigree for the job being by Galileo out of super race-mare Ouija Board, but at the moment most of the gloss surrounding this horse is coming out of Ballydoyle.

He could well be their latest superstar and it will be interesting to see how he gets on in a vintage renewal of the race.

Richard Hannon is bidding to win a Classic in his first season with a licence and runs Craven winner Toormore (Richard Hughes), Night Of Thunder (Kieren Fallon) and Shifting Power (Frankie Dettori).

Toormore won his trial in a workmanlike fashion on his reappearance to beat The Grey Gatsby who also runs in this for Kevin Ryan and Jamie Spencer. He is apparently that type of horse and he has a record without blemish at this stage of his career. He will have improved for that outing and the race wasn’t tactically run to suit so you can expect better here.

Night of Thunder was a horse put up as one to follow this season by Hannon and he hasn’t done much wrong to date either. He ran a good race on his seasonal debut to finish second to Kingman in the Greenham but clearly needs to find plenty to turn that form around.

Kingston Hill’s primary target is the Investec Derby for trainer Roger Varian who says the Guineas is a good starting point for him, he’s currently 7/1 second favourite with Sky Bet behind Australia (5/2) for the Epsom Classic next month. I’m going to take a chance on War Command here with the excellent Ryan Moore in the plate as I think he is a good each-way bet.




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                                                    2YO Page Updated 


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Australia heads Guineas 14

Thu 1st May 2014, 14:30
Australia
Australia
(Healy Racing Photos)
Australia features in a final field of 14 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

A son of Galileo out of the great racemare Ouija Board, Aidan O'Brien's highly-regarded colt will be having his first start of the year on Saturday, having won two of his three juvenile outings, culminating in a comfortable Group Three win at Leopardstown last September.

He will be ridden by Joseph O'Brien, while stable companion War Command, who won both the Coventry and Dewhurst Stakes last term, will be partnered by Ryan Moore.

The John Gosden-trained Kingman is a strong favourite for the first Classic of the season after running out an impressive winner of last month's Greenham Stakes at Newbury on his seasonal return.

Toormore was champion juvenile last season, counting the National Stakes at the Curragh among his four victories. He maintained his unbeaten record with a workmanlike display in the Craven Stakes on his return in April.

He is one of three Richard Hannon-trained runners in his first season as the licence holder. Greenham runner-up Night Of Thunder, the mount of Kieren Fallon, and the unbeaten Shifting Power, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, give him three legitimate challengers.

Another strong contender is Roger Varian's Kingston Hill, last year's Racing Post Trophy hero.

The Spanish-trained Noozhoh Canarias, who finished second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day, heads an intriguing international challenge. Freddie Head's Charm Spirit claimed third place in the Lagardere and he reopposes after making a triumphant return when winning the Prix Djebel at the beginning of April.

Makfi won that race in 2010 before going on to Guineas glory and his trainer Mikel Delzangles sends over Bookrunner, who was just behind Charm Spirit in the Djebel. Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip, William Haggas' Ertijaal, Craven runner-up The Grey Gatsby and likely outsider Master The World are also in the mix.



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Putting it as simply as possible

 

 

 


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O'Brien considers Tetrarch plans

Thu 1st May 2014, 09:46
Great White Eagle
Great White Eagle
(Healy Racing Photos)
Aidan O'Brien plans to be triple-handed in the Power EBF Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh on Monday.

The Ballydoyle trainer is responsible for four of the 17 entries in the Listed contest over seven furlongs.

His team is headed by Great White Eagle, who holds an entry in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

The Elusive Quality colt won his first two starts as a juvenile, but was unplaced in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on his final outing.

Fountain Of Youth, Michaelmas and The Islander make up the O'Brien quartet.

"I will definitely have three runners in the race and a final decision on which three will run will be taken nearer the time," said O'Brien.



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Record Breaking Month for AOBFS over 6,000 Unique Visitors in April 2014 & a Total of 82,000 Unique Visitors from 92 Nations Thank You.


