'Paddington Has Made Unusual Progress' – O'Brien Positive Ahead Of Coral-Eclipse 

Paddington: steps up to 10 furlongs in the Coral-Eclipse | Racingfotos.com


Aidan O'Brien says that he is looking forward to seeing what Paddington (GB), the brilliant Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace S. winner, can do over an extra two furlongs in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday and says the colt has made rare progress this season. 

Paddington provided O'Brien with a record 83rd Royal Ascot victory when slamming the 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the St James's Palace.

The master of Ballydoyle went on to secure his 85th winner at the royal meeting before passing another important milestone at the Curragh on Sunday when Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) provided the 53-year-old with his 100th European Classic success with a hard-fought Irish Derby triumph. 

O'Brien will be hoping for more big-race success at Sandown on Saturday and drew comparisons between Paddington and his most recent Coral-Eclipse winner St Mark's Basilica (Fr).

Both colts are the highest-rated sons of Siyouni (Fr), and it's their ability to quicken that marks them down as something out of the ordinary, according to O'Brien. 

He told TDN Europe, “Paddington came out of Ascot really well and we always felt that he'd get further than a mile. I suppose what makes them different [the progeny of Siyouni] is the way that they quicken. 

St Mark's Basilica was the very same, he used to quicken off a good pace and this horse does that as well, doesn't he? The Siyounis are really able to quicken and Paddington is a very exciting prospect.”

O'Brien added, “Paddington has done everything we've asked of him so far and seems to be progressing with every run. We're very happy with him and hope he runs a big race on Saturday. We've been happy with him since Ascot.”

The Sussex S. at Goodwood had been mentioned as the most likely option for Paddington after his Ascot triumph but O'Brien has said that, given how well the colt came out of the royal meeting, connections were keen to explore the possibility of stepping him up to 10 furlongs for the Sandown showpiece, for which he is a top-price 11-8 favourite.

Like former Group 1-winning Ballydoyle-trained inmates Homecoming Queen (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) and Treasure Beach (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Paddington cut his teeth in handicaps before achieving success at the highest level, with O'Brien describing his progression as “unusual”.

On the decision behind running at Sandown, he said, “We thought he could do both [Sussex and Coral-Eclipse], really, and when it was when he came out of Ascot so well that we decided to aim him at the Coral-Eclipse. 

“We can just explore a little bit with him. We saw what he did at the Curragh and at Ascot over a mile so we're looking forward to seeing him run on Saturday.”

O'Brien added, “He's made very good progress from run to run, I suppose you could describe it as unusual progress, really. He's just a very natural horse.”

Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) led home an O'Brien-trained 1-2-3-4 in the Irish Derby on Sunday and is reported to have come out of that scrap in good heart. The long-term plan could be to revert to 10 furlongs with the dual Derby winner for either the Irish Champion S. or the Juddmonte International, but first, a tilt at the King George at Ascot is under consideration. 

O'Brien said, “We were delighted with Auguste Rodin. He's a great traveller and seems to have a great capacity. He's come out of the Curragh well and we're looking at the King George for him now.

“I know it's a little bit down the road but we thought that if we did go for the King George, then he could have a little bit of time after that and come back for either an Irish Champion Stakes or a Juddmonte International.”


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