Thursday 22 March 2018

Aidan O'Brien nominates Morny target for still-unbeaten Caravaggio


Aidan O'Brien's Caravaggio is set to be seen next in the Prix Morny at Deauville on August 21 after cementing his position at the top of the juvenile tree with another imperious performance in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Bringing a three-race unbeaten record into the first Group One of the season for two-year-olds, the son of Scat Daddy was the red-hot 1-8 favourite to make it four from four.

The Coventry Stakes winner made his move at the two-furlong pole and Seamus Heffernan never had to get too serious to beat stablemate Courage Under Fire by an easy four lengths.

Coral cut O'Brien's star to 11-4 favourite from 3-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas. RaceBets make him the 5-2 market leader from 7-2.

Before that a clash with brilliant Queen Mary Stakes heroine Lady Aurelia could be on the cards in France.

O'Brien said: "He's a very good horse and everything went 100 per cent. In his last piece of work he hit a top speed of 45 miles per hour - no horse in Ballydoyle has ever been able to do that.

"He's very pacey and has a great mind. He's so relaxed he could get further, but I'd say we'll have a look at the Morny.

"He's the fastest we have ever had and I'd not be in a rush to go over seven furlongs. He could always go for the Middle Park after the Morny."

With Ryan Moore on the sidelines, Heffernan was riding Caravaggio for the first time since his debut at Dundalk in April.

Heffernan said: "He had plenty left today, he's always shown a lot. He was fresh early on, so Aidan gave him a run at Dundalk just to take the freshness off him.

"We thought he was an Ascot horse and he's never disappointed.

"I would say he has (all the attributes needed to go all the way), yes."

Press Association

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