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O'Brien big guns enjoy away day

Aidan O'Brien has nominated Gleneagles and Highland Reel as his two likely Qipco 2000 Guineas contenders after the trainer sent a huge string to gallop after racing at the Curragh.

Over 60 of O'Brien's massive team had an away day, including those towards the head of the betting for the Classics.

Among the first group of 23 in action were Gleneagles, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, who had earlier been riding over hurdles at Limerick, and Highland Reel, partnered by Ryan Moore.

Other notable horses taking part included Ol' Man River, the sprinter Due Diligence and Dick Whittington.

In the second group of 23 Moore was on John F Kennedy, who moved particularly strongly, with O'Brien on Jamaica and Seamie Heffernan on Giovanni Canaletto.

The third and final group included Tapestry, ridden by Brian O'Neill, Together Forever (Moore) and Found (Michael Hussey).

"The ground was very heavy, and they only half-speeded on the bridle. They weren't asked to do a lot, a bit like we did with Australia last year. We had intended doing more with them but the ground went against us over the weekend," said O'Brien.

"Ryan (Moore) was very happy with all his (Highland Reel, John F Kennedy and Together Forever). Joseph said Gleneagles would not be mad about the ground, and Ryan said the same about Highland Reel.

"Gleneagles and Highland Reel look like our two Guineas horses at this stage. Sir Isaac Newton is a Galileo with plenty of speed and could be another to run in the Guineas.

"It's possible Ol' Man River could run in the Guineas with a view to stepping him up in trip to the Derby after that. John F Kennedy will probably run in the Ballysax and the Derrinstown Derby Trial.

"Found had a temperature about three weeks ago and only cantered up today. It was just a day out for her.

"I'm not sure that Dick Whittington will stay as he behaves like a sprinter. He could run in a Guineas Trial but I'd not be sure he'll stay a mile.

"Tapestry went nicely today and could run before the Tattersalls (Gold Cup), but she wouldn't want bad ground.

"I have the Listed race over a mile at Leopardstown (Heritage Stakes) in mind for Cougar Mountain. He could always step back in trip after that. I blame myself for running him in the wrong races last year, and I went back too quick with him in the July Cup.

"Due Diligence may go for the Gladness. I'm not sure he will stay, and think he could be a six-furlong horse. Nina (Carberry) said he didn't like the ground.

"I was happy with Geoffrey Chaucer and he'll probably run in the Mooresbridge."

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