AIDAN O’Brien reports all roads lead to the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot for his impressive Leopardstown scorer Alfred Munnings.
The half-brother to Snowfall out of a Group 3-winning half-sister to Found continued the Ballydoyle team’s hot run of form and was in a different league to his rivals as he drew clear to record a commanding four-and-a-half-length debut victory at the Dublin track.
The Dubawi colt now appears set to line-up in the seven-furlong Listed race O’Brien has won four times in the past six years, and the Ballydoyle trainer says he has always thought an awful lot of this precocious youngster.
“From day one he always looked different. Everything he’s done he’s just been going half-speeds and everyone that rode him always thought the world of him. He’s very natural,” said O’Brien
“We didn’t really intend to start him this early, but he was just doing everything so easy we kind of had to start him. I couldn’t have been happier with him.
“Obviously he’s a Dubawi and a half-brother to Snowfall so it’s a brilliant pedigree.
“I think he’s going to the Chesham, that was the plan, if everything goes well.
“He was always different, great shape, mind, great pedigree, he has loads of speed and seven furlongs was easy to him the last day.”
The master of Ballydoyle also provided further details about Luxembourg’s injury and the steps being taken to ensure the Group 1 winner returns in peak condition in the autumn.
The Camelot colt was the ante-post favourite for the Cazoo Derby following his third in the 2000 Guineas, but was quickly ruled out of the Epsom contest due to an injury sustained shortly after the first Classic of the summer.
“He’s fine and hopefully we’ll have him back riding out in three to four weeks. He’ll maybe start back long reigning,” explained O’Brien.
“It was up high lameness and that’s hard to really diagnose so we think it was muscular. It’s one of things, it’s nothing major but he just needed the time.
“John (Halley) and Ger (Kelly) just said he needed a month or six weeks in the box and then there was no decision. That was their assessment and it was an easy decision then after that.
“It’s very fickle training a horse, any athlete knows you are on a fine line and you are on the right side and wrong side the whole time. He just went on the wrong side.
“He worked that morning, Seamus (Heffernan) rode him, and everything went well but just when he pulled out he started resting his hind leg.
“The very odd time it can be a nerve and come right in 24 hours but obviously when the lads saw him it wasn’t that and there was no decision to be made.
“He’s a very good horse, very natural, and will improve with the time. He’s going to be exciting for the autumn so maybe it was a blessing in disguise and we’ll know come the autumn.”
The Curragh’s Guineas meeting is fast approaching and O’Brien also gave an update on the squad he is assembling for the first two Irish classics of the summer, as well as a couple of possibles for the Tattersalls Gold Cup he has won three times in the past four seasons.
“We’re thinking of putting Ivy League into the 2000 Guineas,” continued O’Brien.
“History will go to the 1000 Guineas along with Tuesday, that’s the plan. We also have Concert Hall who won the Oaks trial at Navan. At the moment they are the three main ones and they all came out of their races well.
“In the Tattersalls Gold Cup we have Broome who might start there. High Definition might go there as well.”