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Aidan O’Brien Can Dominate British Classics Again

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien holds the record for the most British Classic victories. The Irishman has dominated Flat racing in the UK and Ireland over the last three decades in what has been an impressive stretch of results.

The Ballydoyle trainer goes into the 2024 campaign with another strong team of horses, giving him an excellent chance of extending his record in the British Classics.

City Of Troy the One to Beat in 2,000 Guineas and Derby

The colt many horse racing fans are most excited about seeing in action this season is City Of Troy. As a two-year-old, he went unbeaten throughout his campaign, winning all three of his races on the track.

O’Brien’s runner first made an impression on the track when he won his maiden at the Curragh last summer. Under the hands of Ryan Moore, he cruised to the front of the field, scoring by just over two lengths.

The son of Justify was stepped up in class on his second outing in the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. He blew his rivals away by six lengths, in a performance that suggested he could be something special.

The Irish horse ended his season with a triumph in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. That race has produced many British Classic winners in recent years, so it will give O’Brien a lot of confidence ahead of the horse’s three-year-old campaign.

As of the 17th of April, City of Troy is 4/6 in the horse racing odds to win the 2,000 Guineas on his opening start of the season. He then could head straight to the Derby where he can have further success in the British Classics. His breeding suggests he has the stamina for 1m4f, so he is the colt to beat at both Newmarket and Epsom.

Ylang Ylang Has Strong 1,000 Guineas Claims

With five appearances already in her career, Ylang Ylang goes into the campaign with a lot of experience behind her. The Ballydoyle filly won three races in 2022, with the highlight being her triumph in the Group One Fillies’ Mile on her final appearance.

The daughter of Frankel recorded back-to-back victories at the Curragh and Leopardstown respectively on her opening two runs. She showed bags of speed in those 7f races, with the latter coming at Group Three level.

Ylang Ylang went into the Moyglare Stud Stakes in 2023 as O’Brien’s leading hope, but she was short of room in that race, which led to her coming home in last place. She produced a much better performance in the Rockfel Stakes on her trip across to Newmarket when finishing in the frame in the race won by Carla’s Way.

O’Brien’s smart filly is the 7/2 favourite for the 1,000 Guineas, as of the 17th of April. She has an excellent chance of giving him an eighth success in the second Classic on Guineas weekend at Newmarket Racecourse.

Opera Singer Can Leave O’Brien Singing Following Oaks

The Oaks at Epsom is the primary target for Opera Singer this year where, as of the 17th of April, she tops the betting at 13/2 to prevail in the 1m4f contest. In her last two appearances in 2023, she stayed on powerfully at the back end of her 1m races to suggest she will appreciate further distances in the future.

O’Brien’s filly won the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp in France last October. That is the leading two-year-old race for fillies at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting, an event which is like the equivalent of the Champions League in horse racing, with horses entering from the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany.

The three-time winner also has entries in the 1,000 Guineas, Irish 1,000 Guineas, and Irish Oaks this year. If things go well for her on those races, she may return to Paris in October for the feature race of the weekend.

Grosvenor Square Appears O’Brien’s Best Chance in St Leger

The final British Classic of 2024 is the St Leger at Doncaster, an important event on the sporting calendar. With the race taking place over a distance of 1m6f, stamina is key for the world’s oldest Classic.

O’Brien won the St Leger race for a seventh time in 2023 with Continuous. His leading hope this year looks to be Grosvenor Square. The colt was victorious over 1m1f on heavy ground at Leopardstown on his final start as a two-year-old.

The son of Galileo has entries in the Dante Stakes and Derby, and with a big run in those two races, he should be on course for Doncaster in September.

O’Brien will be counting down the days until the opening British Classics of the season. If his horses all step up from what they showed last year, it could be another campaign to remember for the Irishman.