LAST year’s ante-post Derby favourite High Definition will be given the chance to redeem his reputation this season with Aidan O’Brien still harbouring hopes he can fulfil his undoubted potential.
Having sprouted wings to win on his debut at two, he repeated the trick to win the Beresford Stakes.
O’Brien sent him to York for the Dante Stakes on his first run at three and while he was beaten, there was enough promise in his third to Hurricane Lane to suggest a bright future was still in front of him, but it was downhill from there, including when last seen in the St Leger.
“High Definition worked very well at the Curragh (on Saturday). He’s going to come on the next day and he’ll start in that 10-furlong race, the Mooresbridge, something like that, but he’s ready to go now,” said O’Brien.
“Looking at him now, he was probably very weak last year and the two runs at two probably took more out of him than we thought. He was a big horse for two runs and maybe I should have left him. Ten or 12 furlongs should be no problem.”
The six-year-old Group 1 winner Broome is back again but his comeback will be delayed after picking up a freak injury following his last run in the Japan Cup.
“Broome picked up an injury when he was in Japan. A horse walked by and kicked him which fractured his shin. It was a freak thing to happen as this was after the race, so he had to have a long time off. I think he’ll take a bit of time but hopefully we’ll have him for Ascot,” said O’Brien.
Grand Prix de Paris runner-up Wordsworth is likely to be one for staying contests along with Kyprios, while Bolshoi Ballet also remains in training.
“Wordsworth went to the Curragh, he’s going to stay well. He might start off at Navan (Vintage Crop), he’s a brother to Kew Gardens. Kyprios is there for that race as well,” said O’Brien.
“Bolshoi Ballet is on the way back. He got a little fracture a couple of months ago but he’s back and ready to start again – it will be the middle of the season maybe. I don’t think he’ll be back for Ascot, but he’ll be back in the autumn and we think he’ll be better as a four-year-old.”
O’Brien’s older fillies and mares are thin on the ground, with Mother Earth, a winner on Saturday, heading them.
“Mother Earth is the only one of the good three-year-old fillies who has stayed in training, the others have gone off to stud like Joan Of Arc and Empress Josephine. We were going to keep Santa Barbara and Snowfall, but unfortunately we lost the two of them,” said O’Brien.
It is early days for the Ballydoyle juveniles but O’Brien went on to nominate a few that have caught his eye.
He said: “Little Big Bear is likely to be our first runner, he is by No Nay Never out of Adventure Seeker, he’s going well. He’s one for a six-furlong maiden at the Curragh (April 10th). The same day Mediate, by No Nay Never out of Pembina, might run in the fillies’ maiden over five.
“There’s a very nice colt by Mendelssohnn called Congol River who is working well. There’s one by Sioux Nation out of Rhiana, Tiger Paw, going nicely. We’ve only two by Sioux Nation and they are fast horses.
“There’s a Dark Angel out of Anna Law (dam of Battaash), The Antarctic, they were some of the early ones, along with Aesop’s Fables, who have made it into our A grade when they’ve been working.”