Aidan O'Brien String Exits Quarantine And Steps Out At Keeneland Ahead Of The Breeders' Cup

Aidan O'Brien | PA Media

Tuesday marked the first day the seven-strong Aidan O'Brien string got a taste of the Keeneland track ahead of the two-day Breeders' Cup on Nov. 4-5.

Leading the Coolmore partners septet after their quarantine period was Group 1 winner Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) and G3 Derby Trial S. hero Stone Age (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who both line up in the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Turf and will leave from stalls four and three, respectively. Second in the 2021 Turf to Godolphin and Charlie Appleby's Yibir (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) at Del Mar, Broome took the G2 Hardwicke S. from six starts this term and enters the Breeders' Cup having run eighth in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last out at the beginning of October.

“Looking at the team, we have two horses in the Turf,” O'Brien said. “Broome ran very well in the race last year. Conditions have not always been in his favour, but I think he will enjoy the ground if it's quick.

“His one flaw is he misses the break. He's a late loader, but he can get on the back foot. We are trying to do things to help him break better. He broke badly at Del Mar under Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] and he rides him again. That day he gave him a chance and said he couldn't believe he got beat.

“Stone Age ran well [when fifth] in the heavy [G1 Champion S.] and is comfortable over a mile and a half, but I think there'll be no more rain this week and the going will be different for him.”

Already a Breeders' Cup winner after taking the GI Mile in 2020, Order Of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}) aims to take his second Mile. The 5-year-old entire ran second in the G1 Prix du Moulin to Dreamloper (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) in September and he was third to the re-opposing Annapolis (War Front) and Ivar (Brz) (Agnes Gold {Jpn}) in the GI Coolmore Turf Mile S. over this course and distance on Oct. 8. He exits stall 10 in the 16-horse field.

“We have Order Of Australia in the Mile, going for a repeat of two years ago,” O'Brien said. “I was very happy with his run at Keeneland and he was drawn out a bit. I've taken my time with him all year and have just gently turned the screw on him and his last work was very pleasing. We bred him and still own a leg in him.”

O'Brien also has a pair of fillies entered in the GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in listed winner and G1 Irish Oaks runner-up Toy (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and G1 Cazoo Oaks victress Tuesday (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Ryan Moore will be aboard Tuesday and will leave from barrier five, while Wayne Lordan has the call on Toy. The latter pair have drawn gate seven.

O'Brien said, “Tuesday is very well, she has a nice draw. It was bad ground when she ran in France [G1 Prix de l'Opera], but her work has been very good.

“Toy has made very good progress since her last race, she has a good draw and the trip and ground should be fine for her.”

Consistent filly Meditate (Ire) (No Nay Never), who is four-for-six, flies the flag for O'Brien in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Besides winning her first four starts in succession, including group victories in the G3 Coolmore Stud Fillies Sprint S., G3 Albany S., and the G2 Debutante S., the dark bay rolled a pair of twos in the G1 Moyglare Stud S. and the G1 Cheveley Park S. both in September.

“Meditate is one I really like stepping up in trip and I think that, coupled with going round a bend, will help her,” he said. “She's a No Nay Never out of a mare by Dalakhani (Ire) and we are still learning about these No Nay Nevers who are fast, precocious horses. Meditate has plenty of stamina on the dam's side, we are still working out about what we do with her next year.

“She's never lost a kilo since her last run, we've given her the chance to back out in her work but there are no negative signs. She's also got a good mind and is a hardy filly whose constitution will also help her with the distance.”

The master of Rosegreen also saddles G3 Prix de Conde hero Victoria Road (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}) in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. He's drawn in stall one and will be ridden by Ryan Moore.

“Our 2-year-old colt [Victoria Road] came from a good bit back at Chantilly and we think he could develop into a [G1] French Derby horse,” O'Brien said. “The main thing is that we don't want him to get lost early in his race on Friday, but I feel it's only when he goes further that we will see him in a better light.”

O'Brien also reflected on the strong European Breeders' Cup participation, and added, “It's always good to see Charlie Appleby with his team at the Breeders' Cup. He's a very good trainer, he's doing a great job and has an adept team of horses and people to bring with him.

“We love coming to Keeneland because its weather can be similar to ours and everyone here is horsey minded, like we are in Ireland. You have to be tactically quick around here, but you need to be able to finish off your race as well.

“We will be looking at the ground, but in my opinion I prefer it quick because Flat horses should be all about speed.”

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