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Aidan O'Brien Interview - Top trainer talks through plans for St Leger and Irish Champions Weekend

  • We bring you the latest quotes from top flat racing trainer, Aidan O'Brien
  • O'Brien discussed his plans for the St Leger at Doncaster, where Santiago will fly the Ballydoyle flag
  • He also talked about which of his runners we might see during Irish Champions Weekend
  • Both the St Leger at Doncaster and Irish Champions Weekend start on Saturday 12th September
aidan o'brien speaks
Aidan O'Brien speaking to the press. (Getty)


We bring you the latest Aidan O'Brien quotes, as he talks about the St Leger, Irish Champions Weekend and which jockeys he plans to use.

When Aidan O'Brien speaks, everyone in the racing world listens. Especially when you consider the final two Classics of the season are looming large on the horizon.

A week on Saturday, Doncaster stages the St Leger. Over in Ireland, Irish Champions Weekend kicks off that very same afternoon. The Irish Champions Stakes is the main event on the Saturday at Leopardstown, while day two at the Curragh features four Group Ones, the Irish St Leger being the highlight.

We've looked through interviews Aidan O'Brien has recently conducted with both the Racing Post (RP) and RTE (RTE) in Ireland on Wednesday. O'Brien discussed his plans for Doncaster, Leopardstown and the Curragh, while also revealing which jockeys he plans to use during that massive weekend of racing.

Aidan O'Brien Quotes


St Leger

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Santiago

"Goodwood didn't go the way we would have liked. We usually like to take our time with him but he jumped great and found himself going a gear or two too high the whole way. He could never catch his breath to go again. That said, the race didn't do him any harm and he seems in very good form." (RP)

Dawn Patrol (16/1 William Hill) and Mythical (50/1 bet365)

"Dawn Patrol will probably go to England for the Leger there for three-year-olds. Mythical might go there as well." (RTE)

irish champion stakes leopardstown
Magical (right) winning last year's Irish Champion Stakes. (Getty)

Irish Champions Weekend


Magical (3/1 Paddy Power) - Irish Champion Stakes

"She's a great mare and owes nobody anything. She's raced against the best, but we feel we haven't really seen the very best of her yet. Some day, when everything falls right, she'll be at the height of her powers."

"She's a seriously high-rated and incredibly consistent mare at the moment, and just a little bit under some of those horses she's running against. That's why we keep tweaking things as we go along, to see if we can get her to show everybody what she shows us at home every day."

"She's incredible but people probably haven't see her very best yet. It could come one of these days." (RP)

Japan (14/1 BetVictor) and Armory (50/1 bet365) - Irish Champion Stakes

"Japan came back from Ascot with very sore soles on both feet. He was lame for a few days and we feel it was a proper legitimate excuse for his run at Ascot. We had to ride him out barefoot for ten days and he's come on nicely. I think it will be very interesting to see how he gets on. He's very well." (RP)

"Armory might go to the Irish Champion Stakes (too)." (RP)

Peaceful - Matron Stakes

"Peaceful has come out of France well. Donnacha's filly (Fancy Blue) has progressed with every run and we were delighted to be beaten by Donnacha at Chantilly really. Peaceful has had a break and is doing very well. We're looking at the Matron for her." (RP)

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Battleground - National Stakes

"Battleground is a big, powerful horse who has done well physically since Goodwood. He is versatile and has handled good ground and slowish ground. It was always the plan to go to the National Stakes after Goodwood." (RP)

Sovereign (4/1 Paddy Power) and Passion (20/1 Paddy Power) - Irish St Leger

"Sovereign had a lovely run in the King George. We think he'll be okay over a mile and six. If the ground is slow it will be no problem to him either." (RP)

"We are also thinking of running Passion back there (In the Irish St Leger). She ran a big race in the Oaks and we felt she’d be happy stepping up to a mile and six, as she showed at Naas. We thought we might run her with him. We look forward to seeing her run." (RTE)

Arizona, Lancaster House and Royal Dornoch - Boomerang Stakes

"Arizona is a possible, and Lancaster House would be a strong possibility. We think it might suit him and we think Royal Dornoch might run there as well." (RTE)

Magic Wand - Blandford Stakes or the Irish Champion Stakes

"Magic Wand could be a possibility if she wasn’t going for the Champion. It will probably depend on ground with her." (RTE)

Tiger Moth - Kilternan Stakes instead of the St Leger

"I’m not sure he’d get a mile and six, so we probably won’t go to the Leger with him." (RTE)

aidan O'Brien ryan moore
Ryan Moore is in quarantine for 14 days so he can ride for Aidan O'Brien during Irish Champions Weekend. (Getty)

Jockeys


Ryan Moore Quarantined

"I haven't even seen Ryan yet, all I've done is spoken to him on the phone. I see the dinners going off out to him every day, the poor fella. He gets the work videos and work reports, but he's been in total lockdown since Saturday night. It's very strange and very different, but that's the way it has to be unless there's a rule change."

"It was always the plan that Ryan would come over for that weekend, and he has to do two weeks in a house with no riding out. He isn't able to move outside the house. The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board have the address of the house he's in."

"It's difficult because Ryan is an athlete and, like all athletes, you have to train. Can you imagine a soccer player being expected to go out and play a match after being put in a house for two weeks? It's not easy. It's very difficult, but Ryan was prepared to do it, he wanted to do it, and we were delighted he did." (RP)

Using Frankie Dettori At Doncaster

"I've spoken to Frankie and he's going to be there (at Doncaster) for us for the Leger. We will need our lads at home that weekend so we have Frankie, William (Buick), James (Doyle) and Oisin (Murphy). Lads we have used before. We're going to be okay." (RP)
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