Monday 20 January 2020

Aidan O'Brien raises Eclipse as an option for Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher

Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher could go their separate ways for their next race after giving Aidan O'Brien a one-two in the Investec Derby on Saturday.

The Ballydoyle trainer is thinking of aiming Epsom hero Wings Of Eagles at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh, with Cliffs Of Moher possibly dropping back to a mile and a quarter for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Wings Of Eagles sprang a 40-1 surprise in the premier Classic in the hands of Padraig Beggy, coming late to deny Ryan Moore on Cliffs Of Moher by three-quarters of a length.

O'Brien, who was winning the Derby for the sixth time, told Press Association Sport: "They seem to be fine. Obviously they haven't done much today, but they seem to be fine so far.

"We might have a look at the Irish Derby with Wings Of Eagles and it's possible we might have a look at the Eclipse with Cliffs Of Moher, but we're not sure yet.

"It will be a week or 10 days before we decide anything, but that's what we are thinking at the moment."

It was work as normal for the previously little-known Beggy at O'Brien's yard on Sunday morning. The jockey did not rest on his laurels after winning the blue riband of the turf at the first attempt, and rode five lots at exercise.

He said: "There was a bit of a buzz between all the lads riding out this morning. I rode a few bits of work and had five lots.

"All us jockeys flew over with Aidan and we'd been talking about the race. Seamie Heffernan had rode most of the horses in their last bits of work and there wasn't much between all of them.

"We were all there with a chance. Aidan had trained these horses for this race, they had good prep runs and he was happy with all of them. He had them in peak form on the day.

"I rode him work a couple of times as a two-year-old and rode him more this year, in February/March time when we'd be doing long canters. He's a well-made horse and one that would catch the eye - he's a good looker.

"At that time of year we were just getting them ready and putting them through their paces, but I did think he was a nice colt.

"Fair play to Seamie, he rode him at Chester and told me what sort of ride he was."

Speaking to At The Races, he added: "I'll leave the plans to Aidan, but I would think the Leger would be in his plan because he was doing his best work late on. I had a job pulling him up and going further wouldn't seem to be a problem."

PA Media

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