Aidan O'Brien targets Dundalk comeback for unbeaten Classic hope Caravaggio

Sun 26 Mar 2017

Aidan O'Brien is planning a reappearance at Dundalk next month for Classic contender Caravaggio.

The unbeaten Scat Daddy colt has been off the track since winning the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August, having previously landed the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He had been in line for the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket in September, but a pulled muscle meant he ultimately missed that engagement.

Speaking at Naas, O'Brien, who had a double to start the new Irish Flat season, said: "Caravaggio will work here on Monday and then the plan is to go to Dundalk for the Listed Patton Stakes (April 12) over seven furlongs.

"Everything seems fine with him so far."

O'Brien also had news of Churchill, who finished his campaign as the champion European two-year-old following wins in the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes.

The son of Galileo heads the ante-post markets for both the 2000 Guineas and Derby.

He said: "Churchill is good and everything seems to be fine so far with him as well."

Meanwhile, Seventh Heaven could be aimed at the Coronation Cup at Epsom after her fine run in defeat in Dubai on Saturday.

The Irish and Yorkshire Oaks heroine got closest to impressive winner Jack Hobbs in the Sheema Classic on World Cup night on ground possibly not totally to her liking, leaving O'Brien with high hopes for the season ahead.

The Ballydoyle hander said: "It (Dubai) is a tough place to go. It is very competitive there, but they all seem fine this morning.

"I would have worried about Seventh Heaven on that ground as I always thought she wanted it fast, but she ran very well. You would have to be very happy with her, and would be thinking about all those mile-and-a-half races like the Coronation. She was staying on well."

Stablemate Highland Reel was last of the seven runners, but last year's King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Breeders' Cup Turf winner is expected to improve for the outing.

O'Brien said: "Highland Reel had a tough enough season last year and hopefully we will bring him along slowly. The winner was good and although there were not too many runners, it was a very competitive race."

O'Brien was also pleased with Dewhurst runner-up Lancaster Bomber, who was not beaten far in fourth behind Thunder Snow in the UAE Derby over 10 furlongs on dirt.

He added: "Lancaster Bomber ran well for his first time on the dirt. It was a tough, competitive race."

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