City Of Troy after his Derby success
City Of Troy after his Derby success

Breeders' Cup Classic end of season target for City Of Troy

Aidan O’Brien has outlined the Breeders’ Cup Classic as the long-term objective for his Coral-Eclipse-bound Derby hero City Of Troy.

Last season’s champion juvenile may have failed to fire as an odds-on favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his three-year-old debut, but any notion he had not trained on was dismissed by a sensational display at Epsom earlier this month.

With his star colt being a son of American Triple Crown hero Justify, connections have long been of the opinion that he could prove just as effective on dirt as he is on turf, making him an obvious candidate in O’Brien’s quest to claim an elusive Breeders’ Cup Classic success.

An early trip across the Atlantic for a first run on dirt in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in late August had been mentioned as a possibility earlier in the year – and while that plan was ultimately shelved, with owners Coolmore instead targeting that race with Kentucky Derby runner-up and Belmont Stakes third Sierra Leone, O’Brien remains keen on a Classic bid come the autumn.

Download the Sporting Life App
Download the Sporting Life App

“The plan is for him to go the Eclipse, he seems to be well since Epsom and we’re looking forward to the next day,” the Ballydoyle handler told Sky Sports Racing.

“The long-term plan is that he could go to America and they (owners) have the other horse for Saratoga in America for a race that City Of Troy was going to run in.

“He was a little bit green in Epsom and we just felt that maybe he wasn’t ready for that (America) yet. The lads are thinking he’ll go to Sandown and he’ll go to either York (Juddmonte International) or Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes) after that and then he could head out to America for the Classic.

“We just thought he was a little bit babyish (to run in the Travers) and obviously when you go to America you need a lot of experience and you need to be ready for it.”

Reflecting on his Derby victory, O’Brien added: “He’d never been dropped in in a race, he’d never raced around a bend and had never been anywhere like Epsom, which is very demanding at the best of times for seasoned horses, so it was probably incredible what he did.

“Ryan (Moore) gave him a great ride, he changed legs going to the line and took off again. He just clicked into gear again going by the line and Ryan was afraid he wasn’t going to get him pulled up!”

With City Of Troy heading for Sandown on July 6, his stablemate Los Angeles – beaten six lengths into third place at Epsom – will get his chance to bid for Classic glory as the stable’s number one hope in Irish Derby the previous weekend.

“We were lucky to have Los Angeles for the Irish Derby and we thought he ran a very nice race (at Epsom),” said O’Brien.

“We thought a mile and a half at the Curragh would suit him. He was ridden very forward at Epsom and still ran a massive race, so we felt he deserved his chance as first string wherever he was going to go next.”

More from Sporting Life

Safer gambling

We are committed in our support of safer gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline / GamCare on 0808 8020 133.

Further support and information can be found at and

Like what you've read?

Next Off

Sporting Life
My Stable
Follow and track your favourite Horses, Jockeys and Trainers. Never miss a race with automated alerts.
Access to exclusive features all for FREE - No monthly subscription fee
Click HERE for more information

Most Followed