Savethelastdance Becomes Latest Classic Winner for O’Brien

Trainer Aidan O’Brien made more history at the Curragh during the 2023 Irish Oaks, as he won the Irish Classic for a record seventh time when Savethelastdance prevailed in the 1m4f contest for fillies.

The daughter of Galileo finished second in the Oaks at Epsom earlier in the season behind Soul Sister. She was able to go one place better this time. Under the hands of Ryan Moore, the pair left their challenge late, but it was well-timed as they scored by just a length.

With three victories from four starts this season, Savethelastdance has now elevated her reputation as being one of the best fillies in her age group. Connections will be hoping their filly can reverse her form with Soul Sister later in the campaign.

As of July 23, Savethelastdance is +400 with Betway to win the Yorkshire Oaks, her most likely next assignment. The Curragh winner could face Soul Sister, Emily Upjohn, and Bluestocking in that race at York. That may turn out to be one of the most exciting races of the Flat season in Europe if all four of those horses are declared.

Auguste Rodin Completed Derby Double

Regular listeners of the Plaidcast, will have heard it has been another excellent season for O’Brien. His star colt this year has been Auguste Rodin. The three-year-old won the Derby at Epsom and then just a few weeks later he became a double Classic winner as he also prevailed in the Irish Derby.

Auguste Rodin ended 2022 as one of the Champion Two-Year-Olds in Europe. He won the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, as reported by the BBC. The son of Deep Impact began his three-year-old campaign with defeat in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. However, as predicted by his trainer, he produced a much better performance in the Derby, as the extra distance was in his favor at the Surrey-based racecourse.

The Epsom hero confirmed his class at the Curragh in the Irish equivalent of the Derby. He finished ahead of stablemate Adelaide River on that occasion. His two wins make him one of O’Brien’s most successful three-year-olds already. The next challenge for the colt will be to take on the best older horses in his division later in the campaign. Those races are likely to be covered in The Plaid Horse blog section of our site.

Paddington Now a Three-Time Group One Winner

After winning a maiden at the Curragh last season, Paddington began the campaign in handicap company in Ireland. He recorded victories at Naas (7f) and the Curragh (1m), the latter in a Listed race which convinced O’Brien he was good enough to feature in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

The son of Siyouni was excellent in the Irish Classic at the Curragh, scoring by two lengths after stretching away from the field inside the final furlong, as reported by Yahoo. He showed that result was no fluke when he successfully followed it up at Royal Ascot, beating 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean at the royal meeting.

A third victory at the highest level came in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown where he took advantage of the weight allowance for three-year-olds to beat Emily Upjohn. He was involved in a duel with the filly in the closing stages of that race and he showcased his battling qualities to leave the Irish trainer excited about future opportunities for his colt. 

Tower Of London Likely to Be O’Brien’s Best Chance in St Leger

The Ballydoyle man will be hoping for more Classic success in the St Leger at Doncaster in September. As of July 23, Tower Of London is the +500 second favorite for the oldest British Classic in the sport. He is set to confirm his runners closer to the race so keep an eye on the TPH press releases prior to the meeting. 

Tower Of London won the King George V Cup at Leopardstown earlier in the campaign. That was his first run over 1m4f, and he appeared to appreciate the extra distance. He then followed that up with victory in the Ulster Derby at Down Royal (1m5f).

O’Brien’s colt looked set to complete a hat-trick of wins in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket, but he was just denied in the final few strides of that race by Castle Way. That run will have given the Irishman a lot of optimism about his chances of success in the St Leger.

All three of O’Brien’s Classic winners will be in contention for being named the Best Three-Year-Old in the UK and Ireland at the end of the season.