Tuesday 21 November 2017

O'Brien hoping for dawn of Aquarius

Age Of Aquarius will run in tomorrow's Ascot Gold Cup. Photo: Getty Images
Age Of Aquarius will run in tomorrow's Ascot Gold Cup. Photo: Getty Images

Aidan O'Brien is looking to Age Of Aquarius to fill the huge void left by the legendary Yeats in tomorrow's Ascot Gold Cup.

Now retired, Yeats reinvigorated the staying division by winning the last four renewals, creating history in the process.

O'Brien knows it would be folly to expect another one anywhere near as good as him, but in Age Of Aquarius the Ballydoyle handler believes he could have the right type to excel in the marathon test.

"He has a lot of class and we always thought he could be a Cup horse. He handles fast ground, is a very determined horse and has a high cruising speed," said O'Brien.

"He had a pretty easy time last year and we were really looking forward to this year.

"He ran at Chester and at Leopardstown and we were very happy with both runs. We're really looking forward to running him.

"The thing about the Gold Cup - and we tried to win it a lot of years before Yeats came along - is that very few horses have that kind of class and ability to stay the trip.

"Before they run in it you have no idea whether they will stay or not. Once a year is enough to ask them, but you don't really know until they get out there.

"A lot of things can happen from when they turn in and the winning post.

"Yeats was an incredible horse, you only get a horse like him once in a lifetime, but he's doing great at stud.

"He had speed, class and stamina - he had everything and he could be an amazing stallion."

Press Association

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