Aidan O’Brien plans to rent a house in Newmarket and fill it with stable lads in a bid to overcome the logistics of 14-day quarantine periods for his staff between the town’s Qipco Guineas meeting and Royal Ascot.
O’Brien, who may run up to five colts in the 2,000 Guineas headed by Arizona in his attempt to win the race for an 11th time, pointed out the added complication of having to ear-mark those horses he wants to run at Ascot for Newmarket because the Irish Guineas would come too close to the Royal meeting.
“We’re in the process of renting a place in Newmarket where they can stay,” said the Ballydoyle trainer who will not be coming himself because of having to self-isolate for 14 days afterwards if he did.
“The lads at home will put the horses on the plane, a travelling groom will go with them, then the lads at Newmarket will take them, lead them up and return them to the plane. The lads will then stay and do Ascot.”
Arizona twice chased home Pinatubo last year, finishing just over nine lengths behind him at The Curragh and reducing that margin to two at Newmarket in the Dewhurst.
“All has gone well with him,” he explained. “We were getting ready for the first weekend in May but eased back a little bit. He’s a big rangy, scopy horse who we thought would improve from two to three. He ran well to win the Coventry and ran some good races afterwards. Though his sire, No Nay Never, is a big influence on speed, he finished well from a bad draw over a mile in the breeders’ Cup and we’re happy it’s within his range.”
The colt will be joined by Wichita, also by No Nay Never. He won the Tattersalls Stakes by an impressive seven lengths before finishing third in the Dewhurst. “We always thought he’d get a mile, he comes home in his races,” he said. “I’m not sure he’ll get much further though.”
The pair could be joined by New World Tapestry and, two names which might be more familiar to golfers, Royal Lytham and Royal Dornoch. Love, Peaceful and So Wonderful have been pencilled in for the 1,000 Guineas while Anthony Van Dyck, Broome and Sir Dragonet are all possibles for the Coronation Stakes a week today.
ITV plans to make the most of racing’s return and will broadcast 21 races across its first three days of coverage beginning a week today. Each day’s show will begin at 1.30pm and go through until 4pm.
Meanwhile Scottish racing has confirmed that it is making plans for a resumption of racing behind closed doors on Monday June 22.in accordance with the Scottish Government's route map of exiting lockdown. Ayr has been penciled in to host the first fixture.