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O'Brien still has Derby puzzle

Published 24/05/2015

Gleneagles wins the Irish 2,000 Guineas
Gleneagles wins the Irish 2,000 Guineas

Aidan O'Brien appeared no nearer to establishing his number one Investec Derby contender following the conclusion of Irish Guineas weekend at the Curragh.

After the second Guineas success of Gleneagles on Saturday, attention on Sunday surrounded the belated return of Giovanni Canaletto under Ryan Moore in the Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes, but despite a late surge the even-money favourite went down by a neck to the filly Curvy.

The Galileo colt had been due to make his reappearance in the Chester Vase, but was ruled out on account of a dirty scope. The race instead went to stablemate Hans Holbein.

Giovanni Canaletto was eased for Epsom with the bookmakers and it could be he bypasses the June 6 Classic.

O'Brien, who had already seen winter fancies John F Kennedy and Ol' Man River fall by the wayside, said: "It was a bit of a messy race and he got caught back a bit. If he'd bolted in today he could have gone to Epsom. I think he could be a horse to come back here for the Irish Derby.

"I thought if he was going to go to Epsom then he needed to go to Chester. It looks like it might be a bit quick to go to Epsom, the right thing might be to go to Royal Ascot or come back here for the Irish Derby, something like that with a view to having him next year."

Speculation in some quarters has suggested Found could be added to the Derby field at a cost of £75,000.

Speaking after her second to Pleascach in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas, O'Brien told At The Races: "She ran a good race, it was a big step up on the last day. We hoped and thought that would happen and she did run a great race.

"It's where she's going to go from now, whether the lads decide to step her up in trip and go to an Oaks or whatever, I presume everyone will sit and talk about that, probably in the next few days. She has a lot of options open to her.

"I never have any problem with what is decided. Gleneagles we always thought would be a specialist miler and we always thought this filly would go further than a mile.

"There's a lot of options, a lot of things to be considered about a lot of different horses and where they are going. Fillies going to the Oaks and what's going to go to the Derby. There's a lot of stuff up in the air.

"She ran a good race. Jim's (Bolger) filly (Pleascach) is a very good filly and very well trained and she just got away and was gone. Found ran a good race and there wasn't much between them at the line. Ryan was very happy with her.

"A lot of things could be number one - Gleneagles whether he goes (to Epsom) or not, no-one really spoke about it but I'd say the odds are probably more against him than with him going.

"I've only read in the paper about Found, she is obviously a possible to step up to a mile and a half and there's other fillies for the Oaks.

"The Lingfield horse, Kilimanjaro, you'd think he'd step up, and Hans Holbein is a solid horse who will get a mile and a half well and probably further. All those things are there and open, a lot to be discussed in the next week to 10 days.

"Everyone seems happy with Gleneagles. He didn't do anything this morning, so we'll see how he is tomorrow. Joseph (O'Brien) will ride him doing a canter tomorrow and we'll see how he is."

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