Ivanovich Gorbatov to lead Joseph O'Brien winter team
Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov is set to spearhead Joseph O'Brien's team in his first jumps season as a trainer.
The 23-year-old son of champion Flat trainer Aidan O'Brien has only had a licence since June, although he was credited with Ivanovich Gorbatov's Cheltenham Festival success while he was helping his father.
Ivanovich Gorbatov found Apple's Jade too good at Aintree and Punchestown in his two subsequent starts, but the four-year-old is reported to have summered well and is expected to be back in action before Christmas.
"He had a good break over the summer and is on his way back," the County Kilkenny handler told www.attheraces.com.
"I'll be looking to get him back to the track at this side of Christmas and he'll run in all the top races.
"Like any good juvenile hurdler coming into open company, he probably has a stone or more to find on the best hurdlers, but we'll give him his chance to do it."
Another former O'Brien senior inmate he has in his care is Landofhopeandglory.
Fourth in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot, the High Chaparral gelding is set for a career over hurdles.
"The plan is to go juvenile hurdling with him. His schooling over hurdles has gone well," said O'Brien.
"He seems to like it, which is the main thing. I'm looking forward to getting him on the track."
O'Brien has plenty of ammunition over hurdles and fences, with Slowmotion and Tigris River named as two to follow.
"Slowmotion has done very well on her summer break and should be ready to run in a month or so," he said.
"A decision hasn't been made whether she stays over hurdles or goes chasing, but she's a lovely prospect whichever road she goes down.
"Tigris River had a break after Galway and we'll campaign him in those valuable handicap hurdles.
"He ran well enough in the Galway Hurdle to suggest he can compete in those type of races and with a bit of luck he'll go close in one of them."
Of his chasers, O'Brien believes Edwulf could make his mark.
"He's a lovely, big horse that will go back novice chasing," said the trainer.
"He looked like he was going to win what was a very good beginners' chase at Navan last season but then he fell at the last.
"He went over hurdles after that and won a maiden at Naas. He was running very well in a good novice hurdle at Thurles, but fell at the third-last when still in with a chance.
"He's an exciting horse and I'm looking forward to seeing him back over fences."