Trip questions remain for Irish Champion Stakes-bound Saxon Warrior

Return to a mile could be on the cards at Ascot

  • Thursday 06 September
  • News
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Saxon Warrior’s best trip remains open to debate as he approaches the end of his three-year-old season.

A dual Group One winner over a mile, including in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt appeared stretched by a mile and a half in the Derby at Epsom and in the Irish equivalent.

Just seven days after his run at the Curragh he pushed Roaring Lion close in the 10-furlong Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, but was then struck down by the bug which hampered plenty at Ballydoyle in mid-summer.

He returned in the Juddmonte International at York to be fourth, and the Irish Champion Stakes is next before he could possibly drop back to a mile for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot.

“He was sick enough after Sandown. He was properly sick. All we wanted to do was get him back healthy and get a run into him and that was the reason of going to York. We were very happy with his run there,” said O’Brien.

“We are thinking the Irish Champion at the moment. He has done his first bit back and we were very happy with that.

“The three races we had in our mind were York, Leopardstown and he might go back to the mile at Ascot (QEII). I’m not sure he has a preferred trip yet.

“He is very comfortable over a mile as that is where he won his two Group Ones, but we always thought he would stay middle-distance trips. Next time will tell us an awful lot.”

Trip questions remain for Irish Champion Stakes-bound Saxon Warrior
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