Giovanni Boldini Will Try to Give O’Brien Third Straight UAE Derby Win

by | 03.28.2014 | 1:00pm
Giovanni Boldini heads to the track during Breeders' Cup week. The colt will attempt to give trainer Aidan O'Brien his third straight win in the UAE Derby

Irish Champion Trainer Aidan O'Brien has saddled the winner of the 1900m Group 2 UAE Derby, sponsored by The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, in each of the last two seasons and is responsible for two of the 12 runners this year.

With stable jockey and trainer's son, Joseph, unable to ride at 55kgs, Ryan Moore comes in for the ride on Giovanni Boldini (USA) who looks the stable's first choice.

Moore was in the saddle on former stable companion, Lines Of Battle who won this last year and his mount this year has a Listed win to his name on the all-weather at Dundalk.

He bettered that when runner-up in the Group 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf when last seen in November.

Colm O'Donoghue, who won the 2012 renewal on O'Brien's Daddy Long Legs, is aboard the trainer's second runner, Sir John Hawkins (USA).

Prior to O'Brien's recent double success, this race was dominated by Godolphin handler, Saeed bin Suroor and South African Mike De Kock with seven and five winners respectively.

De Kock relies on Jallota (GB), with Bin Suroor saddling both Paximadia (Aus) and Emirates Flyer (GB) but all three look to have something to prove in this field.

Godolphin's second trainer, Charlie Appleby, saddles his exciting Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas hero Long John (AUS), winner of last year's Group 1 Caulfield Guineas for his previous trainer, Peter Snowden.

He really was impressive winning that UAE 2000 Guineas, from the Bin Suroor-trained Emirates Flyer, Safety Check (Ire), also trained by Appleby, was a well beaten fourth.

Appleby said: “As I keep saying, Long John shows next to nothing at home but we had been forewarned that was the case. It was a big win in the UAE 2000 Guineas but that was 1600m and we have another 300m on Saturday in better company.

“I think he will stay and he is in great nick coming into the race.

“We also have Safety Check in the field and the trip should certainly suit him.”

Long John is not the only Group 1 winner from the Southern Hemisphere in the field with Doug Watson introducing Cooptado (ARG) to the UAE. He is a Group 1 winner in his native Argentina and is well berthed in stall three.

Watson said: “He is a nice new recruit and seems to handle the all-weather after a couple of good gallops on it. He is fit and well.”

Asmar (IRE), representing Bahraini owner/trainer Fawzi Nass, only made his debut in January and, having finished fifth behind Long John in the UAE 2000 Guineas, he shed his maiden tag on Super Saturday. He made virtually all under Richard Hughes in the Listed Al Bastakiya, over the same 1900m all-weather course and distance as Saturday's contest.

Stamina would certainly appear his forte and Nass said: “He was always going to be better the further he went and this was the obvious target after Super Saturday.

“It is a better race but he is in good form.”

The two challengers from the UK are interesting with Jamie Osborne saddling Toast Of New York (USA), winner of his two most recent starts by a combined margin of no less than 28 lengths. This is a big step up in class but both those wins were on Polytrack at Wolverhampton, offering every hope the Meydan Racecourse all-weather surface will suit him.

Meanwhile, Sir Jack Layden, trained by David Brown, was third in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket when he was last seen in September.

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