Aidan O’Brien prepares strong team for Irish Champions Trials at the Curragh
Aidan O’Brien is preparing a strong team for the two-day Longines Irish Champions Trials this weekend at the Curragh as he looks to win a 10th Breast Cancer Research Debutante Stakes and take the Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes for a third year in a row.
O’Brien said; “We may have three runners in the Debutante Stakes. The most likely at the moment are Alice Springs, who won her maiden nicely at the Curragh, Minding who was second in her maiden first time and she won nicely afterwards. She had a little break after that and is just ready to run. She's a nice filly and probably will come forward for the run. Ballydoyle is also a possible runner. We were delighted with her at Newmarket and she seems to come out of that well.
“Our main horse at the moment for the Futurity is Shogun and we may run another in that race, possibly Air Vice Marshal. We were very happy with Shogun’s maiden win at the Currragh last month.”
Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Kingfisher is also set to be on the Ballydoyle team for the weekend as he contests the Palmerstown House Estate St Leger Trial on Sunday.
“Kingfisher will run in the Irish St Leger Trial on Sunday with a view to possibly coming back for the St Leger itself later in the year. He has had a good break since Royal Ascot where he ran a stormer and he is just ready to start back from that break. He is going to need the run and you would imagine that whatever he’ll do on Sunday he should come forward a good bit for it,” O’Brien added.
Also on Sunday “Found is likely to run in the Kilfrush Stud Royal Whip Stakes and we could have three in that. We could run Found, Fluff and Ol’ Man River in that race” according to the trainer who will decide later in the week where to send Curragh Stakes entry Washington DC.
“Washington DC is in the Prix Morny on Sunday in Deauville and he’s also in the Gimcrack at York on Saturday. At the moment it looks like the ground won't be right in either Deauville or York and if that is the case and the ground is right at the Curragh he’ll run in the Curragh Stakes on Saturday. We’ll keep a close eye on the ground and take it from there with him.”
Meanwhile, trainer Tom Hogan is looking forward to running Gordon Lord Byron on home soil again in the Group 3 Gerrardstown House Stud Supporting Breast Cancer Research Renaissance Stakes on Saturday after the seven-year-old did his connections proud again in the Prix Maurice de Gheest earlier in the month.
Hogan reported; “He couldn’t be better. He had a leg stretch on the Curragh on Tuesday morning and he’s in great form. He ran a good race in France and he’s in top form so there is no point in having him looking out over the stable door we may as well run.”