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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Saxon Warrior out to tame Lion as he heads a strong O'Brien York challenge

Saxon Warrior: on course for the Juddmonte International and a fifth encounter with Roaring Liom
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Saxon Warrior is on course to renew rivalry with his Coral-Eclipse Stakes conqueror Roaring Lion in the Juddmonte International next Wednesday, when the 2,000 Guineas winner will spearhead Aidan O'Brien's York team.

Only a neck separated Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior at Sandown and the pair are 3-1 and 5-1 respectively for the rematch, which will be their fifth meeting, each having twice finished in front of the other.

Speaking on Tuesday, O'Brien suggested more could be expected at York from Saxon Warrior, who had a seven-day turnaround before the Eclipse.

Juddmonte International Stakes, card, form and betting

Darley Yorkshire Oaks, card, form and betting

Great Voltigeur Stakes, card, form and betting

He said: "It was a huge ask running him in the Eclipse only a week after running in the Irish Derby [in which he finished third]. We've been kind to him since and doing things very gently. He's been coming along nicely."

Investec Oaks winner and Darley Irish Oaks runner-up Forever Together will be joined in the Yorkshire Oaks line-up by Magic Wand, the Ribblesdale Stakes winner who was found to have a dirty nose after running fifth in the Irish Oaks, and Bye Bye Baby, who was fourth in the Curragh Classic.

Kew Gardens, pictured winning the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot, heads for the Great Voltigeur
O'Brien confirmed Kew Gardens, winner of the Grand Prix de Paris, will be a runner in the Great Voltigeur Stakes. "He had to miss the King George when he didn't scope 100 per cent clean and he had a quiet time around then," he said. "But he's back going nicely and we're looking forward to running him."

He added: "The Pentagon and Flag Of Honour will probably join him in the same race."

The trainer, who may also run Sioux Nation in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, added: "York is meeting we've always liked and we'll be sending a nice team over next week."

Before York gets under way O'Brien will be bid to bring his score of Group 1 wins for the season into double figures at Deauville on Sunday when Land Force, winner of the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, will run in the Prix Morny, with Rhododendron a possible for the Prix Jean Romanet.

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It was a huge ask running him in the Eclipse only a week after running in the Irish Derby
E.W. Terms
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