Aidan O’Brien’s Runners Aiming for Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita

Aidan O'Brien's Arizona pointed at Santa Anita for Breeders' CupThe duo [of Arizona and Wichita] were beaten two lengths and two and three-quarter lengths respectively in the Group One heat, with Arizona notably closing the gap with the winner after trailing him by nine lengths in the National Stakes at the Curragh previously.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien was satisfied with their performances and could now look to Santa Anita on November 1 and 2 with the pair.

O’Brien said: “Arizona ran well, as we were worried about the ground for him. He’s a nice-moving horse.

“Arizona and Wichita are both possibles for the Breeders’ Cup, although Wichita might be a little bit more of a baby as he wasn’t out until later.”

The Ballydoyle handler also has Royal Lodge winner Royal Dornoch and Listed victor Fort Myers among his possible Santa Anita team.

He added: “Royal Dornoch is another possible for the Juvenile and Fort Myers who won in Dundalk is another that could go. We’ll see how they are in the next few weeks.”

Will Gustav Klimt Find His Way Back to Form

Since triumphing at Leopardstown in the 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes, Gustav Klimt has lost his way in the 2018 flat season. Aidan O’Brien’s charge delivered an outstanding performance to triumph in the first race of his campaign, raising expectations for the term ahead.

However, he was well off the pace in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket, finishing well off the pace. He has not returned to the winners’ circle since, with O’Brien in need of his starlet to find the form in the back end of the season. There are ample opportunities for the three-year-old to shine, including the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and it’s worth monitoring his odds at as he’s not short on quality.

aobrienfansite via Twitter

Gustav Klimt made his debut last season at the Irish EBF Maiden in Curragh. O’Brien’s charge did not mark his opening race with a victory, placing in fifth, despite being considered one of the leading contenders for the meet. The bay colt bounced back with by securing his first victory in the Barronstown Stud Irish European Breeders Fund at Curragh with Ryan Moore in the saddle. He had the pace down the stretch to finish one-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

The Irish horse built off his success by triumphing in his first Class One outing in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. Moore put the horse in position off the leading group in the early stages of the race, but was forced into action two furlongs out as pressure emerged from the rear. O’Brien’s charge had the surge on the outside and had just enough pace down the stretch to beat out Nebo by a head to claim the win, ending his term on a high note.

He returned for the new campaign and sent down a statement at the 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes, finished ahead of Imaging, and two of his stable-mates Kenya and US Navy Flag with a confident run. However, he could not sustain his momentum at Newmarket in the 2,000 Guineas Stakes. Against elite competition, Gustav Klimt failed to find his rhythm as Saxon Warrior took the crown.

As a result of his underwhelming performance at the Guineas, he was not expected to challenge for the Irish 2,000 Guineas in Curragh. Donnacha O’Brien took to the saddle and there was a keen battle between two of the Aiden O’Brien horses as US Navy Flag competed against the Irish horse. However, both of the competitors were outdone down the stretch by the speed of outsider Romanised who took the crown, while US Navy Flag edged out Gustav Klimt for second.

The three-year-old had the chance to secure a major win at Royal Ascot at the St James’s Palace Stakes where he faced off against Without Parole. With Donnacha O’Brien in the saddle, he went toe-to-toe with John Gosden’s charge down the stretch after a balanced contest. However, Without Parole just had the pace down the final furlong to clinch the win by half-a-length. There’s time for Gustav Klimt to make an impact in the decisive meets down the season to ensure that his 2018 season does not end in disappointment.

Aidan O’Brien Looks To Win His Seventh Epsom Derby

Doncaster horses racing

Doncaster via twitter

Irishman Aidan O’Brien had a record-breaking year in 2017 as he broke the world record for the number of Grade/Group One victories around the globe with 26. One of those successes came in the Derby at Epsom where Wings of Eagles prevailed in the 2400 metre contest.

The Irish Champion trainer will fancy his chances of making it win number eight in the Derby this year with Saxon Warrior who is the ante-post favorite with the bookmakers at 4.5 in the betting. The three-year-old won all three of his races in his debut season last year, with the highlight coming at Doncaster in the Group One Racing Post Trophy last October.

It could be a big year for Irish horses around the world as they have had the ante-post favourites for the Grand National, 2000 Guineas, Kentucky Derby and Derby. Saxon Warrior has been backed to come out on top at Epsom ever since his debut victory at Curragh where he looked very professional, scoring by just over three lengths.

Saxon Warrior is also likely to be joined in the British Classic by The Pentagon. The son of Galileo won the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown last season. He had to settle for third place at Doncaster though in the Racing Post Trophy. Given his breeding, he is expected to improve when he does step up in trip to 2400 metres later in the campaign.

O’Brien will have been disappointed with The Pentagon’s opening start in 2018 as he went off as the favourite for the Group Three Ballysax Stakes. That contest featured three runners from the Ballydoyle stable and he was unable to finish ahead of his stablemates Nelson and Delano Roosevelt, who came home first and second respectively.

UK Epsom DownsMasar is the leading British-trained horse in the Derby this year who recently won the Craven Stakes at Newmarket. Owned by the Godolphin operation, the colt thrashed his opposition by nine lengths in a field which included the highly regarded Roaring Lion.

The Derby is one of the few major international flat races on turf that Godolphin have yet to win. This son of New Approach produced a career-best performance on his latest start, as his record before then was less than average.

The 2018 Derby at Epsom takes place on June 2 and will be preceded a day earlier by the Oaks, which is the leading Classic for fillies at the same course in Surrey, England.

U S Navy Flag to Start Season in Irish 2,000 Guineas

Aidan O’Brien saddled three of the four runners in the Ballylinch Stud Irish 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes April 15 at Leopardstown, including last year’s European champion juvenile male U S Navy Flag.

Source: U S Navy Flag to Start Season in Irish 2,000 Guineas

Trainer Aidan O’Brien Sets Record Group 1 Wins

Ascot racecourse in UKTrainer Aidan O’Brien is unlikely to be popping the corks on the champagne this evening unlike the late Bobby Frankel his predecessor as holder of the world record for Group One winners in a season. Instead the 48-year-old Irishman — who broke the record with Saxon Warrior at Doncaster on Saturday – is more likely to have… [Read more…]