AIDAN O’BRIEN kicked off his season with a quintuple of 3,860/1 at Navan on Saturday as he warmed up for the first flat classics of the season, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday and the 1,000 on Sunday.
We won all three test races listed and added a pair of young ladies as well as four or five places from his eleven riders.
In the Salsabill Stakes, Ryan Moore was at his best on Concert Hall (2/1f) as he rose against Jessica Harrington’s Magical Lagoon (10/1) and Shane Foley by a short header on the line. O’Brien was delighted with her and set the oaks of Epsom as a target.
Kyprios (5/1) won the €50,000 Vintage Crop Stakes under Moore by two and three-quarter lengths from Dermot Weld’s Search for a Song (6/5f), both held by Moyglare Stud, and he will now aim for the Ascot Gold Cup, where he had escaped under the stables last year and had not raced since.
Moore and O’Brien had started their hat-trick in the first five-stay two-year-old, with Aesop’s Fables (7/4) making a winning debut for the Aga Khan. He will have another run before aiming for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It was Wayne Lordan’s turn to score for the Ballydoyle Maestro, with New York City (5/1) going all out and winning by a length from Ger Lyons favorite Straight Answer (11/8) in the Listed Committed Stakes . The winner now heads to the Commonwealth Cup. O’Brien’s Cadamosto (4/1) and King of Bavaria (7/2) took third and fourth place.
Seamie Heffernan took part in O’Brien’s act in the one mile five maiden final, surprising on Arbutus (12/1).
Newfoundland (11/8f) under Moore and Realism (7/1) under Lordan made it a clean 1-2-3 sweep. There was no holding back in a fair ride finish for the trio.
A Ben Coen hat-trick was the star in Limerick on Saturday as he landed a typical Tony Martin touch in the final race with Unanswered (25/1 in the morning to 13/2 at the start). Unlike Navan, O’Brien had only one runner, and the War Secretary was the last of eight runners.
Earlier in the week Aidan had a few whimsical winners, Sun King (1/1) at Bellewstown on Wednesday and The Antarctic (6/4f) at Tipperary on Thursday.
In the Newmarket 2000 Guineas on Saturday, Aidan has third seed in Luxembourg at 9/2 and has Point Lonsdale at 12/1, behind a pair of Godolphin formed by undefeated Native Trail (11/10) and Coroebus (7/ 2 ). Jim Bolger can run Boundless Ocean (33/1).
With John Gosden removing expected favorite Inspiral, Irish runners dominate early betting on Sunday’s 1000 Guineas, with O’Brien running new favorite Tenebrism (11/4) and Tuesday (6/1), the same price as the discoveries of Jessica Harrington.