Ascot and Breeders' Cup under discussion for Circus Maximus

High-class options for O’Brien colt

  • Friday 27 September
  • News
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An outing in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot is among the options under consideration for star miler Circus Maximus.

The son of Galileo fully vindicated Aidan O’Brien’s decision to supplement him for the St James’s Palace Stakes with a narrow victory at Royal Ascot in June, after which he pushed the now-retired Too Darn Hot all the way in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

His stamina limitations were exposed in the Juddmonte International, but he bounced back to winning ways when denying Romanised in the Prix Jacques le Marois earlier this month – a result which was recently confirmed following an appeal from the connections of the runner-up.

Alan Cooper, racing manager to Circus Maximus’ part-owners the Niarchos family, said: “All is good with Circus Maximus. I’m told he’s in very good form.

“Aidan is weighing up the options, one of which is the QEII. There is also the Breeders’ Cup to look at, so we’ll see.

“I think things will become a little clearer after the weekend as Aidan is keen to give him another bit of work and go from there.”

Albigna could bid to redeem herself in next month’s Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket after she was found to be in season following her disappointing recent effort in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Having followed up a successful debut at the Curragh with a Group Two triumph in the Airlie Stud Stakes, Jessica Harrington’s charge was fancied to complete her hat-trick on Irish Champions Weekend, but could finish only sixth of nine runners.

Cooper said: “We discovered after the race that she was heavily in season. She was quite nervous when she was being saddled and at the start and we think that is the reason for her below-par performance.

“Jessie is mulling it over, but she could have one more run. Jessie just wants to see how she is over the next few days and we’ll discuss it next week.”

Albigna is one of a couple of high-class fillies the Niarchos family have in training with Harrington – the other being the Debutante Stakes winner Alpine Star, who is being prepared for an appearance in France next weekend.

Cooper added: “I would say the Fillies’ Mile is probably more likely than taking Albigna to France, as at the moment the plan is to run Alpine Star in the Prix Marcel Boussac.

“Jessie is very happy with her, so all being well we’ll see her at ParisLongchamp.”

While Harrington has excelled with her juvenile fillies this season, a colt who caught the eye was the Niarchos-owned Free Solo.

The son of Showcasing has not been seen in competitive action since winning a Leopardstown maiden in July by upwards of five lengths, but connections have high hopes for 2020.

“He had a setback, so he won’t run again this season, but we’re looking forward to running him as a three-year-old,” said Cooper.

“He’s held in high regard and Jessie did give him an entry in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.”

Ascot and Breeders' Cup under discussion for Circus Maximus
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