O’Briens allay fears over Kingsbarns
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.