 




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Timeform Global Rankings European Division Ballydoyle Spotlight

 




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The New Epsom Derby Poster

 



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New Page - War Front Reputation Grows by the day in the Emerald Isle - My 

Piece on War Front 



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Channel 4 and Racing UK analyst Graham Cunningham 

Gives us his Thoughts on Ballydoyle Guineas Duo   



Australia - is it a case of "don't believe the hype?"

The Racing Post's naps champ Paul Kealy is clearly out to get him and there will be plenty more prepared to oppose a colt who heads to Newmarket as the winner of a maiden and a Leopardstown G3 in which his main rival Free Eagle almost certainly wasn't himself.

Add in a pedigree which screams middle distances and you can see why people are doubting Aidan O'Brien's suggestion that Australia is a potential superstar, but I'm in no rush to jump to conclusions.

Granted, commercial considerations colour a lot of comments about Coolmore colts, but this is a firm with the ability to run something akin to G1 contests on the gallops and reports of what Australia has achieved on Tipperary mornings have been loud and long.

"Granted, commercial considerations colour a lot of comments about Coolmore colts, but this is a firm with the ability to run something akin to G1 contests on the gallops and reports of what Australia has achieved on Tipperary mornings have been loud and long."

One early spring report suggested he left War Command trailing, while the latest suggests he brushed a very smart sprinter aside without turning a hair during his final serious workout.

It all adds up to a tantalising conundrum. Do you read the form book and the stud book and look elsewhere? Or do you trust in Aidan and his conviction that this is one of the best prospects Coolmore have ever handled?

There is a third way, of course. It involves watching and learning. Australia needs only to go close on Saturday to end the weekend as a very strong Derby favourite indeed. In summary, his abundant potential is one of the key factors in making this one of the most compelling British classics for years.


Is War Command the forgotten force of Ballydoyle?

Very much so. This colt has been lost in the shuffle as the vibes surrounding stablemate Australia have grown stronger, but his runaway Coventry Stakes win and a decisive Dewhurst success on ground that was probably softer than ideal mark him firmly as among the cream of the 2013 juvenile crop.

Reports from various quarters suggest he has been playing second fiddle to Australia on the Ballydoyle gallops this spring, but I dare say something similar was in play when Rock Of Gibraltar and Hawk Wing travelled to Newmarket for the 2002 Guineas.

The Rock was sent off at 9-1 with Hawk Wing a raging 6-4 favourite that day but battle hardened professionalism won the day over gallops brilliance in a memorable finish.

Time will tell whether War Command can stage a repeat performance, but he's a proven G1 colt and it's a sign of the depth of this year's Guineas that he is still trading at double figure odds even after the announcement that he heads to Newmarket as opposed to Longchamp.


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April 2014 AOB ended the month with 10 winners on the  

Flat 5 Maiden wins 1 Handicap Win 1 Conditions Win 2 

Listed Wins & 1 Group 3 Win.


 


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Bracelet has Classic charm

The Insider: Sporting Life .Com 29/04/14


Bracelet: Could shine in the 1000 Guineas

Bracelet: Could shine in the 1000 Guineas

Tapestry She has been put in her place twice by Rizeena so the only reason for thinking that she could turn the tables is if this daughter of Galileo has improved significantly over the winter. Her sire's progeny clearly improve well from two to three but her dam, Rumplestiltskin, was a precocious juvenile who ran once at three (unplaced in the 1000 Guineas) and failed to train on. We're guessing a bit as to her well-being but you get the distinct impression that she would be a lot bigger in the market if she were trained by anyone other than O'Brien.

Bracelet looks the more interesting of the two Coolmore challengers but it remains to be seen whether her future lies over further. She was deeply impressive on her seasonal debut over seven furlongs at Leopardstown and she was made Oaks favorite on the back of this but O'Brien was quick to point out that he thought she may not stay. 

If she's given the go-ahead, she would be extremely interesting and I'd certainly keep my eye on the market. If she runs, she's a definite bet at the current prices but you might have to be quick as she's bound to be cut if declared on Friday.



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Guerre beats Maarek in the Woodlands

 By Donal Murphy

Mon 28th Apr 2014, 19:20
Guerre is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat Maarek (noseband) and Nocturnal Affair (green cap)
Guerre is driven out by Joseph O'Brien to beat Maarek (noseband) and Nocturnal Affair (green cap)
(Healy Racing Photos)



Guerre justified favouritism as he took the feature at Naas this evening, the Listed Woodlands Stakes, completing a double on the card for Aidan and Joseph O’Brien.

