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Cowardofthecounty being sent to Coventry by O’Brien

Cowardofthecounty being sent to Coventry by O’Brien
Cowardofthecounty being sent to Coventry by O’Brien

While Joseph O’Brien has high expectations for his Royal Ascot-bound two-year-old Cowardofthecounty, he is taking the patient approach in the hope the colt is at his best come the end of the season.

The Owning Hill handler resisted the temptation to give the speedy youngster a second outing and he will head to the Coventry Stakes on the back of his debut win at the Curragh.

The son of Kodi Bear looked very impressive that day in beating the highly-regarded Whistlejacket, who gave the form a huge boost when winning a Listed race next time out.

“Cowardofthecounty is going to go straight to the Coventry,” said O’Brien. “That was the plan after his debut as he’s a big horse and we wanted to give him some time after. We gave him a little break, he’ll then come back and go straight to Ascot.

“He was my second colt to run so you really don’t know (how good they are) but when the horse (Midnight Strike) won the first race we knew as they’d both been working nicely and we thought he was a smart colt as well.

“I didn’t expect him to win like he did and the second horse (Whistlejacket) now looks very good as well. The second may be a Norfolk horse rather than a Coventry horse but he looks very good and our lad was really strong on the sectionals. They were a long way clear of the third.

“Just watching the race you could see he ran right through the line so I’d say he put a lot into it so we wanted to give him time to recover. It’s so early in the season, we want him running a career-best in September so to keep going to the well now makes no sense. We’ll play the long game.

“Ascot is so early, even for a two-year-old, but it’s so important. That’s where the world is watching so that is where we have to compete.”

Midnight Strike was a good winner on debut
Midnight Strike was a good winner on debut (Alan Magee/PA)

Stablemate Midnight Strike will have another run, though, at the Curragh this weekend.

“Midnight Strike is going to go for the Marble Hill. His form looks strong as the second horse (Treasure Isle) won at the weekend. I’m looking forward to getting him on some nicer ground, see how he handles that,” said O’Brien.

Another juvenile winner for the yard recently was Scorthy Champ but Ascot is not on his agenda with O’Brien keeping him closer to home.

He said: “Scorthy Champ I think will miss Ascot and we’ll aim him at the Tyros Stakes (Leopardstown). He’s a smart horse I’d say, very well bred, a sibling to Malavath.”

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