Aidan O'Brien outlines plans for number of his leading lights

Sun 7 Jul 2019

Japan is set to head for the Grand Prix de Paris and bypass the King George And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien revealed connections are leaning towards ParisLongchamp on Sunday for the King Edward VII Stakes winner, with Derby winners Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign heading to Ascot.

“We are thinking of going to the Grand Prix de Paris with Japan at the moment,” said O’Brien.

Angus McNae and James Willoughby analyse the Irish Derby, in which Sovereign beat Anthony Van Dyck

“That could change, but that is what we are thinking of. He seems to be in good form, he seems to have come out of Ascot well and everything seems well with him so far.”

He added: “We’re thinking Anthony Van Dyck might go to the King George, with Sovereign. It could change, but that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”

O’Brien is looking to the Irish Champion Stakes for Sir Dragonet, a close fifth at Epsom on only his third career start.

He said: “He is on a little bit of break and is just starting to come back off it. We might have a look at running him in the Irish Champion Stakes or sometime around then.

“He could have run before that, but at the moment he is starting to come out of a little bit of a break.

“We are thinking of dropping him back in trip, but he could keep at a mile and a half. We have to start him somewhere and he could also run on Arc trials weekend in France. There are plenty of options for him.”

Magna Grecia is set to step up in trip
Magna Grecia is set to step up in trip

The Irish Champion is also a possible target for Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, who was last seen finishing fifth in the Irish equivalent.

“He has had a break and he is in good form now,” said O’Brien.

“He has just started back doing good canters again. We are looking at something like the Irish Champion with him and he is another that could have a run before it.”

St James’s Palace Stakes victor Circus Maximus could be on his way to the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

“We are thinking of the Sussex Stakes with him at the moment, but that is not yet written in stone,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

Circus Maximus has the Sussex Stakes in his sights
Circus Maximus has the Sussex Stakes in his sights

“It was possible that he could have gone to Sandown (Eclipse), but Magical just came out of it (Royal Ascot) very well. We thought we might have been giving Magical a break after Ascot, but she came out of it so very well that is why we ran her.

“In the end we felt the Eclipse might have come too soon (for Circus Maximus), as he did have a tough race at Ascot.”

Ten Sovereigns is on course for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday after pleasing O’Brien when fourth in the Commonwealth Cup, having failed to stay in the 2000 Guineas.

“The plan is to run Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup and he seems to have come out of it very well,” O’Brien said.

“We have others in it, but we are thinking he is the main one at the moment.”

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