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Friday 9 December 2016

Gleneagles tees off at Curragh

Published 22/05/2015 | 20:31

Gleneagles
Gleneagles

Aidan O'Brien rates Gleneagles' raw speed as his biggest weapon ahead of his bid to complete a Classic double in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.

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The Galileo colt was a stunning winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago and is long odds-on to repeat the feat in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh.

O'Brien believes the three-year-old is a rare breed in that he has inherited a range of talents from various members of his esteemed family.

The Ballydoyle handler told Irish Horse TV: "He's a very good horse. He's very like Giant's Causeway, really, but he probably would have more speed. That's the way we would rate him at the moment.

"He's a very well-made horse - not too big and not too small. He has a great step to him, a lovely head and a lovely mind.

"He travels very well in his races and quickens well. When he gets there he doesn't do a lot, but he's very professional.

"The most important thing in any horse is speed, and he has loads of it. He goes through his races very easy and goes where he wants to go whenever he wants to go.

"It (Newmarket) was perfect for him as it was lovely, fast ground and there was plenty of pace on. The first seven furlongs were all 11-second furlongs and he travelled very comfortable at that and quickened off it - that's very unusual.

"He hasn't done a lot, it's only three weeks since. He had an easy week after and then he did three half-speed (workouts) and seems in good form. He has a great constitution and eats, sleeps and does himself very well.

"He's a combination of his whole pedigree on both sides, which is very unusual. We'd love to keep him on good ground or better, so hopefully the ground will be good and we'll look forward to Saturday."

Gleneagles, the mount of Ryan Moore, is joined by stable companions Smuggler's Cove (Seamie Heffernan) and The Warrior (Joseph O'Brien) as the trainer bids for a 10th success in the race.

Richard Hannon is under no illusions about the task facing Ivawood ahead of his rematch with Gleneagles.

A winner of three of his four juvenile starts before being touched off in the Middle Park Stakes, Ivawood was a disappointing favourite on his reappearance in the Greenham at Newbury, but raised his game significantly to finish a three-length third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago.

Hannon said: " The odds are stacked against us, but we think Ivawood has improved again since the Guineas and, though we are not claiming we will beat Gleneagles, who looked a proper horse at Newmarket, we have always loved our fellow and he'll be giving his all to gain revenge.

"He'll be going there at the top of his game."

Hannon also sends outsider Lexington Times, who won the Spring Cup at Lingfield in March but has been beaten on both his starts since on the all-weather.

"Lexington Times has it all to do on ratings but has definitely improved for a little break. The owners are keen to have a shot, and why not?" the trainer said on his website.

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