herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Ol' Man cut for derby

Not for the first time, an almost embarrassment of high-class juvenile colts reside at Aidan O'Brien's Ballydoyle base and that was further emphasised at the Curragh yesterday with a second really likeable effort from Ol' Man River.

Just three of the horses quoted at 25/1 or shorter for next year's Epsom Derby by bookmakers Boylesports are not trained by O'Brien and after claiming yesterday's Beresford Stakes at the Curragh, Ol' Man River is now just 10/1 for that prestigious target.

The beautifully bred colt has answered every question asked of him so far and may have already done enough for O'Brien this term although he does have options before the season is out.

O'Brien said: "He's open to all those races like the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy, but it's not a must."

The trainer explained: "He's had two runs now and I wouldn't worry if he didn't run again this year.

"He knows enough now - that's what running them as a two-year-old is about, getting the experience - but the lads will decide."

Reflecting on the colt's two and three parts of a length triumph, he said: "There was some solid form horses in there. We wanted to learn a lot from him today to move forward and we have.

"They went a nice even pace, without going crazy. He settled in nicely and relaxed and moved out in the straight and coasted home. You'd have to be happy with that - he's what you want in a good horse."

It was a fantastic afternoon for jockey Joseph O'Brien who as well as winning on Ol' Man River completed a four-timer when winning the CL and MF Weld Stakes on Qualify and the Blenheim Stakes on The Great War both for his father before winning the finale on 20/1 shot Elusive Time for Takashi Kodama.

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