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"He could go back to a mile at Goodwood" - Sussex Stakes next for Eclipse hero Paddington

11 Jul 2023
Jon Vine 11 Jul 2023
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  • Key quotes from Aidan O'Brien following the 2023 Coral-Eclipse
  • Paddington edged out Emily Upjohn to win a thriller at Sandown
  • O'Brien said his star will likely head to Glorious Goodwood for the Sussex Stakes
Ryan Moore riding Paddington (L) win The Coral-Eclipse from William Buick and Emily Upjohn (R) at Sandown Park. (Getty)

Aidan O'Brien has identified the Sussex Stakes as the next objective for star three-year-old Paddington.

On the back of a Classic victory at the Curragh and a straight-forward win at Royal Ascot, Paddington was backed into short-priced favouritism for Saturday's Coral-Eclipse. Ryan Moore's mount travelled sweetly behind the pace-setting West Wind Blows and, although Emily Upjohn made the favourite work hard, Paddington never looked like being passed in the closing stages.

"It went as we thought it might." Aidan O'Brien told the Racing Post on Monday. "Ryan (Moore) gave him a beautiful ride. We were hoping they would go a nice, strong even gallop so we would find out whether he would get a mile and a quarter or not and Ryan said in an ideal world he would have preferred for the leader to take him a little bit further, but he had to go when he was in his rhythm."

"John (Magnier) thought he would stay and he did stay. It was perfect really. If Ryan ended up making the running that would have been fine too, but it was lovely to get a lead for as long as he did. It was a good Eclipse too. The filly (Emily Upjohn) is a good yardstick for a three-year-old."

Prior to the Eclipse, some experts were suggesting that Sandown could prove to be a stepping stone towards the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for Paddington. However, Ryan Moore told ITV following the race that he felt his mount was getting quicker. Aidan O'Brien is clearly of the same opinion, naming the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood - back down over a mile - as Paddington's most likely target.

"He did a canter this morning and we're very happy with him." O'Brien continued. "It's likely to be the Sussex next, that's the way everyone is thinking at the moment. If everything goes well between now and then, it's very possible he could go back to a mile at Goodwood next, but nothing is written in stone yet either. He's looked very versatile."

Paddington has already been installed as the odds-on favourite for the Sussex Stakes, with QuinnBet offering a top price of 10/11. 

Inspiral and Triple Time sit second and third in the betting, but both look likely to head to France for the Prix Jacques le Marois instead, leaving Modern Games and Kinross as Paddington's primary opposition at Glorious Goodwood.

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