Aidan O’Brien is making plans for his exciting crop of juveniles, with City Of Troy set to be his chief contender in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on day two of the Irish Champions Festival.
Unbeaten in his two starts to date, he made his debut in a Curragh maiden at the beginning of July, before putting in a brilliant display to land Group Two honours in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.
“He is going to the National Stakes at the moment. If he didn’t then Henry Longfellow would go there, but we had it in our heads that Henry would go to the Dewhurst and City Of Troy would go to the National Stakes. I’m very happy with both horses,” said O’Brien.
With City Of Troy – the general 2-1 favourite for the Qipco 2000 Guineas – being a son of American Triple Crown hero Justify, O’Brien is not ruling out the possibility of a switch to the dirt at the Breeders’ Cup later in the year.
He said: “To go to America you need a good horse running at a very high level and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that City Of Troy could go.
“We’ll see what happens in the National Stakes, but if he was going there is a chance that he could come back to six furlongs for the Middle Park to sharpen him up for America.
“There is a chance he could run on the dirt in America, but we’ll see.”
With City Of Troy heading for the National Stakes and Henry Longfellow – also unbeaten in two starts and a Group Two scorer via the Futurity Stakes – seemingly bound for the Dewhurst, River Tiber looks set to contest the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Wootton Bassett colt lost his unbeaten record when third in the Prix Morny at Deauville earlier this month following an interrupted preparation.
“I was afraid that the Prix Morny could go very wrong because he was lame for 10 days. He came back sound, but the muscles can get tired and I was afraid that might happen,” said O’Brien.
“That is why Ryan (Moore) let him find himself in the first half of the race, but he said it was flying home and it was a very big run.
“The plan would be to go to the Middle Park, because there’s horses for those other races. Ryan said he will stay seven furlongs, but that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”
The Ballydoyle handler confirmed unbeaten filly Ylang Ylang as his main hope Moyglare Stud Stakes, having been kept fresh since landing the Silver Flash at Leopardstown in late July.
He said: “Ylang Ylang goes to the Moyglare. We could have given her another run and tightened her up, but we felt this was the best thing for her.
“She always worked very well. The last day she probably wasn’t as impressive, but we think she’ll be better when she gets a lead.”