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Aidan O’Brien has outlined potential running plans for some of his stable stars ahead of the resumption of behind closed doors racing in Ireland next Monday, 8th June.
O’Brien has confirmed that star mare Magical, a daughter of Galileo, may make her seasonal debut in the Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh on 28th June instead of making a trip to Royal Ascot:
“Magical is back in training and I think she might be entered in the Prince of Wales’s, but it’s possible she might not start until the Pretty Polly. We were lucky the lads agreed they would leave her for the year. She’s only five this year and she’s done very well physically.”
The Irish champion trainer has hinted that leading Investec Derby contender Mogul may run in the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown on 9th June:
“We are thinking of going to the Derrinstown with Mogul, but obviously these things can change.” O’Brien stated.
Believing his horses with have limited opportunities to run trial races prior to the Investec Derby, O’Brien admits to there being a lot of uncertainty at present regarding some of his other Epsom candidates, among them Amhrán na bhFiann, Arthur’s Kingdom and Mythical:
“A lot of stuff is going to be up in the air. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we had very unexposed horses running in the Derby, along with the more exposed ones.”
Japan, the four-year-old brother of Investec Derby hopeful Mogul, may run at Royal Ascot on 17th June, according to the Wexford-born trainer:
“With Japan we are thinking of going to the Prince of Wales’s at the moment. Like I say, all these things can change, but I think that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”
Last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby victor Sovereign, who has not run since his Classic victory at The Curragh last June, is on the comeback trail and will be aimed at an autumn campaign, according to the Ballydoyle handler.
“Sovereign is back in training,” O’Brien admitted, “he’s done four bits of work back and we’re just trying to go gentle with him and thinking of the autumn with him. He might have a run in the middle of the summer, but that’s what we’re trying to do, aim him at an autumn campaign.”
Kew Gardens, winner of the Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October, looks set to go straight to the Ascot Gold Cup on 18th June, and is in good form according to his trainer:
“If he’s going to Ascot he’ll go there without a run. He was ready to run in Dubai and we were hoping to go to Leopardstown or Navan, but it’s all been a bit of a mess for him really. The plan then was to give him a little rest and come back to Ascot. We’re hoping to get him to Ascot, he’ll be there without a run and we’ll see how we get on after that.”
Another possible Royal Ascot horse O’Brien spoke about is Monarch Of Egypt. While being unsure as to how far the horse will stay, he did concede:
“We think he could be a Jersey horse and if he’s going to go to Ascot it might be getting a little close running him in the Irish Guineas.”
With regard to the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh on 13th June, Armory, Fort Myers and Vatican City are also possible contenders for the Group 1:
“Armory would be a strong possible for the Irish Guineas,” the Master of Ballydoyle said, “Fort Myers might well wait for it. Vatican City (a brother to Gleneagles) is doing everything right. He’s a little bit heavy still but is a possible to start off in the Irish Guineas.”