O’Brien confident that ‘babyish’ Mendelssohn has ‘toughened up’

Aidan O’Brien confident that ‘babyish’ Mendelssohn has ‘toughened up’ ahead of Breeders’ Cup Classic

  • Mendelssohn will race in the Breeders’ Cup Classic for Aidan O’Brien
  • The race takes place next Saturday and O’Brien has adopted a fresh approach 
  • Mendelssohn has travelled to the US three times in preparation for the Classic
  • It will be held on US Dirt, a surface European horses are not used to running on 

Aidan O’Brien says Mendelssohn has ‘toughened up’ after four races on the US Dirt ahead of trying to win Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Down.

The $6million contest is one of the few races to have eluded O’Brien and he has adopted a fresh approach with Mendelssohn, who won last year’s Juvenile Turf when the Breeders’ Cup was held at Del Mar, to try to better prepare him for a herculean task racing on a surface alien to European horses.

After being tailed off in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Mendelssohn has travelled back to America three times. 

Mendelssohn struggled in the Kentucky Derby but has placed in two races in the US since

Mendelssohn struggled in the Kentucky Derby but has placed in two races in the US since

Aidan O'Brien is 'very happy' with his horse

Aidan O’Brien is ‘very happy’ with his horse

Those runs have seen placed efforts in both the Travers Stakes at Saratoga and Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont.

O’Brien, who won the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes for the ninth time on Saturday at Doncaster with Magna Grecia, said: ‘I am very happy with Mendelssohn.

‘Everything is good with him so far. He has had the experience. 

‘It is a bit different for us than the people who are training in America. We have to try to learn what works and doesn’t work.

‘Mendelssohn has toughened up. He was very babyish but we think he is physically and mentally maturing.’

The draw for the Breeders’ Cup races, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, is held on Sunday.


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