O'Brien Runs Over Breeders' Cup Team

Mogul winning the Grand Prix de Paris | Scoop Dyga

Aidan O'Brien has 12 Breeders' Cup trophies on his mantle, and he sends a typically strong team to Keeneland next week with numerous chances to bolster that number.

Among the heavyweights are 2020 Group 1 winners Mogul (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who will attempt to give their trainer a sixth win in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf.

The 3-year-old Mogul earned his first top-level victory in the G1 Grand Prix de Paris on Sept. 13 with the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe second In Swoop (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}) in his wake, but was scratched from the Arc when O'Brien's stable was caught up in a feed contamination issue.

“We were training him for the Arc and he didn't get to go,” O'Brien said. “The Arc was very tough ground and maybe to miss that ground wouldn't have been any harm. He is a horse with a lot of speed. He likes racing. He's a big, gross horse. He is made like a miler. He takes plenty of racing to keep him right. He's an unbelievable specimen to look at.

“The track is a little bit tighter than he would be used to, but he is a horse that really quickens. I think that's what you really need to win those races in America.”

Magical has two years on and plenty more airmiles than her stablemate, and she has had a particularly busy summer and fall, winning the G1 Pretty Polly S., G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup and G1 Irish Champion S. She was third over soft ground in the G1 Champion S. on Oct. 17.

“She's an unbelievable filly,” O'Brien said. “She has run at the top level from when she was a 2-year-old. She's danced every dance and travelled everywhere. She is very comfortable from a mile to a mile and a half, which is very unusual. She is very brave, stays well, and has a good mind. She is an incredible mare. She ran very well the last day in very bad ground at Ascot, which wouldn't have suited her.”

O'Brien looks to this year's G1 Queen Anne S. winner Circus Maximus (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and the talented Group 1 bridesmaid Lope Y Fernandez (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) to give him a first win in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile, with Order Of Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}) also possible. Circus Maximus was fourth in the race at Santa Anita last year.

“He ran well but he had a bad draw,” O'Brien recalled. “It was a little bit rough and tumble there. We always thought this year would suit him better. Santa Anita was hard fast ground. He doesn't mind that, but a little bit of kindness in the ground won't be any harm for him.”

O'Brien said he thinks Lope Y Fernandez's speed will bode well for him at Keeneland.

“We think the one mile and left hand sharp track will suit him,” he said. “He quickens very well, and I think out there, for the one-mile races, you need loads of speed.”

“Lope Y Fernandez has been running over shorter distances and probably quickens better, but whether he is hard enough, or tough enough, to beat the likes of Circus Maximus, I'm not sure. If Circus Maximus gets a nice draw, it'll be very interesting.”

G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Peaceful (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) will attempt to bounce back from a last of 12 finish in the G1 Sun Chariot S. over Newmarket's heavy ground on Oct. 3 in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

“We ran at Newmarket in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot S. on bad ground when we probably shouldn't have,” said O'Brien. “I don't think the race at Newmarket left its mark, she seems to be in good form since and we always had our eye on the Breeders' Cup for her. We'd like nice ground and if she gets a good draw, she'll go forward and should be very uncomplicated.”

O'Brien's Breeders' Cup juvenile squad is headed by Listed Chesham S. and G2 Vintage S. winner Battleground (War Front) for the GI Juvenile Turf, and will also include Group 3 winner Mother Earth (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) for the GI Juvenile Fillies Turf, with Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) also possible and Lipizzaner (Uncle Mo) a potential candidate for the GII Juvenile Turf Sprint.

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