The three-year-old son of War Front was getting weight all around on account of his age, and he was sent to post the 11/4 favourite, after opening at 5/2 on-course (was available at 3/1 last night).

Having just his third career start, and his first of the new season, the American bred colt travelled strongly over two furlongs out, and he was soon sent to the front by O’Brien.

He was a few lengths clear at the furlong pole, and he kept up the gallop from there, coming home with a length and a half to spare.

Maarek, who was sent off a 7/2 chance, got going late in the race and he had to settle for second under Declan McDonogh for Evanna McCutcheon, while Nocturnal Affair (20/1) ran a nice race to take third, a further head behind under Fergal Lynch for David Marnane.

Aidan O'Brien said afterwards: "He is fast horse, and that wasn't a bad performance for a three-year-old against older horses.

"I'm delighted with that and he could go for the Greenland Stakes (at the Curragh next month). It is also possible that he could go back to five furlongs."

The winner, who cost $180,000 US Dollars as a yearling, holds a whole host of big race entries including the King’s Stand Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes both at Royal Ascot.

Additional reporting by Alan Magee



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Smooth debut success for Envoy

  • Last Updated: April 28 2014, 17:37 BST

War Envoy made an impressive start to his racing career with an easy victory in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden at Naas.


Embedded image permalink
Aidan O'Brien was delighted with War Envoy


A son of the in-vogue stallion War Front out of a Listed-winning mare, War Envoy's claims were hardly a secret and he was sent off the 1-3 favourite for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

With the O'Brien's son Joseph in the saddle, War Envoy made smooth progress to take up the running around the furlong marker and his rider had to barely flick the whip to send him to the front.

Given a considerate ride by O'Brien, the strapping War Envoy won by a comfortable length from Packing Go Go to stake an early claim to be part of the Ballydoyle team at Royal Ascot.

Part-owner Derrick Smith was on hand to witness the success, telling the racecourse announcer he was planning to watch Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

O'Brien snr said: "I'm delighted with that for a first run, you could not ask for much more. He'll come on plenty for that as he is still quite babyish. He will probably come back here for a winners' race."

O'Brien sent out another smart-looking War Front colt in The Great War to win at Tipperary last week, and the pair share favouritism with RaceBets at 6-1 for the Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Spokesman Joseph Burke said: "It would appear that Aidan O'Brien is able to unleash talented War Front juveniles at will. Irish-trained horses have won the last three renewals of the Coventry Stakes, with O'Brien training two of those, including last year's winner War Command, another son of War Front."


Envoy justifies strong market support

Mon 28th Apr 2014, 17:17
War Envoy is pushed out to victory by Joseph O'Brien, with Packing Go Go in second
War Envoy is pushed out to victory by Joseph O'Brien, with Packing Go Go in second
(Healy Racing Photos)

War Envoy justified strong market support throughout the day, as he took the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2yo Maiden under Joseph O’Brien for his father Aidan.

Having opened a 4/7 chance this morning, the son of War Front was backed from 4/9 into clear favouritism at 1/3 on-course.

Drawn on the rail in stall one, the bay colt was settled in mid-division before he made smooth progress on the outside with over two furlongs to race.

He was pushed to the front a furlong out, and he kept on well from there to score comfortably by a length.

Packing Go Go (3/1), who finished second on his debut at Dundalk earlier in the month, had to be content with the runner-up spot yet again, under Gary Carroll forGer Lyons, while Convergence (12/1), also for Lyons, finished a further two and three parts of a length back in third under Colin Keane.

Out of La Conseillante who was a Listed winner in France, the winner holds entries in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August, while he is also entered in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance 2yo Stakes at Doncaster in September.

Aidan O'Brien said in the aftermath: "I’m delighted with that for a first run, you couldn’t ask for much more.

"He’ll come on plenty as he is still quite babyish. He’ll probably come back here for a winners race."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee


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(Left) War Envoy after his lovely debut at Naas today (Right) Coolmore 
Partner Derrick Smith chats to Joseph


 


 

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