Kingsbarns passes with flying colours
Twelve months after the procession of Camelot in the Racing Post Trophy, Aidan O'Brien unleashed another colt with immense potential as Kingsbarns ran out a ready winner of the final Group One of the season at Doncaster.
Having only made his debut 17 days ago, many racegoers will have only become aware of the Galileo colt, bred by O'Brien's wife Anne-Marie, when he was supplemented into the race on Monday. Some bookmakers introduced him into their betting at 8/1 but that did not last long and he was sent off the 15/8 favourite.
The result never looked in danger at any stage and Joseph O'Brien took it up over a furlong out before going away to win by a length and three-quarters. Van Der Neer got up on the line to beat Steeler for second, but Jim Bolger's Trading Leather was a disappointing fifth.
It was O'Brien's seventh win in the race and his enthusiasm for the colt was infectious. "We're obviously delighted. He's only a baby coming here but he's got an unbelievable cruising speed," said the master of Ballydoyle.
"He won his maiden on easy ground and we were intent on leaving him off for the season but we gave him one bit of work and after that he was very fresh.
"There was a big exam for this being sat and he passed it with flying colours and all his figures stacked up. You never know how they are going to react, but that's how he ended up being here (supplemented).
"All the boxes were ticked at home -- his speed figures, his recovery, his visuals and everything we do at home. The boys (owners) made the decision to let him come on his own. I'm a coward, I'd have run them all. You can never be sure of stamina but he's by Galileo. When they travel like him, though, it makes you wonder.
"He'll have learned a lot. That was the first time he's been away from home -- there's also a stiff wind and it's a wide-open place. Joseph said he was stopping in front and pricking his ears, he took it up earlier than he wanted. He's very exciting."
The younger O'Brien feels a Guineas tilt is not out of the question. "He was very relaxed and travelled well and I don't think the ground will ever be an issue for him," said O'Brien Jnr.
"He quickened up two out and then idled when he hit the front, as you'd expect from just his second run. It's obviously up to the owners and dad but I wouldn't be surprised to see him start off in the Guineas."
Bruce Raymond, racing manager for Saeed Manana, who owns Van Der Neer, said: "He ran on strongly. He looked well beaten at one stage yet when he switched him he maybe found a better strip of ground. He certainly stayed the trip."
At home, meanwhile, Big Break showed an outstanding shift of gear to win the JRA Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.
A full sister of the prolific Famous Name, which later triumphed on the card in a treble for Dermot Weld, jockey Pat Smullen sat handily in fourth place as Magician, Dont Bother Me and Dubaya jousted for the lead.
It soon became apparent the Big Break (10/11) was travelling far better than her rivals, and glided into the lead passing the one-furlong pole.
Her three-and-three-quarters-of-a-length defeat of Beyond Thankful was a fair barometer in which to measure her dominance.
Smullen and Weld had earlier struck with Rasmeyaa (11/8 fav) in the seven-furlong fillies' maiden, before Famous Name later captured the Trigo Stakes at prohibitive odds of 1/5.
"Big Break did what we expected. She was very impressive when she won her maiden here on a fast surface and she has done it very well there on a slow surface," said Weld.
"She is a very talented filly and she could be a Guineas contender."
Sunday Indo Sport