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Monday, 19 November, 2018

York clash with Enable the target for Warrior as O'Brien decides on drop in trip

Saxon Warrior: will drop to a mile and a quarter in the Juddmonte International
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Saxon Warrior will drop in trip for the Juddmonte International on his next start, Aidan O’Brien said on Sunday, setting up a potential clash with Arc winner Enable at York next month.

The 2,000 Guineas winner could finish only third when sent off the evens favourite for Saturday’s Irish Derby and O’Brien thinks his future lies over shorter.

The trainer said the Epsom Derby fourth will have a short break before being prepared for York, with September’s Irish Champion Stakes the plan afterwards.

O’Brien said: “It was always in the back of our minds to bring him back in trip and now we are definitely going to do that.

"He seemed fine this morning and is going to have a short break before going to York and then on to Leopardstown."

Enable was on Sunday a top-priced 6-1 favourite for the International at York over a mile and a quarter on August 22 after featuring among 41 entries for the Group 1. 

The five-time Group 1 winner has not raced since her Chantilly triumph in October but is back cantering as she builds up to return for her Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe defence.

The John Gosden-trained filly has been on the easy list since suffering a knee problem in May and one more run is planned before the Arc.

Happily, third in the 1,000 Guineas and the Irish equivalent before a close fourth in the Prix de Diane, is under consideration for the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday and was cut by the sponsor to 10-1 from 16-1 on Sunday.

Watch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby here, with full result and analysis

O'Brien, who has sent out five winners of the Group 1 – most recently So You Think in 2011 – said: "We've a good few entries for the Eclipse and will be finalising plans over the next few days.

"Happily could go there, although the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont on the same day is also being considered for her.

"Gustav Klimt is in the Eclipse, but we're looking at the Sussex Stakes as the next race for him."

On his most recent start Gustav Klimt ran Without Parole to half a length in the St James's Palace Stakes.

Capri: the first horse since the great Nijinsky to land both the Irish Derby and the St Leger

According to O'Brien, Hunting Horn, winner of the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, may travel to Belmont for the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes on Saturday. O'Brien won the mile and a quarter event with Deauville two years ago.

Capri, a dual Classic winner last year when he landed the Irish Derby and the St Leger at Doncaster, has been on a break since winning the Group 3 Alleged Stakes on his reappearance at Naas in April.

O'Brien said: "Capri is on the way back but he's not ready yet. We're looking  at giving him a run or two before the Irish Champion Stakes with the Arc to follow, all going well."

Watch Capri win the St Leger, with full result and analysis

Hazapour, who finished a place behind Saxon Warrior at Epsom, will like him drop in trip for his next appearance, which will be in the Group 3 ICON Meld Stakes at Leopardstown over 1m1f on July 19.

The colt failed to stay in the Derby, and his trainer Dermot Weld said yesterday: "We decided after Epsom to drop Hazapour in distance and the Meld Stakes will be his next race.”

Hazapour earned his place in the Derby line-up when landing the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial over a mile and a quarter at Leopardstown in May.

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It was always in the back of our minds to bring him back in trip and now we are definitely going to do that
E.W. Terms
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