Seamus Heffernan in line for Gustav Klimt ride in 2000 Guineas at Newmarket

    Regular partner Ryan Moore will be Stateside for the Kentucky Derby
  • Wednesday 02 May 2018
  • News

Seamus Heffernan is in the frame for the plum ride on ante-post favourite Gustav Klimt in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

With Ryan Moore committed to riding Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on the same day, trainer Aidan O’Brien has to shuffle his pack of jockeys.

While riding arrangements for Headquarters have yet to be fully confirmed, the Ballydoyle handler has given a strong hint Heffernan could team up with last month’s Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial winner.

O’Brien’s son Donnacha is in line for the ride on Racing Post Trophy scorer Saxon Warrior, with plans to be made for the stable’s two other possible runners, US Navy Flag and Murillo.

“At the moment it looks like Seamus might ride Gustav, and that Donnacha will ride Saxon Warrior,” said O’Brien.

“That’s what we are thinking at the moment, but all those things can change.”

O’Brien was pleased to get Gustav Klimt started again after the son of Galileo had been off the track since July due to a minor setback.

“We were anxious to get a run into him as he had not run since Newmarket in the middle of the summer,” said O’Brien.

“We would have liked to have run him in the Dewhurst to find out a little bit more about him, so were a little bit in the dark. We think and hope he’s in good form.”

O’Brien reports Saxon Warrior to have done incredibly well over the winter.

“We’ve probably never had a horse to change so much over winter as he has – he’s turned into a monster of a horse – big, powerful and strong,” he said.

However, O’Brien has warned US Navy Flag might not run in what is the opening leg of the Qipco British Champions Series if the ground was unsuitable.

“US Navy Flag is a very solid horse and improved with racing,” said O’Brien.

“He’d love really nice ground, fast ground and he could be an exciting horse this year.

“If it’s going to get too slow he might not run, we might wait.”

While O’Brien has a record eight 2000 Guineas victories to his name, Roger Teal will be having his very first attempt at a Classic when he saddles Tip Two Win.

The Dark Angel colt was runner-up Elarqam in the Tattersalls Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket in September and has shown his well-being with two wins in Qatar during the winter.

“It’s just the final countdown now. He’s been going nicely and we’re happy with him,” said the Great Shefford handler.

“He did a nice piece of work over six furlongs on Monday. We were pleased and it’s just a case of getting there now.

“The ground the day he took on Elarqam was on the easy side and probably didn’t really suit our fella, but he ran a big race.”

Richard Spencer is delighted to have booked Adam Kirby for his Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe and heads to the Classic with high hopes.

“Adam is one of the best jockeys out there and we’re thrilled he has taken the ride. He sat on him today for the first time and said the horse gave him a great feel,” said Spencer.

“His last bit of a work was extraordinary and we are well on course for Saturday.”

The William Haggas-trained Headway, who was beaten a head by Rajasinghe in the Coventry, will be the mount of Jamie Spencer.

“Jamie had a sit on him this (Wednesday) morning in an easy spin and was impressed, saying he reminded him very much of his sire (Havana Gold) whom he also rode,” said Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners the Royal Ascot Racing Club.

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