City Of Troy Stands Strong!

Ballydoyle’s first choice for Epsom

Unplaced 2,000 Guineas favourite City Of Troy remains Ballydoyle’s first choice for Epsom on the first Saturday of June. Aidan O’Brien spoke candidly post Newmarket about his hopes of Betfred Derby glory with the Justify colt.

City Of Troy in action - He still remains Ballydoyle's first choice

City Of Troy remains Ballydoyle’s first choice (Pic – Racing TV)

“Everything has been good since the Guineas. We just accepted that all these things just happened and went wrong on the day, and we’ve decided to stay with the plan,” the trainer observed.

“He’s done nothing since to make us change. The plan was always to start with the Guineas and go on to the Derby.”

“When he went down to the start, he should have been relaxed but when he went into the stalls, he was revved up. He wasn’t flustered but obviously his mind wasn’t in the right place.”

“For us, I’m not sure we’ve ever sent a horse to The Derby with as much ability as this. If we can get him to come out of those gates and everything to work properly for him then we can have him in the right place.”

“I never thought any trip was a problem for him. You’re never sure until you do it, but he has a big, long stride and he’s usually very chilled and relaxed. It will be a very interesting race now.”

“We all know horseracing and we all know life – no one knows what’s going to happen in the next half hour. The Guineas just wasn’t meant to be. I feel like, myself, I hadn’t got him prepared properly, so what we would have learned in the Guineas will hopefully help us to prepare him properly for The Derby.

“There is a weight of expectancy with him. At the Guineas, everyone was there to see City Of Troy, and I apologised afterwards because I felt I didn’t have him prepared properly and expected too much of him. If you are not open and honest, you can’t progress.”

City Of Troy is likely to have company on the flight across the Irish Sea, with the unbeaten Los Angeles and recent Dee Stakes winner, Capulet very much in the mix.

“We were happy with Los Angeles on Sunday (in the Leopardstown Derby Trial). The horse that made the running – that was the way it was going to suit him. Jockey Wayne Lordan was very happy with him.”

“He’s a big, relaxed horse. We always thought he would step up big time when he went to a mile and a half, and we were very happy with the way that he won so he’s definitely possible.”

“Capulet could go. There’s been a lot of interest in him from Hong Kong and all these places so it’s possible too. He was always a horse that was going to step up going to a mile and a quarter and we always thought he was going to step up even further if he went further. Ryan rode him positively.”

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