Ascot beckons for Paddington following York defeat

Paddington is set to head straight to Qipco Champions Day after suffering his first defeat of the season at York on Wednesday.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt has enjoyed a fantastic campaign, winning his first six starts including Group One victories in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St James’s Palace, the Coral-Eclipse and the Sussex Stakes.

He was a warm order to secure a fifth top-level win in the space of three months in the Juddmonte International, but was beaten into third place by Mostahdaf, after which his trainer blamed himself for going to the well once too often.

Speaking at the Curragh on Saturday, O’Brien reported his star three-year-old to be none the worse and he will now enjoy some well deserved downtime before being prepared for the autumn.

“Paddington is good, he’s fine. In all fairness to him he’s answered every call and even at York he answered it,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“He’ll have a little break now and we might look at going back to Ascot with him. We’ll give him a little chance and he’ll come back like a new horse.

“We’ve fairly put it up to him for a baby three-year-old. Frankie (Dettori, rider of Mostahdaf) knew he was going to get him on his knees because he was after getting beat twice by him by following him.”

Paddington is entered in the Qipco Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on October 21, with O’Brien hinting a return to a mile for the latter contest could be the favoured option.

He added: “Either the Champion or the mile, whatever the lads decide. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the mile as he has loads of speed.

“He gets a mile and a quarter, but it might be just class that makes him get it.

“He could be a miler, only that I’ve been stretching him and he wasn’t getting a choice. At his best he might be a miler, but it will depend on what the lads decide to do.”

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