We bring you key quotes from Aidan O'Brien ahead of Irish Champions Weekend 2023
Auguste Rodin will make his return to action in the Irish Champion Stakes
Luxembourg will also run in that Group One at Leopardstown on September 9
Ryan Moore riding Auguste Rodin win The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at Curragh. (Getty)
Auguste Rodin will make his highly-anticipated return to action in the Irish Champion Stakes, Aidan O'Brien has confirmed.
An impressive winner of the Epsom and Irish Derbys, Auguste Rodin was sent off as the warm favourite for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot the following month.
Ryan Moore's mount seemed to be in a decent rhythm early in that Group One. However, Moore was suddenly looked under pressure entering the home straight and Auguste Rodin was the first horse beaten, as Hukum and Westover moved on to fight out a thrilling finish.
Aidan O'Brien has since been unable to come up with a reason behind his star colt's shocking display. Speaking to the press this week, O'Brien seemed to have come to terms with the performance and was looking forward to unleashing Auguste Rodin in the Irish Champion Stakes on day one of Irish Champions Weekend 2023.
"His work has been brilliant." Aidan O'Brien told the Racing Post. "We are very happy with everything he has been doing. He’s fresh and doing everything really good."
"It was a very tough race on soft ground in the King George. We don't know what happened to Auguste Rodin, but he was drawn very wide and trapped very wide. He came off the bridle a lot earlier than Ryan (Moore, jockey) would have thought."
"Ryan's first impulse was to protect the horse and he was very surprised by what happened. Before he had to ask him too much, he pulled him up."
"It was probably a blessing in disguise as he was probably going to have a very tough race no matter what happened. That was probably one of the toughest King Georges run in a long, long time and for a baby three-year-old it might be lucky that he didn’t get into a brawl."
During the interview, O'Brien also revealed that Luxembourg - who finished fourth in the King George - will also run in the Irish Champion Stakes, which headlines the card at Leopardstown on Saturday 9th September.
"Luxembourg was caught at the front of the pace in the King George, so there might be better to come. We’ve been very happy with him since. The plan is for both to go to Leopardstown."
One Aidan O'Brien colt who will not be making an appearance during Irish Champions Weekend is the star of the season, Paddington. Paddington's quest for a fifth Group One on the bounce came up short at York, as Mostahdaf made all to win the Juddmonte International Stakes and O'Brien is keen to freshen his colt up before an outing on Champions Day.
The plan is for Paddington to go to Ascot," O'Brien said. "The lads haven’t decided yet, but it will be either the Champion Stakes or the QEII. My guess at the moment would be the Queen Elizabeth II over a mile. He is probably a miler at heart."
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