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City Of Troy could have Southwell spin prior to Breeders’ Cup

City Of Troy could have Southwell spin prior to Breeders’ Cup
City Of Troy could have Southwell spin prior to Breeders’ Cup

A surprise visit to Southwell could be on the cards for City Of Troy as Aidan O’Brien ponders a route to the Breeders’ Cup Classic with the Derby hero.

Although surrendering his unbeaten record at Newmarket in the 2000 Guineas, he rebuilt the foundations of his stellar CV with a phenomenal display at Epsom to secure Classic honours.

The Ballydoyle superstar has always been earmarked as a contender to race on dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at the end of his three-year-old season and with the Coral-Eclipse nominated as his next port of call, the planning is already underway with the son of Justify, who will be dropping back to 10 furlongs at Sandown.

He will remain at that distance for either York’s Juddmonte International Stakes or the Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown prior to his Del Mar assignment in early November, but before departing for the America, O’Brien is considering following a well-trodden path to Southwell to complete his Breeders’ Cup preparations

The master of Ballydoyle has travelled the likes of Giant’s Causeway and Declaration Of War to the Nottinghamshire track in the past to work on their all-weather surface and the latest Breeders’ Cup challenger is in line to follow suit.

“City Of Troy showed everyone what he can always do at now two and three and it doesn’t look like a mile and a quarter should be any problem for him, he travelled very strongly at Epsom,” O’Brien told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday.

“In our eyes we couldn’t have been happier with him and I think the lads have in the back of their heads that he could end up in the Classic at the Breeders’ Cup and they are thinking to keep him to a mile and a quarter, go to Sandown and give Los Angeles his chance for his Classic at the Curragh (in the Irish Derby).

“He could then go to the Irish Champion Stakes or the Juddmonte afterwards and then go to the Classic.

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore with City Of Troy at Epsom
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore with City Of Troy at Epsom (David Davies for the Jockey Club/PA)

“I think that’s what the lads are thinking as I know it was very strong on their mind that he could go to Saratoga (for the Travers Stakes) after Epsom, but their own horse in America (Sierra Leone) took that slot and our fella was very green and babyish in the Derby at Epsom so maybe it would have been a step too quick for him at the time.

“We had in our head, and we have spoken about it a lot, and was thinking that if we did go to Sandown then we could go to either York or Leopardstown and he could then do a prep in Southwell afterwards and then go on to America. The track at Southwell, we always felt it did us good when we went there with any type of horse.

“We’ve done it before with Giant’s Causeway and Declaration Of War and those horses. We just had in our head to go to America for a prep would change too much.”

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