Aidan O’Brien is sticking to his original plan with Auguste Rodin, despite his disappointing effort in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.

Winner of both the Derby and the Irish Derby last year, the Deep Impact colt had produced lacklustre efforts in both the 2000 Guineas and King George at Ascot either side of those Classic victories.

He ended his season by winning both the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita, but never looked like getting involved on his return to action in Dubai, coming home last of 12 runners.

O’Brien felt the race did not suit and will look to get his campaign back on track in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 26.

“He’s well and we just put a line through the race. It was a tactical affair and we just got caught in the wrong part of it,” said O’Brien.

“The good thing about Ryan (Moore) is when things go wrong like that, he accepts it very quickly and the horse doesn’t get a hard race.

“We are looking at going to the Curragh (for the Tattersalls Gold Cup) if everything goes fine.”

Savethelastdance could have stablemate Warm Heart among eight rivals when she has another crack at Classic honours in Saturday’s Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge was sent off favourite for the Betfred Oaks at Epsom after a 22-length demolition job in the Cheshire Oaks, but she could not quite catch Soul Sister and was beaten a length and three-quarters.

Fellow Ballydoyle runner Warm Heart appears to be her chief threat, with that filly stepping up from a Newbury Listed win to claim the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. O’Brien also has Be Happy, Lambada and Library in the field, while his son Joseph can call on Ribblesdale runner-up Lumiere Rock.

The Ralph Beckett-trained Bluestocking is familiar with Warm Heart, having been beaten a head at Newbury and just under four lengths when third at Ascot.

Dermot Weld’s Azazat and the Jim Bolger-trained Comhra complete the list of possibles.

Art Power has won each of his three starts at the Curragh and Tim Easterby’s charge leads 11 contenders for the Barberstown Castle Sapphire Stakes after finishing a fair fourth in the July Cup last weekend.

Karl Burke’s ParisLongchamp Group Three winner White Lavender has been supplemented for the five-furlong contest, which also features Ladies Church, Go Athletico and Moss Tucker.

Emily Dickinson could drop back to a mile and six furlongs in the Comer Group International Curragh Cup after coming home fourth over two and a half miles in the Gold Cup at Ascot.

Fellow Aidan O’Brien contenders include Broome and Gooloogong, winner of a Navan maiden, with Joseph O’Brien’s Duke of Edinburgh Stakes winner Okita Soushi a possible for the Group Two affair.

Valiant King, who was just touched off by Desert Hero in the King George V Stakes at the Royal meeting, is another to note for O’Brien junior, as is Rosscarbery for Paddy Twomey after her luckless Pretty Polly Stakes run.

The Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes has a rich history and after saddling Little Big Bear to win 12 months ago, Aidan O’Brien has five to pick from, headlined by narrow Chesham second Pearls And Rubies.

Twomey houses one of the key performers for Sunday’s Romanised Minstrel Stakes in Just Beautiful, winner of a Curragh Group Two when last seen in May.

Jumbly finished second on that occasion and could try her luck again, while Ger Lyons has three contenders, including recent Group Three scores Zarinsk and Power Under Me.

Coronation Stakes third Sounds Of Heaven is the star name in the Michael John Kennedy Memorial Stakes as she drops back to Group Three level and inches up to nine furlongs for Jessica Harrington.

Auguste Rodin gave Aidan O’Brien his 100th European Classic win as he fended off stablemate Adelaide River in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

The Epsom hero was also a first winner in the race for Ryan Moore as he came home a length and a half clear, with Covent Garden ensuring a clean sweep of the places for the Ballydoyle team in third.

However, the race was marred by a serious injury to San Antonio, another O’Brien runner, who broke down badly on the turn for home, giving Wayne Lordan a nasty fall.

Adelaide River (4-11 favourite) set the pace under Seamie Heffernan with Moore happy to take a lead into the straight.

When he loomed upsides two furlongs from home it looked as if Auguste Rodin would go away and win impressively, but it was not until the final 100 yards that he eventually put the race to bed.

Auguste Rodin is the first horse since Harzand in 2016 to follow up victory at Epsom in the Irish equivalent.

