Beet boxing clever for mile
Published 04/11/2010 | 13:28
Aidan O'Brien is keeping his fingers crossed Beethoven will enjoy a little more luck than last year at the Breeders' Cup meeting.
The Oratorio colt endured a rough passage in the 2009 Juvenile at Santa Anita, losing his place on the first bend before finishing strongly for sixth.
Although he missed this year's Classics, Beethoven ran well enough to finish sixth behind Canford Cliffs in the St James's Palace on his reappearance before improving to claim fourth behind that runner in the Sussex.
While he won a Leopardstown Group Three in August, he found 10 furlongs a shade too far in the Irish Champion, with a mile and three furlongs again stretching his stamina on the Dundalk all-weather.
O'Brien believes a switch back in trip for the Breeders' Cup Mile will help and reports him to still be improving.
The Ballydoyle handler said: "He got badly hampered going into the first bend last year and he's run some great races this year.
"He's a strange horse really because as he races, he gets better - as the season has gone on he's got better.
"We've been very happy with him the last two or three weeks so it will be interesting. He's in great form and is very tough. He's a very solid horse.
"We tried to go further with him. We thought he might go further but obviously the Dewhurst was seven furlongs and he won his maiden over six - probably a mile is as far as he goes.
"He might get a shade further but a strongly-run mile is his best trip, I would imagine," he told At The Races.
Beethoven is a general 20-1 chance to claim Breeders' Cup glory.