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Trainer Aidan O’Brien is aiming for a record-extending ninth win in the Classic – and his leading hope Bolshoi Ballet, the son of Galileo, has been cut to 7/4 after his latest success.
Bolshoi Ballet beat stablemate Lough Derg by six lengths to follow up his course and distance success in last month’s Group 3 Ballysax Stakes. All the history buffs out there will no doubt be noting that Galileo and High Chaparral had the same form before landing the Epsom Derby in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
O’Brien said: “The plan was always to give him the two runs [before the Derby]. He’s a horse that’s coming forward and we were delighted with him – he relaxes, he quickens and he stays. He had to be taught to stretch today and he did – he stuck his toe out and quickened.”
Jockey Ryan Moore added: “He’s a very professional horse and was always travelling beautifully through the race. He’s very smooth and ticks a lot of boxes. It was a proper test today, and that will stand him in good stead for what comes next.”
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O’Brien said: “We need to run obviously. He has to get out if he’s going to the Derby.”
Mac Swiney – a Group 1 winner as a two-year-old – was prominent in Paddy Power’s antepost betting market for the Epsom Derby but finished a disappointing fourth in the Derrinstown and has drifted to 20/1 as a result.
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