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O'Brien's eager to Excel' in Mile

AIDAN O'BRIEN'S Champion's Day winner Excelebration will bid for more Group One success on Saturday week at Santa Anita and he is just a 7/4 shot to add the Breeders' Cup Mile to his Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

O'BRIEN yesterday gave a positive bulletin on the four-year-old who, for the best part of his career, has had to live in the shadow of the great Frankel when contesting Group One company.

"He's progressing very well and we're obviously delighted with him at Ascot. He has top form on all kinds of ground," said the trainer.

"We are looking forward to seeing him run as he's in an exceptional place at the moment and he's an exceptional horse."

After such a convincing victory last weekend and with the best form over a mile aside from Frankel, Excelebration will be a 'hot-pot' in many eyes when he tackles America.

Quicker

"He's getting quicker and stronger and stronger and has progressed very well," O'Brien said. "I don't think the ground is important."

O'Brien also admitted that the Breeders' Cup engagement could well be his last on a racecourse.

"I wouldn't be sure if he'll run again after America, it's not really a decision for me."

The Ballydoyle outfit will look for consecutive Breeders' Cup wins with St Nicholas Abbey, who is on course for the Turf along with stable companion Treasure Beach.

Regarding his bid for a fourth Breeders' Cup Turf win, O'Brien added; "St Nicholas Abbey is a fast-ground horse really and Treasure Beach has been progressing - his last run was his best run - and we think he has progressed again since then."

Fame And Glory will be fitted with a visor as he attempts to sign off his career with a win in the Breeders' Cup Marathon.

The 2011 Ascot Gold Cup winner was fifth behind Rite Of Passage in last Saturday's Long Distance Cup at Ascot and he will be tried on the dirt for the first time.

"We are taking a chance I suppose," O'Brien continued.

"He's got a little bit clever. He handles fast ground but he's a little bit older and wiser now.

"When the going gets tough he's very happy to curl up and not try very hard. He's in good shape, came out of Ascot well and just curled up on the very bad ground.

"The dirt will be the interesting part, it's probably an unknown."


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