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    O'Brien Epsom raider has superior form credentials
O'Brien Epsom raider has superior form credentials
O'Brien Epsom raider has superior form credentials. Source: sportsmax.tv

O'Brien Epsom raider has superior form credentials

When Chief Little Rock competes in the Betfred Blue Riband Trial at Epsom on Tuesday, Aidan O'Brien is eager to see what he can accomplish back on a good surface.

He won his maiden on his second attempt on good ground, and he also finished second in two Group races, though the latter had a lot of cuts in the ground.

Even though he finishes second to Paddy Twomey's Deepone in the Beresford Stakes and third to Ancient Wisdom, the winner of Group One in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, he nevertheless sets a very high standard for his five competitors.

The last time the Ballydoyle handler won this race was in 2019 with Cape Of Good Hope, who, like Chief Little Rock, was by Galileo. Cape Of Good Hope went on to win a Group One in Australia and finish fourth in the French Derby.

“We’re very happy with him and he showed a good level of form when second in the Beresford,” said O’Brien. “We like him and we think the nice ground will suit him, it was nice ground when he won his maiden and we’re keen to learn plenty about him at Epsom. His form from last year looks good now and we’ve been very happy with him this year. We always thought he would stay a mile and a quarter and maybe a mile and a half.”

Naturally, O'Brien houses the extremely talented City of Troy, who despite not running in a trial ahead of the 2000 Guineas, has consistently seen his form franked, not least by easy Craven winner Haatem, who finished more than eight lengths behind him in the Dewhurst.

“All is good with him,” said O’Brien. “It’s a case of so far, so good anyway.”

Both Roger Varian's Defiance and Ralph Beckett's Feigning Madness, who entered Group company directly following a maiden victory at Sandown and were not disgraced by Clive Cox's Ghostwriter in the Royal Lodge, have a lot of work to do in the ratings department despite their undefeated records.

After being transferred from Andrew Balding by owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, Arabic Legend makes his debut for Karl Burke. Balding runs Bellum Justum, who defeated the talented Inisherin the previous time out.

Bur Dubai by Kevin Philippart de Foy rounds out the field.

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