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Tuesday, 15 January, 2019

Aidan O'Brien expects Middle Park hope Ten Sovereigns to stay a mile next year

Ten Sovereigns goes to post under Donnacha O'Brien before landing the Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh
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Impressive markers for next season's 2,000 Guineas were laid down within ten minutes of each other last Saturday when Ten Sovereigns and Too Darn Hot bolted up in their respective races, and Aidan O'Brien thinks his contender can see out the mile trip.

Unbeaten in two starts at six furlongs, most recently when shooting clear by nearly four lengths in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes, Ten Sovereigns has not looked short of speed, which is reflected in his being the 8-1 favourite for next season's Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

However, he is the same price for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, behind 6-1 favourite Too Darn Hot, and O'Brien is hopeful the colt will be able to handle an extra two furlongs in the spring.

"You'd think there's a good chance [he'll get the mile]," O'Brien said. "You can never say definitely, but he's a very good mover, is clear-winded and has a good mind."

Watch Ten Sovereigns win his two races at the Curragh

John Sisk & Son Round Tower Stakes
Irish Stallion Farms Maiden

More immediately, Ten Sovereigns will stick to six furlongs with the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket offering him a first encounter with the Rowley Mile course on September 29.

O'Brien was keen to give the juvenile some additional experience, with his two wins coming in an eight-day period, and explained: "There was another race a week before the Middle Park in England, so we'd have had to travel and the ground could have gone.

"The Round Tower was at the Curragh and the ground was good so we thought it was worth the risk. He's always shown class in his work from an early stage."

Anthony Van Dyck is another exciting juvenile for O'Brien, winning three of his four starts, and his next race will be at Group 1 level, as O'Brien added: "The plan is to go the National Stakes and he can step up after that or he can finish [for the season]."

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You can never say definitely but he's a very good mover, is clear-winded and has a good mind
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