Fame And Glory: former Gold Cup winner set to bow out in the MarathonPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Fame And Glory to have visor for Marathon bid
AIDAN O'BRIEN on Wednesday revealed a surprise addition to his Breeders' Cup squad when unveiling leading stayer Fame And Glory as on course to bid for a final success in the Marathon.
Comprehensive defeats in his last three starts have caused some to question whether Fame And Glory retains his ability, but O'Brien instead questions whether he retains his courage as he suggested that headgear would be applied when Saturday's Ascot fifth joins the likes of outstanding miler Excelebration and defending Breeders' Cup Turf champion St Nicholas Abbey in the trainer's Santa Anita squad.
"He's got a bit clever," said O'Brien. "He's a little bit older and wiser now and when the going gets tough he's very happy to curl up and not try very hard.
"We'll probably run him in a visor. The dirt will be the interesting part and it's unknown. It's a bit of an experiment but we're hoping that he'll run well and it's very possible that this will be his last race."
Runaway Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Excelebration could also be running for the last time when seeking to justify his new billing as the world's joint-second highest rated horse following his elevation to a rating of 130, the equal of Cirrus Des Aigles.
O'Brien said: "He has top form on any ground and I don't think ground is important to him. He has got stronger and quicker and he's an exciting horse."
The vast majority of Europe's anticipated heavy hitters remain on course for the Breeders' Cup, staged next Friday and Saturday, with The Fugue and Ridasiyna 3-1 joint-favourites with Paddy Power for the Filly & Mare Turf.
Roger Charlton's Dundonnell is Coral's 4-1 market leader for the Juvenile Turf, while the Richard Hannon-trained Sky Lantern is 2-1 favourite with Ladbrokes for the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
All two-year-old races at the Breeders' Cup will, for the first time, be run with medication forbidden, a factor that has contributed to the Juvenile Fillies attracting an entry that could be reduced to just six horses at Monday's declaration stage.