O'Brien Relies On “Classy” Cherry Blossom To Plunder Goffs Million Riches

Cherry Blossom | Racingfotos.com


Aidan O'Brien has set his sights on winning the Goffs Million at the Curragh for the first time on Saturday and says that Cherry Blossom (Ire), who has Group 1 targets later this season, could be just the answer in the lucrative contest.

Bred by Barronstown Stud, the daughter of No Nay Never was a €360,000 buy at the Goffs Orby 12 months ago by MV Magnier. Cherry Blossom broke her maiden at the second time of asking over six furlongs at the Curragh before running second to Relief Rally (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in the G2 Lowther S. and O'Brien is hopeful of a big performance provided she handles the step up to seven furlongs.

He said, “We're very happy with Cherry Blossom. She was a little bit green going to York, which we thought she might be, and Ryan [Moore] thought that she would come forward from that run.”

O'Brien added, “She has been very well since but we are not sure about the seven furlongs for her. We still think it's worth letting her take her chance. She is a classy filly. 

“Originally, we were going to go straight to the Cheveley Park with her but, because of the huge value of this race, we said we'd take our chance. Credit to Goffs for putting a race of this value on.”

Cherry Blossom will be partnered by Frankie Dettori for the first time and heads the betting for the 23-runner contest. The Goffs Million returned to the calender 12 months ago and went to export with the Charlie Hills-trained (Ire) (Camacho {GB}), who cost just €45,000 at the Orby the previous year, landing the spoils.

Goffs chief Henry Beeby spoke to the Nick Luck Daily Podcast on the eve of the Million about all things Orby and the different bonuses the sales company has introduced this year. 

He explained, “The Goffs Million is Europe's richest two-year-old race and was won by the Charlie Hills-trained Galleron last year amid much excitement. The race was worth €1,234,000 last year and tomorrow it will be worth €1,232,000, so that's €660,000 to the winner.”

Beeby added, “We've now introduced the Goffs €2 million series so the yearlings sold next week will be qualified for the Goffs Million and the Goffs 500 and the Goffs €50,000 Bonus Series, which means we will have a series of two-year-old maidens from the start of the season right up to Million day and a total of 10 €50,000 bonuses can be won if those two-year-old winners come from the Orby Sale next week. We have converted the Orby Sale and the Sportsman's into Orby Book 1 and 2 so about 1,000 yearlings will qualify.”

The Orby Sale kicks off on Tuesday and O'Brien confirmed that he will be one of the many key industry figures to attend the highly-anticipated sale. 

He said, “I'll be at Goffs next week. I go to all of the yearling sales and always have done. We've got some great horses from Goffs and we're looking forward to it.”

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