Horse racing Saxon Warrior Donnacha O'Brien

Horse Racing news: O’Brien excited by Saxon Warrior’s potential

1 year ago

In the latest horse racing news, trainer Aidan O’Brien believes there is “a lot of improvement to come” from Saxon Warrior after watching the Japanese-bred horse strike at Newmarket earlier this month.

Saxon Warrior won all three of his races in his debut campaign last year – which took place at the Curragh, Naas and Doncaster – and those performances put him straight onto the map.

The three-year-old, owned by Derrick Smith, made his first appearance of 2018 at Newmarket on May 5 and he picked up where he left off last year as he landed the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes.

O’Brien’s charge pulled away to win by a length-and-a-half from second-placed Tip Two Win, whilst the Charlie Appleby-trained Masar was back in third in the first Classic of the season.

Saxon Warrior, bred in Japan but trained in Ireland, is building up to be one of the most promising prospects in the sport and attention is already being turned towards the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 2.

The bay colt is 4/5 favourite with Bet Victor to land the spoils, Young Rascal is next in the betting at 10/1 whilst Hazapour and Masar are priced at 12/1 and 14/1 respectively.

O’Brien, who is one of the most successful Irish trainers of all time, is eager to see how Saxon Warrior fares over the next few races and he is confident of seeing more special runs from his charge.

“We’ve always viewed Saxon Warrior as a Camelot or Australia type of horse, he’s in the same box as those two used to be in. Looking at him, there should be a lot of improvement to come. It’ll be exciting to see,” he told the Independent.

“He was always going to be a middle-distance horse rather than a Guineas horse. We were always looking forward to stepping up in distance, but obviously, when he did that you wonder, ‘Is this fella a miler?’ He travelled like a miler and quickened like a miler.”