Wednesday 17 January 2018

Glen best miler we've had - O'Brien

Gleneagles (centre) grabs his second Classic
Gleneagles (centre) grabs his second Classic

Aidan O'Brien hailed Gleneagles as "the best miler we've had" after he completed a Classic double in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Ryan Moore had to wait for a gap on the Newmarket Guineas hero, but he was never flustered and once in the clear the 2-5 favourite showed his class as he produced a tremendous turn of foot.

Gleneagles went on to score by three-quarters of a length from Endless Drama, with Ivawood occupying third place, as he did at Newmarket, after looking to have an easy time of it in front for much of the way. Belardo was fourth.

O'Brien said: "I'd be surprised if he ever wins by very far. That's his way and in the long term that will be good for him. He's the best miler we've had, I know that. But he wants fast ground to be seen at his best. "

The Galileo colt was left in the Investec Derby at the latest forfeit stage, and the trainer added: "We've got another horse (Giovanni Canaletto) to run tomorrow and the decision will be made in the next week.

"He has always worked like a miler, he's strong and quickens very well. He's never had to show the kind of courage before that he showed today. The Curragh is a tough mile in that ground. It was very borderline that he ran.

"He had to come when he came and he was courageous. He has a load of pace, as he showed at Newmarket, and might have laboured a bit on that ground. He has a big heart as well as everything else.

"You're never sure until you dip them what courage they have and he had to be courageous today. He wanted it. You can't test them for that. Giant's Causeway had that, he was the very same as that.

"I always thought he was Giant's Causeway with more speed, that's what I thought and today he showed he has that pure Giant's Causeway courage. He had a good bit to do from the interchange and the danger was in front. It's not an easy thing to do here at the Curragh.

"To win a Curragh Guineas on slow ground you usually have to get a mile and quarter, so he obviously gets it. Whether he just got it on courage today, I don't know, but we know he has lots of speed. He had to fight for three furlongs and in the last half-furlong Ryan said 'come on, I need you again'.

"Originally the plan was to come here and then go to Ascot. We only gave him three half-speeds since Newmarket as I had the view that you can't put his head to the stone every day. The plan was Newmarket, here, Ascot then Goodwood, but the plan could change along the way and the boys will decide.

"When I was going through the forfeits for the Derby I was crossing off all the horses and put a line through him, but the boys said to leave him in. I've always thought he was a miler and we haven't had a miler like him in a while, but everyone knows how important the Derby is."

Coolmore supremo John Magnier appeared to suggest the Derby would be unlikely.

He said: "The next thing is probably to think about the St James's Palace. We will take it step by step. We paid for the option (of the Derby), so we are hardly going to declare it today without being clever about it, but it's unlikely. We'll have to discuss it with Michael (Tabor), Derrick (Smith), Aidan and all the lads, but it looks pretty obvious."

Moore said: "He didn't have a lot of room, but he had the gears and the class to go through. He put his head down and fought well at the end. I felt I was on the best horse, and when you're on the best horse invariably the gaps come."

Trainer Ger Lyons said of Endless Drama: "It's all systems go for the St James's Palace, subject to everything being OK. He showed he gets a mile well and it took what Aidan says is the best he's had for a while to beat him. He needs to be dropped in and ridden like that. In a good race you can do that. He should improve again."

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