O’Brien’s Epsom poser keeps punters guessing about final line-up
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has confirmed that his impressive Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician will be left in the line-up for the upcoming Derby at Epsom, a move that’s enlivened the market for the UK’s richest race.
Magician’s recent three-and-a-half length score at the Curragh prompted many observers to speculate as to whether O’Brien would consider adding a possible seventh contender to a strong line-up that also includes Derrinstown Stud Trial Stakes winner, Battle of Marengo.
But it’s the son of Galileo who many are now touting as O’Brien’s potential trump card for what would be an audacious Classic double bid.
Now the 5/1 joint-second favourite, Magician’s recent display showed more than enough to suggest a tilt at arguably Flat racing’s most prestigious prize could yield even greater rewards.
Travelling easily throughout in the hands of O’Brien’s son Joseph, the classy three-year-old produced the necessary change of pace required when asked the question, sprinting clear of Trading Leather with stablemate Gale Force Ten charging home to clinch second.
And although there are obvious concerns given the Irish 2,000 Guineas’ proximity to the Derby, with just a one week gap in between, the fact that Magician’s trainer has decided to leave his charge in at the forfeit stage offers plenty of intrigue.
Breeding and a Dee Stakes win over ten furlongs at Chester suggest the step up in trip that the Derby would represent may be manageable concerns for Magician.
For the time being, O’Brien will continue with his deliberations as punters patiently wait for more news from Ballydoyle.
Since the turn of the century only one Irish Guineas victor has gone on to race in the Derby, and that was when a fortnight separated the two Classics.
Dubawi was third to Motivator on that occasion in 2005, and while it would be a remarkable success should Magician go on to triumph in Surrey, the talk of his possible late bid at least offers an exciting alternative to evens favourite Dawn Approach.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing