Beresford Stakes Recap

Saxon Warrior Wins Beresford Stakes

Saxon Warrior’s Victory in Beresford Makes Him One to Watch on Europe’s Road to the Kentucky Derby

Saxon Warrior kept his unbeaten record intact and provided trainer Aidan O’Brien with his 17th victory in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at Naas. The son of Japanese superstar Deep Impact, Saxon Warrior confirmed himself to be an extremely promising colt and one to watch on Europe’s Road to the Kentucky Derby with another strong finish to win the Beresford by 2 lengths.

Kew Gardens, a stablemate of the winner, took the five-strong field along for much of the one-mile journey before Saxon Warrior hit the front a furlong out. He cruised home to the delight of many punters as the bettor’s top choice at 5-6. 

Saxon Warrior was an impressive winner on his racecourse debut at the Curragh a month ago. The momentum followed to Naas as the one to beat in a field of five in the Group 2 Beresford under rider Ryan Moore.

O’Brien said: “We’re delighted with him. He had a lovely run at the Curragh the first day. Donnacha (O’Brien) rode him and he loved him.

“We thought he was a nice colt before he ran at the Curragh, but we felt that he was just ready to go racing. When Donnacha eased him out he took off and he had to be a good colt to do what he did.
“You’re never sure until they run again, but it was a competitive race today and Ryan was delighted with him…he handled the heavy ground today.”

The Beresford Stakes awarded the top four finishers points (10-4-2-1) on Europe’s Road to the Kentucky Derby. Saxon Warrior will be one to watch, but O’Brien has not committed to his next race. 

“It’s possible (he’ll run again this season). It’s not definite. He probably knows enough if he doesn’t run any more, but it’s possible.

“He has the pedigree on top and bottom, so you couldn’t be happier with him,” said O’Brien.

Saxon Warrior 6-1 (from 20-1) for the Investec Derby, while 8-1 (from 20-1) and Coral 12-1 (from 16-1). 10-1 (from 20-1) for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

Beresford Stakes Preview

Sunday’s Beresford Stakes Switches to Naas

The €120,000 Beresford Stakes is set for Sunday, Sept. 24, and the 1 mile (1,609 metres) turf test will award the top four finishers points (10-4-2-1) on Europe’s Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule. The Group 2 highlight has been switched to Naas (IRE) due to the Curragh’s redevelopment. 

Trainer Aiden O’Brien has monopolized the premier juvenile events in Ireland since taking over Ballydoyle in 1996. O’Brien has six consecutive victories in the Beresford, and he’s chasing a 17th win in 22 years having scored in 2016 with the subsequent Irish Derby and St Leger hero Capri.

O’Brien has seven of the ten horses left in after Tuesday’s forfeit stage including Saxon Warrior and Nelson who are both 20-1 shots for next year’s Epsom Derby.

However both are behind their stable companions The Pentagon, Amedeo Modigliani and Gustav Klimt in betting for the 2018 ‘Blue Riband’.

Saxon Warrior was a very impressive winner of his sole start at the Curragh last month. The big, powerful bay “really quickened and took off,” said O’Brien. Nelson beat his stable companions Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt in a Group 3 over ‘Irish Champions Weekend’ in August.

The Ballydoyle opposition on Sunday is the trio of Riyazan, Brendan Duke-trained Warm The Voice and maiden winner Hazapour. Riyazan streaked clear in his debut over 7 furlongs at the Curragh, putting away O’Brien’s odds-on Nelson. But if the Ballydoyle domination is to be derailed, it’s likely by Warm the Voice, who steps up in class. Duke says he is a potential Classic contender, and Warm the Voice “is absolute class and has a great mind and great big ticker.”

Coat Of Arms, Berkeley Square and Rostopovich round out the field for O’Brien.