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Derby dream and Saratoga trip plotted for O’Brien’s superstar City Of Troy

City Of Troy could be seen at Saratoga this year, if everything goes as hoped with the red-hot Classic favourite.

Unbeaten in his three juvenile starts, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Dewhurst winner is set to reappear in the Qipco 2000 Guineas back at Newmarket on May 4.

Labelled “our Frankel” by co-owner Michael Tabor, the Justify colt is also favourite for the Betfred Derby at Epsom on June 1.

And if he is still on track after those engagements, an exciting trip for a dirt assignment could be on the agenda.

“We are particularly happy with how well he has wintered. He’s working away on bad ground at the minute as they all are obliged to,” the Ballydoyle handler said in an exclusive stable tour on Attheraces.com.

“He seems to handle it and handled a good cut in the ground in the Dewhurst, but as anyone can see he is a particularly beautiful mover which is what makes it so exciting to see what he does when he meets firmer ground. The better the ground, the better he’ll be.

Ryan Moore takes in the adoration of the Newmarket crowd
Image: Ryan Moore takes in the adoration of the Newmarket crowd after victory on City Of Troy

“He’ll go away for a gallop in the next week or 10 days, that is always an important step for the Guineas horses. It was great for him to get the experience of the undulations of both the July course and the Rowley Mile at Newmarket last season. That will all stand to him in the 2000 Guineas.

“We’ll play it race-by-race, but you’d have to be made of stone not to be dreaming of the Derby if all goes to plan at Newmarket. After that, he could even go to somewhere like Saratoga for a Grade One on the dirt. He’s that type, he could do anything, but we’ll take it one race at a time.

“We have an unbelievable group of three-year-olds this year, but he has always been the leader. Horses like him are very rare.”

Prince of Wales’s Stakes on the cards for 2023 Derby star

Auguste Rodin battles past King Of Steel to win the Betfred Derby at Epsom
Image: Auguste Rodin battles past King Of Steel to win the Betfred Derby at Epsom

Before City Of Troy is unwrapped for the season, O’Brien has important business in Dubai on Saturday week, with dual Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Auguste Rodin set for the Sheema Classic.

He said: “Everything is running really smoothly with him. He leaves here for Dubai this weekend and the Sheema Classic on March 30 is his target. We’ve been really happy with him since his gallop at Dundalk late last month. We feel he has matured well from three to four and it goes without saying that we are very excited to get him going again.

“The horse did all his own talking on the track last year, but we really do think that he’s a very important horse for the thoroughbred breed. It is a huge thrill to have him back for this year and we can’t wait to see him race.

“If all goes smoothly in Dubai, we have it in our head that he could come back for the Tattersalls Gold Cup and then drive on to the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.”

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source