O'Brien keeping an eye on Goddess after flop but King George pair fine
Aidan O’Brien will monitor the health of Goddess amid concerns about the wellbeing of his horses after failing to find any reason for the poor performance of the 1,000 Guineas hope at Leopardstown.
The multiple champion trainer said Hydrangea and Rostropovich, his two runners in Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, had shown up healthy during a period in which some of his Ballydoyle team have indicated signs of a bug in the yard.
Kew Gardens, who was to have been Ryan Moore’s ride in the Ascot showpiece, was ruled out of the race after failing to scope clean on Thursday morning while Magic Wand, who disappointed when favourite for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh last weekend, was found to have a dirty nose after the Classic.
O’Brien said: “Some of our horses haven’t been scoping right so there seems to be some sort of bug around. We won’t declare them or run them unless they scope clean and their bloods are right.
“Sometimes you don’t know until you run them, but if we stopped having runners we wouldn’t know anything. It affects some horses but not others.
“The tests we carried out on Hydrangea and Rostropovich were clear and all seems fine with them to travel, but we’ll just have to wait and see how they get on.”
O'Brien has had six winners from his last 13 runners but has only three running this weekend, an unusually small number for the yard.
Two of his winners came at Leopardstown on Thursday, when Anthony Van Dyck ran out an impressive winner of the Group 3 Tyros Stakes and Sizzling dead-heated for first place with Cimeara in the Listed Kingdom Of Bahrain Vinnie Roe Stakes.
However Goddess, an impressive ten-length winner on her second start, after which she was made favourite for next year’s 1,000 Guineas, trailed in last of six runners in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes having been sent off the 4-9 favourite.
O’Brien said: “Goddess seemed fine this morning. She wasn’t distressed and we’ll see how she is over the next few days. It was a very ordinary run and for some reason the real Goddess didn’t turn up.”
Kew Gardens, who won the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on his most recent start having won the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot last month, will now be trained for the William Hill St Leger in September.
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