O'Brien colt Steinbeck to miss English 2,000 Guineas
EXCITING Ballydoyle youngster Steinbeck has suffered a setback and will "probably miss" the English 2000 Guineas.
The colt, trained by Aidan O'Brien, has been a leading fancy for the Classic at Newmarket in May at around the 10/1 mark.
"Unfortunately Steinbeck has met with a small training setback and won't be at the Curragh this Sunday," the Ballydoyle handler said. "He will probably also miss the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and will hopefully be trained for the Irish 2000 Guineas instead."
Steinbeck was a close fourth in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October after winning at Naas on his only other start in May.
O'Brien also reported another of his 2000 Guineas prospects, Jan Vermeer, to be on the easy list.
"Jan Vermeer has a stone bruise at the moment, but we expect him to resume full training by next Monday or Tuesday," O'Brien added.
However, O'Brien still plans to send a big team to work after the first meeting of the Irish Flat season at the Curragh tomorrow -- including current Guineas and Derby favourite St Nicholas Abbey.
"We hope to bring a number of horses to the Curragh to canter after racing including St Nicholas Abbey, Rip Van Winkle, Fame And Glory, Cape Blanco, Age of Aquarius, Fencing Master, Mikhail Glinka and Beethoven," he added.
Meanwhile, Imperial Commander's Gold Cup win sealed a benefit for the bookmakers at the Cheltenham Festival.
Well up after three days, defeat for Kauto Star and Denman was the icing on the cake for the layers.
Results in the six other races also went the way of the old enemy, with no outright market leader successful.
Only 9/2 joint-favourite Baby Run gave backers brief respite as the industry's total profit bulged to an estimated €66m.