Aidan O’Brien is certain River Tiber will get the six-furlong trip of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

Ryan Moore will partner the the Wootton Bassett colt, who is one of 22 declared for the Group Two prize.

Though he is unbeaten in two starts, scoring by 10 lengths on debut at Navan over five and a half furlongs in soft ground and dropping back to the minimum trip at Naas to score with ease on his second try, he has yet to tackle six furlongs.

Despite this, the Coolmore-owned youngster tops the market and O’Brien, who has won this race on a record nine occasions, has no concerns on the stamina front.

He said: “We were delighted we ran him in Naas, he was a little bit green in the middle of the race but we feel he learned plenty from it.

“He won over nearly six furlongs the first day and then went back to five and is back to six now, so we think he should be happy with that.”

Main market rival Asadna, the mount of William Buick, won by a remarkable 12 lengths on his Ripon debut over six furlongs.

Trainer George Boughey has no qualms about how the son of Mehmas will handle the big occasion on only his second start.

“He has just got an amazing temperament and a super attitude,” said Boughey.

“He doesn’t sweat, he doesn’t do anything wrong. He just loves his work.”

Like River Tiber, Givemethebeatboys is unbeaten in two outings and is drawn alongside O’Brien’s runner in stall seven.

Having stepped up on an extended five-furlong debut win at Navan, he gained a head verdict in the Group Three Marble Hill over six furlongs at the Curragh last time under Shane Foley.

With Foley ruled out through injury, Frankie Dettori takes the mount and Harrington joked: “He’s not a bad deputy, is he?

“He’s in great form and is a very straightforward horse and I’m hoping for the best, but it is very competitive.”

Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing have three darts to throw in the form of Bucanero Fuerte (Adrian Murray), Cuban Thunder (Dominic Ffrench Davis) and Packard (Richard Hannon).

Bucanero Fuerte won a five-furlong Curragh maiden under Kevin Stott in March on his sole start for Westmeath handler Murray.

“He’s a nice horse who has always been held in high regard,” said Tom Pennington, racing and operations manager for Amo Racing.

“The forecast rain will help him and he goes there a fit and healthy horse. It’s obviously a very competitive race, but he’s the choice of Kevin and we’re hopeful he will put up a good show.”

Cuban Thunder, the mount of Rossa Ryan, was favourite for a five-furlong Newmarket maiden on his first start, and while runner-up on that occasion, gained compensation over six furlongs in a decent York maiden last month.

Pennington added: “Cuban Thunder is a lovely horse, a big, scopey horse and a good-moving horse.

“He probably wants seven furlongs so a strongly-run, stiff six furlongs at Ascot will suit him and I’m sure he’ll be doing his best work late.”

Hannon saw his father train the winner of the race on three previous occasions and will hope Packard can add his own name to the roll of honour.

Runner-up on debut at Goodwood, he flew home to win an all-weather Lingfield novice over the same six-furlong trip earlier this month.

“He’s a lovely horse and he ran well on debut at Goodwood. Then the quick six at Lingfield probably didn’t play to his strengths,” said Pennington.

“I thought he did very well to get up on the line and hunt down the Gosden horse (Point Of Attack) and he was doing his best work late on. He’s another nice horse who goes there fit and well.”

Any delay to the Betfred Derby caused by protesters would be a “big negative” for everybody involved, according to Aidan O’Brien.

The animal rights group Animal Rising has made no secret of its intention to cause as much disruption as possible at Epsom on Saturday.

Some of its members made it on to the track at Aintree before the Grand National, causing around a 10-minute delay, but while there was an attempt to repeat that at Ayr and the Scottish National the following weekend it was quickly thwarted by police and security staff.

The Jockey Club, which owns Epsom and Aintree, among other courses, has admitted it may well be harder to prevent the protestors from gaining access to the track this weekend due to the public areas around Epsom.

However, it was granted a High Court injunction last week which means those that do attempt to enter the track itself or other prohibited areas could be subject to proceedings for contempt of court, which may lead to a fine and/or imprisonment.

