Setting records has become a habit for trainer Aidan O’Brien and Saxon Warrior has given him another with his win in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
It was a landmark victory on more than one front, giving O’Brien an unprecedented ninth win in the Classic and his 300th Group One success.
Adding to the feat, it was a first success at Group One level for his son, winning jockey, Donnacha.
Entering the mile race unbeaten in three starts as as juvenile, the 3-1 chance powered to the front around a furlong (200m) from home, before defeating 50-1 shot Tip Two Win by 1-1/2 lengths with favourite Masar (5-2) a further head away third.
By Japanese superstar Deep Impact, Saxon Warrior was cut to even-money favourite for next month’s Derby at Epsom by both Paddy Power and Coral.
“Obviously a mile is not his ideal trip, but when a horse has got speed and the class of Saxon Warrior we were always hopeful the mile would be fine, which it proved to be.” part-owner Michael Tabor said.
“There has to be more to come (over further), common sense would say this not his trip, but this is always the best trial for a Derby as a rule.”
The 19-year-old youngest son of O’Brien, who was in Kentucky where Mendelssohn ran last in the Derby, thanked both his father and winning connections for giving him such an opportunity.
“It’s very special. I’ve got to say a huge thanks to Dad and the owners for giving me the chance to sit on him and hopefully I didn’t mess up today,” he said.
“He’s an absolute monster of a horse so you never know, he could improve again.
“I was very impressed, I thought he was a very good horse even on his homework.”
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