Air Force Blue readies Aidan O’Brien’s Guineas flight for take-off

Aidan O’Brien is no stranger to Guineas success, taking the colt’s Classic seven times and the fillies renewal on two occasions, but he will be hoping he can add a third Newmarket double in 2016 after two epic juvenile performances.

The Dubai Fillies’ Mile and the Dewhurst Stakes are probably two of the most telling tests of a juveniles credentials for the big ones at HQ the following May, and a pair of his charges responded in beaming fashion.

Minding leaves Moore beaming…

He may be a genius in the saddle but Ryan Moore is a man that likes to let his riding do the talking, so when he came back beaming and declaring that his previous mount was “a truly exceptional filly” it might be worth taking notice.

Moore and Aidan O’Brien’s Minding put in a dazzling performance in the Dubai Fillies’ Mile to rout her classy rivals by 4½ lengths.

Coming into the contest at Newmarket her qualities were already clear having taken the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes on her previous start, only for stable-mate and runner-up that day Ballydoyle, to triumph in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day.

The daughter of Galileo was electric on her first step to a mile, doubling her Group 1 haul in the process.

He price for the 1,000 Guineas was initially slashed from 10/1 to 4/1, but such was the support she received Ladbrokes were forced to go further and clip her odds into 3/1.


…but Air Force Blue goes even further

After Moore’s strong words for his filly on Friday, you can’t have expected anything to better it on Saturday.

But with part-owner Michael Tabor secreting such confidence about his Dewhurst hope Air Force Blue, an intriguing tale was about to unfold.

“I would be surprised and disappointed if he were to get beat”, he pronounced before his apparent match race with Godolphin’s Emotionless.

However, while his market rival bitterly disappointed on account of an injury, there was no denying the talent exuding from the Coolmore colt.

While his stable-mate was picking up her second success at the very top level, the colt racked up a hat-trick of Group 1s by snatching the Newmarket contest.

That win was at 7f, but the way in which he powered clear in the closing stages suggests a mile will be no issue whatsoever.

From the 4/1 that was on offer for the 2,000 Guineas before the race, the bookies were quick to take avoiding action, slashing him into 6/4 for next term’s race.

That was still too big for punters though, who still had the traders diving for cover, cutting the son of War Front into 5/4.


8/1 the double

On the two occasions O’Brien has taken the 1,000 Guineas he has also won the 2,000 the same weekend, with Virginia Waters and Footstepsinthesand in 2005, and Homecoming Queen and Camelot in 2012.

While he more often than not has plenty of strong fancies in the antepost markets, few would have expected him to have such a strong hand.

His two recent Group 1 winners can be backed in an 8/1 double to take the clean sweep on the first weekend in May. And after what we saw last weekend, nobody could say it would be a shock.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.