Aidan O’Brien eyes Gleneagles tilt at Derby

Gleneagles ridden by Ryan Moore, centre, wins at the Curragh. Picture: PA
Gleneagles ridden by Ryan Moore, centre, wins at the Curragh. Picture: PA
Have your say

GLENEAGLES overcame trouble in running to complete a Classic double in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Ryan Moore had to wait for a gap on the Newmarket Guineas hero, but he was never flustered – and, once in the clear, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 2-5 favourite showed off his class as he produced a tremendous turn of foot.

Richard Hannon’s Ivawood looked to have an easy time in front under Richard Hughes, but he was strongly pressed by Endless Drama before Gleneagles burst on the scene.

Gleneagles went on to win by three-quarters of a length from ­Endless Drama, with Ivawood occupying third place as he did at Newmarket. Belardo was fourth for trainer Roger Varian.

Moore said: “The ground just blunted his pace a bit. He didn’t have a lot of room, but he had the gears and the class to go through. He put his head down and fought well at the end, he’s a very exciting colt.

“I felt I was on the best horse, and when you’re on the best horse, invariably the gaps come.”

The Galileo colt was left in the Investec Derby at the latest forfeit stage, and O’Brien said: “We’ve got another horse [Giovanni Canaletto]to run tomorrow and the decision will be made in the next week.

“He has always worked like a miler, he’s strong and quickens very well. He’s never had to show the kind of courage before that he showed today.

“The Curragh is a tough mile on that ground. It was very borderline that he ran.”

O’Brien added: “You’re never sure until you dip them what courage they have and he had to be courageous today. He wanted it. You can’t test them for that.

“He had a good bit to do from the interchange and the danger was in front. It’s not an easy thing to do here at the Curragh.

“We’re so lucky to have this track. It’s the fairest track in the world and the best horse usually wins. If they go a fair gallop, you usually get the opportunities.

“He had to fight for three furlongs and in the last half-furlong Ryan said ‘Come on, I need you again’.

“Originally the plan was to come here and then go to Ascot. We only gave him three half-speeds since Newmarket as I had the view that you can’t put his head to the stone every day.

“The plan was Newmarket, here, Ascot then Goodwood, but the plan could change along the way and the boys will decide.

“When I was going through the forfeits for the Derby I was crossing off all the horses and put a line through him, but the boys said to leave him in. I’ve always thought he was a miler and we haven’t had a miler like him in a while.

“Everyone knows how important the Derby is and obviously if he went there that would forfeit Ascot.

“He’s a natural free-sweater, and his dad was like that, but he’s not a worrier.”

However, Coolmore supremo John Magnier appeared to suggest the Derby would be unlikely.

He said: “The horse has proved he can battle. We are happy really. The ground is a bit softer than he would like. The next thing is probably to think about the St James’s Palace. We will take it step by step.

“We paid for the option (of the Derby), so we are hardly going to declare it today without being clever about it, but it’s unlikely.

“We’ll have to discuss it with Michael (Tabor), Derrick (Smith), Aidan and all the lads, but it looks pretty obvious.”

Trainer Ger Lyons said of Endless Drama: “It’s all systems go for the St James’s Palace, subject to everything being OK.

“He showed he gets a mile well and it took what Aidan says is the best he’s had for a while to beat him.

“Convergence (seventh) also ran a blinder.”