O'Brien To Step Magna Grecia Up In Trip

O'Brien To Step Magna Grecia Up In Trip

Qipco 2,000 Guineas victor could be stepped up in trip in preparation for a swing at the Juddmonte International at York and or the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The three-year-old son of Invincible Spirit carried with him some of the best juvenile form in Europe before taking the opening British classic of the season at Newmarket in May.

As a two-year-old, he won his maiden at Naas before finishing a neck-second to Persian King at HQ, but regathered his momentum a fortnight later when landing the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

Later in May of this year, he was sent off one of the market principles to do the Guineas double at the Curragh, but a resulting hamstring issue meant he could not finish bette than fifth.

His trainer Aidan O'Brien has given him time to recover from that injury, and plans to step him up from a mile to ten furlongs on his next appearance.

(Credit: AtTheRaces) The Ballydoyle boss said: “We will have a look at York and Leopardstown for him and we might well go up to some of those mile-and-a-quarter races with him next time.

“He is just back after a break. We will just see have to wait and see how long he takes to get back fit again.”

Also set to resume schedule is last year's St Leger winner Kew Gardens, who has been pipped into second twice this year, and will be returning soon after his own small mid-season break.

The dual Group One winner failed to reel in Morando in the soft conditions of the Ormonde Stakes at Chester on his seasonal comeback in May, and again could not get past Defoe with an improved effort in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Plans to tackle Stradivarius in the Ascot Gold Cup were scrapped, but O'Brien is eyeing up the Irish St Leger - of which horses aged four or older can compete in, as a suitable target.

He said: “He is just back after a break, and we will have a look at something like the Irish St Leger with him.

"He is back in full exercise again now, though.”

One Ballydoyle inmate who is definitely set to miss the rest of the season is Windsor Castle scorer Southern Hills.

O’Brien said: “He is off for the year – we will probably leave him alone now until next year.”