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Aidan O’Brien happy with leading 2000 Guineas hopes

26 Mar 2017

Trainer says Caravaggio will run on April 12, while "everything fine" with Churchill

Caravaggio digest

Aidan O’Brien has issued positive bulletins on Churchill and Caravaggio, who dominate the ante-post betting on the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6.

The first Classic of the season launches the seventh edition of the QIPCO British Champions Series and O’Brien has a formidable hand.

Caravaggio has been off the track since winning the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August, having previously landed the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He had been in line for the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket in September, but a pulled muscle meant he ultimately missed that engagement.

Speaking at Naas on Sunday, O’Brien said: “Caravaggio will work here on Monday and then the plan is to go to Dundalk for the Listed Patton Stakes [on April 12] over seven furlongs. Everything seems fine with him so far.”

O’Brien also had news of Churchill, who finished his campaign as the champion European two-year-old following wins in the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes.

“Churchill is good and everything seems to be fine so far with him as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Seventh Heaven could be aimed at the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom after she chased home Jack Hobbs in the Sheema Classic in Dubai on Saturday.

“I would have worried about Seventh Heaven on that [yielding] ground as I always thought she wanted it fast, but she ran very well,” O’Brien said. “You would have to be very happy with her, and would be thinking about all those mile-and-a-half races like the Coronation. She was staying on well.”

Stablemate Highland Reel was last of the seven runners, but last year’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner is expected to improve for the outing.

O’Brien said: “Highland Reel had a tough enough season last year and hopefully we will bring him along slowly. The winner was good and it was a very competitive race.”

Caravaggio works at Naas earlier today Picture: Racingfotos.com