O'Brien warns Derby rivals Saxon Warrior has 'an awful lot of improvement' left
Aidan O’Brien is likely to have at least four runners in next month’s Investec Derby, headed by the impressive 2,000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior who, according to the trainer, "has an awful lot of improvement to come".
The 10-11 favourite for the Epsom Classic will step up to a mile and a half for the first time, a trip which will suit the son of Deep Impact according to the record-breaking trainer.
O'Brien said: "We thought a mile at Newmarket was going to be a lovely start off for him. Obviously we were very happy with him. Everything's good so far. We could not have been happier with Saxon because there's an awful lot of improvement to come. It'll be exciting to see.
"We've always thought he was going to be a middle-distance horse, rather than a Guineas horse. He's a big colt – he wears his head low. He's a good traveller and he seems balanced. He didn't have any problems at Newmarket with the Dip. We're very happy with him."
Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon, who finished second and third in Sunday's Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown, and Lingfield Derby Trial runner-up Kew Gardens are three other contenders set to line up for the powerful Ballydoyle team.
O’Brien added: "I'd imagine those four will run and we'll see if anything else goes with them. I suppose the two horses in the trial on Sunday, the second and the third, and I suppose the horse from Lingfield. He would be number four then, and if something else runs, I don't know. That's what I would be thinking."
Emphatic Dee Stakes winner Rostropovich put forward his Derby credentials at Chester last week but the son of Frankel is more likely to head to the French Derby according to O’Brien: "I thought that maybe the horse from Chester might go to the French Derby and something might go with him."
O'Brien added that Mendelssohn, who finished last in the Kentucky Derby after receiving a hefty bump at the start, will have another run in the US ahead of the Breeders’ Cup Classic back at Churchill Downs in November.
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