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O’Brien Strikes Again in Irish Two Thousand Guineas

Paddington  provided trainer Aidan O’Brien with a 12th victory in the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (G1) when powering home in the hands of Ryan Moore May 27.

Stepping into group company for the first time, Paddington was always well positioned on the heels of the pacesetting Hi Royal , before bursting clear in the closing stages to score at 3-1 odds.

The winner, who was cut to 5-2 (from 12) in early wagering for the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, started the season winning in handicap company before claiming the listed Tetrarch Stakes last time and continued his rise to the summit with a cozy classic success.

Settling behind Hi Royal early, Paddington moved alongside the leader within the final two furlongs and, although the pair came close together, the Ballydoyle colorbearer soon found top gear to win going away by two lengths over Cairo . The stewards decided to hold an inquiry before taking no further action.

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Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore &amp; Michael Webster with Paddington after winning the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.<br>
The Curragh.<br>
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post<br>
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

Aidan O’Brien (far left) and Ryan Moore (second from left) with Paddington following his Irish Two Thousand Guineas victory

“He won a Tetrarch on very soft ground so we weren’t really sure about the ground with him,” said O’Brien. “He was always a beautiful mover but you’re never sure until you do it. He’d been doing everything really nice and he’s a fine big horse and is maturing very well. Ryan gave him a brilliant ride.

“He was a little bit slow away but Ryan got his position on him, and he didn’t light him up to do it. He’s a very exciting horse.”

O’Brien also saddled runner-up Cairo, with Hi Royal, runner-up in the Two Thousand Guineas (G1) at Newmarket, back in third.

Asked if Royal Ascot and a clash with Two Thousand Guineas winner Chaldean  would be next, the winning trainer added: “I think so. We’ll give him a week or 10 days and the lads will discuss it with Ryan and everybody else and then they will decide where to go with him, but I think it looks the natural progression for him. He doesn’t look short of speed but he looks like he would get further in time.”

Royal Scotsman, third in the Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket, was sent off the 6-4 favorite but failed to figure under Jamie Spencer and finished in ninth.

Ballydoyle, in partnership with Broadhurst Agency, purchased Paddington, a son of Siyouni , for the equivalent of $486,901 at the 2021 Arqana Deauville October Yearling Sale. Paddington is out of the stakes-winning Montjeu  mare Modern Eagle .

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