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Aidan O’Brien upbeat about his QIPCO 2000 Guineas contenders

10 Mar 2018

Trainer suggests Saxon Warrior could reappear in Newmarket Classic but that Gustav Klimt may run in a trial.

Saxon Warrior “could start in the Guineas if he wanted” says OBrien. Picture:

Aidan O’Brien has issued an upbeat bulletin on his Classic contenders as he begins to map out his plans for this year.

The unbeaten Saxon Warrior, the Racing Post Trophy victor, tops the ante-post market for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas – the first race in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series – and O’Brien would not be worried if the Deep Impact colt were to make his first start of the year at Newmarket on May 5.

That is perhaps no surprise, given that his record-breaking eight previous Guineas winners had all been making their seasonal reappearance at Headquarters.

“They all seem to be fine and have physically done well,” O’Brien said. “We’re happy with them so far. They haven’t done an awful lot yet, but we’re happy with what they’ve done.

“Saxon Warrior is a big, powerful horse. He could start in the Guineas if he wanted.

“He doesn’t have to have a prep run, but we have a good prep in Leopardstown this year as it’s back to seven furlongs, the same as the fillies’ race. That’s a good race if any of the horses need a start.”

O’Brien also has 2000 Guineas second favourite Gustav Klimt, winner of two of his three juvenile starts last term, but off the track since landing the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last July.

“Gustav Klimt is good and he’s in full work,” he said. “He’s a horse that wouldn’t mind a prep if that’s the way it goes.

“When it was getting serious last year, he was off and he was a little bit green in Newmarket the day he won.

“He’s in good shape and we’re happy with him. They are all going gentle away at the moment.”

Last year, O’Brien won 13 of the 35 Champions Series races and saddled a world record 28 Group 1 winners.