Aidan O’Brien Prepares Strong Royal Ascot Team
by Craig Jones for Knightsbridge Bloodstock
You can always guarantee that when a big race meeting comes around, Aidan O’Brien will have many good horses running there. Royal Ascot, probably the biggest meeting in the world, is certainly no exception and the Irish mastermind looks to have a great group of horses heading across the Irish sea to raid the royal meeting.
Like most other meetings in recent years, O’Brien heads into next week’s meeting as the favourite to be top trainer, with stable jockey Ryan Moore also favourite to be the top jockey. The pair are sure to have their fair share of winners next week and here are their best opportunities.
Churchill – St James Palace Stakes – Tuesday
Churchill is going for a famous treble after winning both the English and Irish Guineas recently. He has the form in the book, but Barney Roy who came 2nd in the English Guineas re-opposes in a race that should suit him better. Churchill goes into this one as long odds on favourite to get O’Brien off to a flying start.
Order Of St George – Gold Cup – Thursday
Order Of St George was ever so impressive when taking this race last year and with a few of his main rivals not running, it is hard to look past him. He probably won’t need to be as good as last year to win this renewal, but looked well when taking a listed race three weeks ago. He is sure to have been trained specifically for this one and will have come on for his previous run.
Caravaggio – Commonwealth Cup – Friday
The Commonwealth Cup is shaping up to be one of the races of the meeting, and another race that Aidan O’Brien has a great chance in. He won at the Royal meeting last year, taking the Coventry Stakes in good style, before moving on to win the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes on his final two year old start. He came back this season with a great win in a Group 3 at Naas and has been targeted at this one, he has a great chance in a hugely competitive race.
Winter – Coronation Stakes – Friday
Just like Churchill, Winter comes here on the back of winning the English and Irish Guineas double. She cruised to victory in both races and looks a hugely exciting filly, who will no doubt be in high demand when she hits the breeding barn. She will be having her third start in ten weeks here, not ideal for a filly but she is hugely exciting and I can’t wait to see her again.
With Royal Ascot just around the corner, Aidan O’Brien will be putting the finishing touches to his team for the week. He is sure to send many runners to the meeting and looks to have some great chances throughout the week. Don’t be surprised to see him and Ryan Moore at the top of their respective leader boards when it comes to winners at the meeting.
Craig Jones writes about global horse racing for Knightsbridge Bloodstock