O’Brien on Derby entries

O’Brien on Derby entries


Aidan O’Brien’s horse-by-horse guide to the six colts he has in the frame for Saturday’s Investec Derby at Epsom.

He’s improved a lot since Ascot we think. We still think he’ll improve more too, he’s really gone the right way as we thought and hoped he would. We’re very happy with what he’s doing and feel there’s more to come.
We always thought he would get a mile-and-a-half (2400m). He ran in the King Edward VII and Ryan (Moore) felt he got a little bit tired but we think that was the reason more so than him not staying. We’ll find out an awful lot more on Saturday.
He’s as well as we can have him, we’re happy with his progress and we’re looking forward to seeing him running.
He’s very good – we’re very happy and Ryan was happy with him at Royal Ascot. He’s never run further than a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) and it will be interesting to see how he goes on but he’s very well and very fit and everything has gone well since his last run.
He’s another horse we’re looking forward to seeing over a mile-and-a-half (2400m). He’s a good, hardy, horse who is very relaxed and seemed to get ten furlongs (2000m) well at Ascot and you couldn’t say looking at him he won’t get further.
He’s had two runs this season, one before lockdown and then Ascot. You might have liked a bit more time after Ascot but he was a fit horse going there and seems to have come out of it well. He didn’t go to the Irish Derby as we had other horses we wanted to go there with. He’s more hardened than some of those were and has good form as well. Everything is right with him.
Russian Emperor – rock-solid for the Investec Derby
He was just ready to run in the Irish 2000 Guineas, he just made it. He was ready for a conditions race really, that’s the stage he was at. He did well to make the race and is in good form since. We think he’s gone the right way although whether he’ll get the trip or not we don’t know,
It was a mile at the Curragh and he ran to the line in a slowly-run Irish Guineas. He’s by Galileo and has an unbelievable pedigree but he’s related to some very quick horses so it will be interesting. Padraig Berry ride him in the Guineas and said he found it hard to pull him up and he’s an incredibly interesting horse. We’re pleased with his work since and it’s going to be very exciting watching this race.
John, Michael and Derrick are always going to give their horses the chance to win a Derby if they’re bred that way and on pedigree they feel there’s a chance he could get it. Obviously some horses, when you’re sure they’ll get the trip, they might not have enough class. This one could be a Sussex Stakes horse, a miler, he’s relaxed has a good stride and quickens. The lads think there’s a chance he could stay which is why they’re giving him the chance to find out.
There’s a chance he might go to the French Derby. We always felt he might get a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) and a bit further. It depends on what the lads think in the morning but we viewed him as a ten-furlong (2000m) horse who might stay further. Wayne Lordan rode him in the Guineas and was delighted and like Vatican City he was finishing off well.
He’s in over in France as well but we think he’s going to Epsom. He’s improved a lot since his run in the Gallinue Stakes at the Curragh, it didn’t really work for him there but he did that last year on his first run or two and we think we’ll see a different horse in the Derby. He’s a good traveller and a classy horse and another we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.
He’s by Camelot but is quick enough and is a big traveller. Sometimes it’s very hard to work those horses out until you go over the the distances with them.
His first run this year was in a maiden at the Curragh and Seamus (Heffernan) rode him. He just got caught in and couldn’t get out and when he did the race was over. He’s a horse that stays very well and we think he could get further than a mile-and-a-half (2400m).
Wayne (Lordan) got a good break on him at the Curragh and let him roll along and started to increase from halfway. He ran straight out through the line. It will be interesting to see how he goes on Saturday, he’s another seriously well-bred Galileo colt.
He’s a lovely big horse. We always thought he’d get a mile-and-a-half  (2400m)well and has had one run in a maiden this year in which the winner, second and third were second, third and fourth in the Irish Derby. He was fourth on his return and they were all there in a seriously strongly-run maiden over ten furlongs at Leopardstown.
We were always going to get one run into him and then come here – that was the plan – and he’s a big, open galloper who you would imagine will get the trip well. He’s big with a big stride and has to get better with every run. He’s going to improve as he races and the year goes on.
I don’t know what Ryan will ride – he’ll always make that decision himself and late which is his prerogative. He’ll look at the draws and we’ll talk to him on the day and say what we think has happened. It’s difficult this year because he can’t be here and riding work or in Ireland.
We have James Doyle, William Buick and Adam Kirby available to us – and then some of our own people too but we’ll have to decide what we’re going to do. – Sportinglife.com

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