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Ballydoyle master Aidan O’Brien has claimed Epsom Derby favourite Luxembourg faces a major challenge to score in the 2000 Guineas, but who was the last horse to do the double?
Luxembourg, unbeaten in three starts at the age of two last year including the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, is third in Paddy Power’s betting for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
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All of his racecourse appearances have been over a distance of 1m – the 2000 Guineas trip – but O’Brien believes the son of Camelot will want further as a three-year-old.
“He’s always been very natural in everything he does and he has a very high cruising pace, but it’s a big ask for him to start off in a Guineas when he’s looking like he’s going to be a middle-distance horse for this year,” O’Brien said.
“We’ve started similar horses off in the Guineas like Australia and Camelot before they won the Derby. We think and hope it’s the right race to start him in.”
A win in the 2000 Guineas would set Luxembourg up nicely for the Epsom Derby but the leading players in our betting for Newmarket – Godolphin pair Native Trail and Coroebus – also hold entries for the June Classic.
Who was the last horse to win the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby?
Luxembourg backers will be intrigued to know that his sire, Camelot, was the most recent to achieve the increasingly difficult feat back in 2012. The O’Brien-trained colt came agonisingly close to achieving the Triple Crown – 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger – when going down to Encke by ¾l in the last leg at Doncaster.
Who was the last horse to win the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks?
The 1000 Guineas/Epsom Oaks double was more recently completed in 2020 by another O’Brien runner, Love. The daughter of Galileo completed her three-year-old campaign by winning the Yorkshire Oaks before connections opted against a crack at the St Leger.
What about the Triple Crown?
The last horse to achieve the Triple Crown was Nijinsky in 1970. One of the greatest Flat horses of all-time, Nijinsky also won the Gladness Stakes, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as a three-year-old. He was trained at Ballydoyle by the legendary Vincent O’Brien.
The Fillies’ Triple Crown – the 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and St Leger – was landed more recently in 1985 by Oh So Sharp, trained by Henry Cecil.
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