Joseph O’Brien is preparing a strong team for the Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival at The Curragh this weekend, led by State Of Rest in the Group One Tattersalls Gold Cup, and Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas hope Buckaroo.
State Of Rest made it three consecutive Group 1 victories on three different continents when landing the Group 1 Prix Ganay on his seasonal debut at Longchamp last month, the son of Starspangledbanner already a top-level winner in America and Australia, winning the G1 Saratoga Derby and G1 Cox Plate last year.
O’Brien will be hoping to add the Tattersalls Gold Cup to his illustrious resume on Sunday, having previously won the race as a jockey on So You Think in 2012.
O’Brien told Tattersalls: “We’re very pleased with State Of Rest winning the Ganay last time in France, he won really well, he’s got a tough, hardy attitude and he fought all the way to the line.
“The plan was always to start there and if that went well to look at the Tattersalls Gold Cup. All being well he seems to have come through France in good shape, and we are looking forward to the weekend.
“I was lucky enough to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup as a jockey on So You Think and it would very satisfying if we could win it with State Of Rest.”
Purchased at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 60,000 guineas by O’Brien and Aiden ‘Mouse’ O’Ryan, the globetrotting star has proved hugely progressive throughout his career and is now officially Ireland’s highest rated horse.
On his purchase at Tattersalls, O’Brien added: “At the sales the key is to try and see as many horses as we can, we look at the vast majority of the book and make our short list from there.
“State Of Rest was a good-looking yearling. He was a big horse with a good action and at the time, and still, we were keen on trying to get some Starspangledbanners. We were very lucky to get him - he’s turned out to be a top horse.”
Connections will be hoping conditions stay relatively dry at The Curragh for the Tattersalls Gold Cup, with the four-year-old likely to be targeted at Royal Ascot and other top level international meetings later in the season.
O’Brien said: “Ideal conditions are probably good or better, there is a bit of rain forecast this week but hopefully the ground doesn’t get too soft.
“We will take it one race at a time, but the Tattersalls Gold Cup has been his early season target for a little while, from there he has a lot of 10-furlong options, looking at Royal Ascot and further afield. We’ll see how we get on, how he comes through there, and then a plan will be made for later in the season.”
Following his racing career State Of Rest will stand the Northern Hemisphere breeding season at the Cashman family's Rathbarry Stud - Rathbarry, Newgate Stud and partners recently acquiring the colt for his stallion career.
Buckaroo may take his chance in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas for O’Brien and owner Qatar Racing. The son of Fastnet Rock was an impressive four lengths winner of the Listed Tetrarch Stakes over course and distance last time out. Connections are due to make a final decision later in the week.
O’Brien said: “Buckaroo was very good last time in the Tetrarch Stakes over the same course and distance as the Guineas at The Curragh. He’s come out of that race well and we are looking forward to the weekend.
“He still is in the Epsom Derby so a final decision hasn’t been made which race he would go for, but he’s in good shape and an exciting goal for this season.”
The next sale to take place at Tattersalls’ Park Paddocks in Newmarket is the Tattersalls May NH Sale on Thursday 26th May. This will be followed by the Tattersalls Online June Sale on Friday 10th June.
Primely placed before Royal Ascot, the sale provides the perfect platform for horses set to run at the prestigious meeting. Click here for more information.
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