Group 1 QIPCO Champions Series: Aidan O’Brien
Aidan O’Brien has outlined his likely runners in the three Group 1 QIPCO Champions Series races at Epsom next month.
Saxon Warrior, the general 4-5 favourite, will be joined by at least Delano Roosevelt, The Pentagon and Kew Gardens in the £1.5 million Investec Derby, while Magic Wand and Forever Together, the Cheshire Oaks one-two, will line up in the Investec Oaks 24 hours earlier and could be joined by Bye Bye Baby and Magical.
“Saxon Warrior is in very good form at home and has come out of the 2000 Guineas very well,” O’Brien said. “He is a good traveller and a very well-balanced colt.
“We were always looking forward to stepping him up in distance, but in the 2000 Guineas, he travelled like a miler and quickened like a miler. However, we have always thought he was going to be a middle distance horse – he is very good.”
He added: “I think the lads (the owners, plus Coolmore supremo John Magnier) would think long and hard about the Triple Crown. If the opportunity arose for that to happen, I think the lads would think about doing it. It would be unbelievable to have a horse who was able to do it.”
O’Brien will also run either Idaho or Cliffs Of Moher in the Investec Coronation Cup over a mile and a half, a race in which Cracksman could take the place of injured stable companion Enable.
Cracksman was the highest-rated horse in Europe last year after a dazzling display in the Champion Stakes at Ascot and won last month’s Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp in taking style on his return
Anthony Oppenheimer, his owner-breeder, said: “We had a discussion about it and we are certainly considering running him at Epsom.
“I don’t think we’ve made a final decision on it. Much will depend on the ground, as we wouldn’t want to run him if it’s firm.”