In the National, Hill Sixteen suffered a fatal fall at the first fence, with trainer Sandy Thomson adamant afterwards the delay caused by what he called “ignorant” protesters had been a contributing factor.

“It’s out of our control,” said O’Brien.

“Any delay would be a big negative. Things happen every day to test us all and you just have to make the best of a situation whichever way it has fallen and it will be the same for everybody, that’s all any of us can do really.

“Obviously it is not ideal for anybody (if there is a delay). The horses, the people involved, everybody.

“Hopefully everybody will see sense and it won’t be like that, but all any of us can do is our best and hopefully everybody will see sense and look at the welfare of the animals and people and everybody first.”

O’Brien appears to have finalised his Derby plans, with Adelaide River and Chester winner San Antonio getting the go-ahead to join favourite Auguste Rodin.

O’Brien usually flies his runners in on Derby day, but has been forced to rethink with the race moved to a 1.30pm start time to avoid a clash with the FA Cup final.

“I think we’re going to run three, Auguste Rodin, Adelaide River and San Antonio at the moment,” he said.

“They all came out of their last races well, the two from Chester seem fine and Auguste Rodin seems fine.

“They are leaving Ballydoyle on Thursday afternoon, I think that’s the plan. We usually travel on the day, but with the early start we couldn’t take that risk.

“We don’t have any choice other than to take them earlier this year, we think it’s the sensible thing to do and the responsible thing to do.

“The fillies’ race (Oaks on Friday) is not as early as the colts, but we’re sending them early so they are doing the same route as the colts.

“We just think it’s the responsible thing to do for everybody involved and we’ll see what happens.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Betfred Derby hopes may be pinned to one horse as he ponders alternative options for his other entrants.

The Ballydoyle trainer’s leading Derby chance is Auguste Rodin, winner of the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes and the Vertem Futurity Trophy as a two-year-old.

The son of Deep Impact is out of a Group One-winning mare in Rhododendron and was the 13-8 favourite for the 2000 Guineas as he started his season on the Rowley Mile.

The race was a totally luckless affair for the colt, however, as he and stablemate Little Big Bear were unplaced after the latter finished lame and the former suffered interference early on.

Epsom on June 3 is still the next step for Auguste Rodin, as the Newmarket run has a line drawn firmly through it.

O’Brien said: “We think what happened was that Little Big Bear got galloped into and he got knocked over on top of Auguste Rodin and wiped him out.

“Then he ended up getting caught in a pocket for a couple of furlongs. It was a bit of a non-event and Ryan (Moore) accepted it.

“We always knew that for him going to the Guineas every single thing was going to have to fall right for him because he is a middle-distance horse.

“Obviously it didn’t and the rest is history. What we are very happy with is the way he came out of the race, he came out of it very well.

“All the signs are very good with him since, so we just put a line through it and look forward on to the Derby because that was always the plan. We’re looking forward to that now.

“There are other horses in it, but I’d imagine he’ll definitely be the main one.”

Among the other horses in question are San Antonio, winner of the Dee Stakes at Chester, and Adelaide River, second in the Chester Vase at the same meeting.

Both hold a Derby entry but may head instead for the French version of the race, the Prix du Jockey Club, at Chantilly on June 4.

“San Antonio, who won in Chester, could go to the French Derby the day after (Epsom) and Adelaide River, who was second in Chester, could go that way as well,” O’Brien said.

“Obviously by far Auguste Rodin is the main horse (for Epsom) and always was.”

Another Ballydoyle entrant is Continuous, last seen finishing third to The Foxes in the Dante at York last week.

Epsom may be too quick a turnaround for the Heart’s Cry colt, with options at Royal Ascot and the Curragh also under consideration.

“Continuous is a horse that hasn’t had a clear run, and had three of four hold-ups. That’s why it’s taken so long to get him out,” O’Brien said.

“He was kind of 75 per cent or a little bit more so he needed to get out and run. That’s why we were really happy with his run, he’s going to progress a lot from there.

“He might be a horse that might like a flat track, I’m not sure, and maybe Epsom is going to come too quick for him. He could be a horse for Ascot or the Curragh.”

