Paddington dominates Tetrarch Stakes to Aidan O'Brien's delight
Paddington further strengthened Aidan O'Brien's formidable Classic hand with a clear-cut success in the Coolmore Stud Blackbeard Irish EBF Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh. A five-length winner of a maiden at the track last season, the Siyouni colt kicked off the current campaign with victory in the Madrid Handicap at Leopardstown, earning him a step up in class for a Listed race his trainer had not won for 20 years. With Seamie Heffernan in the saddle, the 5-6 favourite travelled like the best horse in the race for much of the one-mile contest and picked up well once popped the question to score by a length and a half from stablemate Drumroll, who also shaped with plenty of promise on only his second career start. The winner was taken out of Saturday's Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before Monday's confirmation stage, but his big-race entries do include the Irish Guineas and the French Guineas, as well as the Dante Stakes at York and the Derby at Epsom. O'Brien said: "He came forward lovely from Naas. He won his maiden very easy last year and everyone has been delighted with him at home. "He won the three-year-old handicap at Naas over seven furlongs and this was his first step up to a mile. We thought that he'd get it and that he could even get further. "He'd have the option of going to the French Guineas or the Irish Guineas and then he could end up being a French Derby horse after that. "He handles the ground well, he's by Siyouni out of a Montjeu mare so should handle it on both sides. We're delighted with him." Paddington completed a Listed race double on the card for the O'Brien-Heffernan combination, with 5-2 shot His Majesty earlier making a winning debut in the GAIN First Flier Stakes.
O'Brien is hopeful the son of No Nay Never can earn himself a place on his team for Royal Ascot. "He did it lovely. He's a lovely, big, sleepy horse," he said. "Seamus said he had loads of speed but he was relaxed, he said when he clicked he found plenty. He's like a four-year-old, a big mature horse. "You always try to get two runs before Ascot but it's hard enough to do it here because there aren't many races. It's a big advantage if you can. Wherever we can get him out again, we'll try." Aidan's son Donnacha O'Brien also has the Royal meeting in mind for Do It With Style (3-1) after her successful introduction in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden under Gavin Ryan. "We thought she was smart. I was a little bit worried about the ground, she'll be better on better ground, but it was nice to see her do that," said the trainer. "I'll speak to the owners and see but I suppose the Albany Stakes could definitely be an option."
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