Kew Gardens likely Team O’Brien leader as Ballydoyle descend on King George next weekend at Ascot

KEW GARDENS is the likely leader of Aidan O’Brien’s team for next Saturday’s King George at Ascot but plans could yet change according to the trainer.

The three-year-old has begun to live up to expectations after winning at Royal Ascot before following up in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.

Kew Gardens is a current 5-1 shot for Saturday’s showpiece
PA:Press Association

While O’Brien has yet to firm up plans for the summer showpiece over a mile and a half, he does have a provisional list.

“At the moment Kew Gardens is a possible, Cliffs Of Moher is a possible, Rostropovich is a possible and so is Nelson,” said the Ballydoyle trainer.

Kew Gardens is progressing lovely. We were delighted with him in France.

“We’ll see what the lads want to do, but we’ve been happy with him since France.

“That’s the way we are thinking at the moment and we’ll see what this week will bring.”

Meanwhile O’Brien revealed that Magic Wand had an excuse for her flat run in the Irish Oaks won by Sea Of Class.

The trainer added on the 10-11 favourite: “(Magic Wand) had a little bit of a dirty nose when she came back, so maybe that was a below-par run.

“She was a little bit disappointing and maybe there was a little thing on her. All her scopes and bloods were perfect all the way up to the race, but maybe she just ran a little bit below herself.”

However, O’Brien was pleased with the performance of Forever Together, who was only beaten a neck by the winner when ridden by his son, Donnacha.

“Donnacha’s filly seemed fine. She’s a filly that seems to stay very well,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

“I don’t think she needs soft ground, but probably in soft ground stamina comes into it more.

“The winner obviously did very well to win the way she did and to come from where she did.

“We were very afraid of her because she beat our filly Athena in Newbury and we like Athena.”

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