Aidan O’Brien Could Be Set for Big Season in Europe

O’Brien had an exceptional 2022 season; is he in line for another?

Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is a man who has had a lot of success across the globe in horse racing. His record at the Breeders’ Cup is one of the best by any trainer outside of North America, while in UK and Ireland, he has dominated the Classics.

O’Brien goes into the 2023 Flat season with a strong string of horses. He will be targeting the major races across Europe, including the Derby, Oaks, and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Auguste Rodin Looks Top of His Three-Year-Old Pecking Order

With three victories from four outings, Auguste Rodin ended last season as one of the leading two-year-old colts in the UK and Ireland. He showed he is one of the latest stars from the Coolmore breeding operation which produced the Australian star sprinter Winx when he won the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. The son of Deep Impact powered home in the final couple of furlongs to score by just over three lengths.

Auguste Rodin is set to feature in both the 2,000 Guineas and Derby this season, while he may even attempt the Triple Crown, with a run in the St. Leger, the final British Classic of the year. As of April 26th, he is +200 in the betting with Betway for the Derby at Epsom, the most prestigious three-year-old race in Europe.

It could be a busy season for Auguste Rodin as he also has entries in the Irish Derby and Irish 2,000 Guineas. If he impresses against his generation, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Breeders’ Cup will both become options at the back end of the campaign. O’Brien will be hoping he replicates some of the success Giant’s Causeway had for Ballydoyle in the world championship meeting.

Meditate Does Not Lack Experience

O’Brien’s leading three-year-old filly this year could be Meditate. The daughter of No Nay Never featured seven times last season, winning five of those assignments. Her biggest success came at the 2022 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, prevailing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on her first attempt at the 1m distance.

In Ireland, Meditate won the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last season. She then finished runner-up in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes, two races at Group One level.

Most of Meditate’s runs in 2022 came over the sprint distances. Her breeding suggests she will appreciate a longer trip as a three-year-old. The filly is set to make her seasonal reappearance in the 1,000 Guineas, a race that is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series at Newmarket.

Former Derby Contender Luxembourg Ended 2022 Strongly

Luxembourg went into 2022 as a strong contender for the Derby at Epsom, but he missed out on a shot at the British Classic due to injury. As documented by the BBC, when he returned to action later in the campaign, the Ballydoyle runner showed his class, winning the Group One Irish Champion Stakes.

One of the early targets for Luxembourg in 2023 will be the Coronation Stakes at Epsom during the Derby meeting. That will be his first appearance at the home of the Derby. It will also be just the seventh run of his career, so the son of Camelot remains open to improvement.

O’Brien’s colt has an official rating of 123 and he looks set to be his best open-age horse this season. He could only finish seventh in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last October, but he was impeded in that race on several occasions. A return to Longchamp later this year looks likely for the middle-distance runner.

Broome Has Started the Season in Good Form

Experienced gelding Broome has already appeared twice in 2023. He has featured in the Middle East at Doha and Meydan. As reported by Yahoo, in the latter of those two races, he won the Grade Two Dubai Gold Cup on Dubai World Cup night.

With defending champion Kyprios out of action in the early stages of the season, Broome has now emerged as O’Brien’s best chance in the Ascot Gold Cup. The Irishman has won that race at Royal Ascot a record eight times.

Broome is one of the most experienced horses in O’Brien’s yard. He has featured 32 times in his career, prevailing on nine occasions. The 2m division appears to be where the seven-year-old’s future lies and if he can provide his trainer with another Ascot Gold Cup success, it would be a huge achievement.

O’Brien reached exceptional heights last season in the sport and if he replicates some of that success again this year, it will strengthen the case for making him one of the best trainers in the history of the sport.