The Antarctic held on bravely to give Aidan O’Brien his fifth win in the Goffs Lacken Stakes – getting his ticket stamped for Royal Ascot in the process.

The son of Dark Angel has always carried a huge reputation having commanded 750,000 guineas as a yearling and he is a brother to four-time Group One-winning sprinter Battaash.

He won three times from eight starts as a juvenile, only once finishing outside the first three, but despite being sent off the 13-8 favourite for this Group Three event, had to bounce back from a disappointing return when beaten almost seven lengths by Jessica Harrington’s Ocean Quest at Navan.

Having travelled powerfully throughout in the hands of Ryan Moore, it looked as if The Antarctic had the field covered as he began to lengthen inside the final furlong.

However, on the opposite side of the track his Navan conqueror was also beginning to hit top gear and with some of the chasing pack also finding a second wind in the closing stages, favourite backers would have been sweating as the field flashed past the winning post.

The Antarctic returned a head clear of the 5-2 second favourite Ocean Quest with Ocean Jewel (third), Thunderbear (fourth) and Shartash (fifth) all within touching distance at the finish.

“I’m delighted with him. Obviously, he made good progress from Navan and he just needed that as well,” said O’Brien.

“Navan was tough, soft ground, there wouldn’t have been much of an edge put on him but that will leave a lovely edge on him.

“Ryan was delighted with him, he said he got a little bit lonely and idle in the last half a furlong, but we couldn’t be happier with him.

“He had progressed plenty without us really having to chase him. We thought this race would bring him the rest of the way and if everything stays well we should be able to let him coast into Ascot now.”

The Antarctic was cut 10-1 from 33s by Paddy Power for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but it is not certain that the grey will line up in the six furlong Group One, with the Jersey Stakes also a possibility depending how stablemate Little Big Bear performs in the Sandy Lane at Haydock next weekend.

O’Brien continued: “We have a choice at Ascot. Little Big Bear is going to run next week over six at Haydock and he would have the option of going to the Jersey over seven if Little Big Bear went to the Commonwealth Cup.

“This horse is going to come forward again, he’s still a little bit tubby but he’s coming. It will depend on where Little Big Bear goes.

“It always looked like he’d get seven. Ryan said today he was surprised that he quickened as much as he did.”

Dubai Gold Cup winner Broome will take on six rivals as he attempts to give Aidan O’Brien a first victory in the Boodles Yorkshire Cup on Friday.

So far, the Group Two York marathon has eluded the master of Ballydoyle, but he possesses a strong hand on this occasion, having seen his Royal Ascot winner thrive for the step up to two miles at Meydan where he downed the reopposing Siskany close to the finish.

Hughie Morrison’s Quickthorn could only finish sixth on that occasion, but was an emphatic 14-length winner on his last visit to the Knavesmire when he claimed the Lonsdale Cup.

Brian Ellison’s Tashkhan was amongst the beaten horses then and will try to improve on last year’s third in this race, while Roger Varian’s St Leger hero Eldar Eldarov has Ascot Gold Cup aspirations and will be looking to confirm Doncaster form over Marco Botti’s Leger third Giavellotto.

A cast of 10 potentially smart fillies go to post for the Oaks Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes, where John and Thady Gosden’s Queen For You will attempt to build on a taking debut at Ascot.

Charlie Appleby’s Silver Lady also impressed on her racecourse bow, while similar sentiments apply to William Haggas’ Fakhama who triumphed at Newbury in April.

Ralph Beckett’s Juliet Sierra brings Group One form and experience to the table, with Stormy Sea and Orchid Bloom two others of note.

The other Listed action is the Clipper EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes that opens Friday’s card, and there could be could be plenty of pace on show as Newmarket one-two Persian Dreamer and Dorothy Lawrence lock horns once again.

The latter represents last year’s winning handler Karl Burke, who also runs Nottingham scorer Got To Love A Grey, while Persian Dreamer’s handler, Dominic Ffrench Davis, is double-handed as well with Treasure Storm, another last-time-out winner amongst the 10 declared.

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