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Friday 24 November 2017

Irish Guineas hope Steinbeck sets pulses racing at Ballydoyle

Aidan O'Brien has admitted to being "excited" by his Irish 2,000 Guineas hopeful Steinbeck.

An easy winner at Naas on his debut, he then ran a fine race for one so inexperienced to finish fourth in the Dewhurst.

Although a setback forced him to miss the Newmarket Guineas, O'Brien is hoping he can make the Irish equivalent.

"Steinbeck is in good order and is another who has always excited us," said O'Brien.

"I hope he will be ready for the Irish Guineas, but he had a good month off.

"Doing that when they are thriving at that time of the year makes it hard, but I would love to get him to the Irish Guineas with a view of going to (Royal) Ascot."

If Steinbeck makes the race, he is likely to face Tommy Stack's Noll Wallop.

After winning Leopardstown's Guineas Trial, a Derby campaign was mooted but connections have now given him the go-ahead to contest the one-mile Classic at the Curragh on May 22. "The plan is to run him in the Irish 2,000 Guineas," said Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy.

"He seems well, he's been working well. He's been working on good ground and that doesn't seem to bother him, he's probably even better on it. Fingers crossed he can get there in good shape.

"We were thinking of getting another race into him before the Guineas, but there wasn't really anything suitable for him so we just decided to leave it and go straight there.

"He's by High Chaparral and his progeny don't seem to mind fast ground and his mother is by Danehill, so it shouldn't be a problem.

"The horses are running well so let's hope it stays that way."

Bookmakers were counting the cost this evening after a huge gamble on four horses.

Three of the runners -- Agapanthus, Savaronola and Sommersturm -- were trained by Barney Curley, while Jeu De Roseau was having his first run for Chris Grant having previously been trained by Andrew Stringer.

Agapanthus scored at Brighton and Savaronola obliged at Wolverhampton, but Sommersturm failed at the latter venue.

Jeu De Roseau -- having his first run for 742 days and trained by Curley for a period earlier in his career - just got up at Towcester in the evening, going off at 6/4 having been available at 25/1 in the morning.

William Hill spokesman David Hood said: "There is no doubt the plotters have landed a few quid."

He added: "I am being told the payouts will be seven figures."

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