Turf Talk: O’Brien’s Ascot course walk will determine Gleneagles’ run in Queen Elizabeth II Stakes

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien
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Aidan O’Brien will walk the track at Ascot on Friday evening before making a decision on whether Gleneagles will run in Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

The English and Irish Guineas hero has not run since landing the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, with ground conditions ruling him out of intended starts in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the Juddmonte International at York and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The ground at Ascot is currently reported to be soft but with a dry week forecast, it is hoped the going will quicken ahead of Qipco Champions Day.

However, O’Brien will make his own assessment of the track before committing the son of Galileo to a run.

Should the ground not be quick enough, connections would then likely go to Southwell for a racecourse spin ahead of a possible run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

A statement issued from Ballydoyle read: “Aidan is going to walk the track at Ascot on Friday evening with a view to running Gleneagles in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Saturday. If the ground is OK, he will run.

“If not, permission will be sought from Southwell racecourse to work Gleneagles there, before a possible tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.”

O’Brien has previously visited Southwell for Breeders’ Cup prep gallops with the likes of Declaration Of War, who finished third in the Classic two years ago, and Giant’s Causeway, who was beaten just a neck in the race in 2000. Gleneagles is a general 5-2 chance behind French ace Solow who is no bigger than even money.

Switching codes, The New One is set to make his seasonal reappearance in the williamhill.com Hurdle at Kempton on Sunday for the third year running.

The New One should have a simple task as he is rated 24lb and upwards superior to his potential rivals.