Aidan O'Brien expects improved Saxon Warrior in Investec Derby

Racing
Saxon Warrior slams his Newmarket rivals
Saxon Warrior slams his Newmarket rivals

Aidan O’Brien expects Saxon Warrior to show significant improvement from the QIPCO 2000 Guineas when he runs in the Investec Derby next month.

The son of Deep Impact, 10/11 favourite with Sky Bet, steps up to a mile-and-a-half for the Epsom Classic and the trainer can't wait to see him back in action over a trip he thinks will suit.

He said: "The plan with going to Newmarket, and with the Derby in mind, we didn't want to start over seven furlongs. We thought a mile at Newmarket was going to be a lovely start-off for him. Obviously we were very happy with him. Everything's good so far. We could not have been happier with Saxon because there's an awful lot of improvement to come. It'll be exciting to see.

"We've always thought he was going to be a middle-distance horse, rather than Guineas horse. He's a big colt - he wears his head low. He's a good traveller and he seems balanced. He didn't have any problems at Newmarket with the dip. We're very happy with him. Ryan Moore will ride him as he's the number one rider and that's the way it is."

Should Saxon Warrior be successful at Epsom, he would be in line for a crack at the Triple Crown in the St Leger at Doncaster in September. No horse has managed to win the 2000 Guineas, the Derby and the Leger since the great Nijinsky in 1970.

The O'Brien-trained Camelot came mightily close in 2012 after being beaten just three-quarters of a length in the final leg, and the Ballydoyle handler feels Saxon Warrior has the tools to go one better.

He said: "It would be unbelievable if we ever had a horse that ever did it. If there's a chance we had a Triple Crown horse, this was always going to be the horse. And that's why we started him off in the Guineas. We are still alive and kicking after the first round."

Encke beats Camelot to deny the Ballydoyle team a Triple Crown
Encke beats Camelot to deny the Ballydoyle team a Triple Crown

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