Star miler Excelebration joins O’Brien

Smart miler Excelebration will miss next month’s Hong Kong Mile and will instead fly over to Ballydoyle where Aidan O’Brien will now take over training responsibilities of the colt.

Formerly trained by Marco Botti, Excelebration chased home the mighty Frankel in the QEII at Ascot on his last start. He will now join the master of Ballydoyle after Coolmore purchased a majority stake in the horse in August.

Botti said: “It’s been an incredible year with Excelebration and I would like to thank my staff for all their excellent work with the colt. We have had some wonderful days with him – especially in Paris – and it’s a pity that a routine scope has ended his chances of winning the Group 1 in Hong Kong after his great runs at Longchamp and Ascot.

“But I have advised the owners that it’s best for the colt’s long term future if we call it a day for this year.”

Despite loosing his stable star Botti can by buoyed by the fact that the Coolmore partners have sent him two yearlings this year. “It’s only natural that we will be sad to see Excelebration go but we genuinely wish him every possible success at Ballydoyle next year,” Botti continued.

“I would like to add that [Coolmore’s] Mr Tabor, Mr Smith and Mr Magnier have been kind enough to send me two really nice Danehill Dancer yearling colts to train for them next year which is fantastic and I am extremely grateful.”

The man behind the purchase, Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock, said of the move “Marco Botti has done a truly magnificent job with Excelebration but he will be heading over to Ballydoyle just before Christmas.

“It was always the understanding when the horse was purchased that he could be a flag-bearer for Ballydoyle in the four-year-old mile division next year, so let’s hope that wish can come true.”


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