Mendelssohn books big-race targets with comeback success at Dundalk

Fri 9 Mar 2018

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn set up a big few months to come in Dubai and America as he returned to action with a comfortable victory in the Listed 32Red Patton Stakes at Dundalk.

Aidan O'Brien's colt was quickly away under Ryan Moore in the mile contest, before taking a lead from well-backed stablemate Threeandfourpence, with Blackgold Fairy also prominent.

The Ballydoyle pair settled down to battle it out in the straight, where the easy-to-back even-money favourite asserted in the final two hundred yards without Moore having to get serious. Fellow O'Brien runner Seahenge was third.

O'Brien said of his three-quarters-of-a-length scorer: "You'd be delighted with that. It was nice to get him started and he did everything right, he travelled and quickened well. He was a little bit rusty, obviously, on his first run in a long time, but Ryan was very happy with him.

"You'd be very happy with him. Physically, he's done very well and mentally he is good, he's very relaxed which is good.

"The plan was to come here, then go to Dubai and then hopefully the Kentucky Derby. We always felt that we would need a couple of runs in this part of the world before we go.

"If everything is well hopefully we'll go on to Dubai with him. Hopefully then we can look at Kentucky, but obviously we have to run a big race in Dubai and go on from there, but that's what we'd be hoping to do.

"There is plenty of dirt in his pedigree and as we saw he's a good traveller and very good physically."

He added: "Seamus' (Heffernan, Threeandfourpence) horse was a little babyish in front, as he's not used to being there, and Donnacha's (O'Brien, Seahenge) horse was a little bit slow away but they are all things we can work on.

"The plan with the three colts that ran tonight is to go to Dubai and then hopefully we go on from there."

On what kind of horse is needed for the Kentucky Derby, O'Brien said: "You need a very good horse, a very seasoned, hardened horse.

"He has to be tactically quick, he has to travel strong and has to be tough at the end. You just need a very good horse really."

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