O’Briens al­lay fears over Kings­barns

Irish Examiner - Racing - - RACING - By Ash­ley Iveson

Trainer Ai­dan O’Brien and his son, Joseph, have al­layed fears about the well-be­ing of lead­ing In­vestec Derby con­tender Kings­barns.

The Galileo colt headed ante-post lists for the Epsom Clas­sic through­out the win­ter fol­low­ing his thor­oughly im­pres­sive dis­play in the Rac­ing Post Tro­phy at Don­caster, but trainer Ai­dan O’Brien re­vealed late last month his three-year-old had suf­fered a mi­nor set­back.

The mas­ter of Bal­ly­doyle ef­fec­tively ruled Kings­barns out of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and he has been a no­table drifter in the Derby bet­ting in the last 48 hours, with some book­mak­ers pro­mot­ing the Michael Stoute-trained Tele­scope to out­right favouritism.

How­ever, the trainer’s son, Joseph, who rides an­other of his fa­ther’s lead­ing Derby hopes in Bat­tle Of Marengo in to­mor­row’s Ballysax Stakes at Leop­ard­stown, re­ports Kings­barns to be on course to take in one of the Derby tri­als.

He said: “I don’t think there’s any change to the sit­u­a­tion we were in be­fore.

“He’s back can­ter­ing and we’re hop­ing he’ll be ready to run in a Derby trial some­where.

“He was work­ing very well be­fore he had the set­back and he’s an ex­cit­ing horse for this year.”

Ai­dan O’Brien, speak­ing to the Rac­ing Post, added: “Kings­barns is back rid­ing out and can­ter­ing. He's also do­ing some swim­ming, and while we are play­ing catch up with him af­ter his holdup, we're hop­ing to have him ready to run in one of the Derby tri­als."

O’Brien con­firmed an­other Guineas and Derby hope - the once-raced Mars - re­mains on tar­get for Newmarket.

"Mars is still very much in the pic­ture for the Guineas al­though we haven't made a def­i­nite de­ci­sion yet as to whether he will go to Newmarket or for one of the Der- by tri­als in­stead.

"Lines Of Bat­tle is also in the pic­ture for Newmarket along with Ge­orge Van­cou­ver, Cristo­foro Colombo and Pe­dro The Great. The pic­ture about what we will run ... should be a bit clearer in about a week's time."

CLAS­SIC HOPE: Kings­barns was made favourite for the Epsom Derby on strength of im­pres­sive dis­play in the Rac­ing Post Tro­phy but he has suf­fered a set­back.

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