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O’Brien: City of Troy Could be a Travers Horse

City of Troy  could be Ballydoyle’s sole representative in the Two Thousand Guineas (G1) as Aidan O’Brien mapped out a campaign that could take in Newmarket and the Epsom Derby (G1) before one of the most exciting colts in recent memory is potentially aimed at an American adventure.

Last season’s European champion juvenile colt has always been held in high regard by O’Brien, and his talent could prompt the champion trainer to adopt an unusually solo approach in the first British classic of the season May 4.

O’Brien has relied on one colt in the Two Thousand Guineas on only one occasion this century, and that was when Roderic O’Connor  had the mighty Frankel   in opposition in 2011. City of Troy could buck the trend and go it alone on the Rowley Mile, the scene of his devastating 2023 Dewhurst Stakes (G1) win on his most recent start. The unbeaten son of Justify   is odds-on to extend his perfect sequence to four.

“He always looked a bit different, every time we worked him really,” O’Brien said. “All he can do is keep turning up and running, but he does work very different. The horses are working in ground that’s deep at the moment and he shouldn’t like that at all, but he has a lot of power.”

O’Brien has grand ambitions for City of Troy beyond Newmarket, and it is his mention of a switch to the dirt at Saratoga Race Course this summer which was most noteworthy.

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“If the Guineas went well he could go to the (Epsom) Derby and then there’s a chance he could go to Saratoga for the Travers. That’s all possible if things go well, so it will be interesting,” O’Brien said. “He looks a bit different at the moment. He’s done very well physically. He’s a medium-sized horse but is deceiving. When you stand into him, he’s much bigger than you’d think, which is a sign he’s a very well-proportioned horse. When John (Magnier) and the lads are thinking like that, they’re not afraid to push him out there and see what he’s able to do. 

“He’s by Justify which makes it very exciting for us because he should be able to run on dirt as easily as he does on grass. That’s what makes him very unique.”

Auguste Rodin Also a Candidate for Dirt Racing

O’Brien also offered an update on last year’s outstanding dual Derby and Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1T) winner Auguste Rodin , who is set to kick off his season in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1T) in Dubai March 30.

“Auguste Rodin has another bit of work to do before he goes on Saturday, but everything looks good. We’re very happy with him; the plan was to go there and come back to the Curragh for the Tattersalls Gold Cup, and then he could go to Ascot for the Prince of Wales’s,” O’Brien said. “We could have a look at a dirt race after that. Deep Impacts are generally more grass horses, but we were surprised the way he worked on the dirt over at the Breeders’ Cup—he was cruising over it.”

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