Derby prospect Kenya too hot for Killavullan Stakes rivals

Sun 22 Oct 2017

Aidan O'Brien has yet another potential Classic contender for 2018 on his hands after Kenya took the step up to Group Three company in his stride in the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Just eight days on from a wide-margin Cork victory, the son of Galileo was given a positive ride by Donnacha O'Brien, who set sail for home early in the straight on the 7-4 favourite.

Mcmunigal tried to chase him down but stamina appears to be Kenya's forte and the market leader answered every question put to him by his rider to cross the line with a length in hand.

O'Brien said: "He improved from his first to his second run and obviously has again. Donnacha said he handles an ease in the ground and won't mind stepping up in trip.

"Donnacha said he was very happy with him and that he's a grand, big, genuine horse."

Kenya Leopardstown 2 Kenya was handed a 33-1 quote for the Investec Derby (PA)

Racebets gave the Galileo colt a quote of 33-1 for the Investec Derby, and O'Brien added: "I think he'll be one for a Derby trial, whether he runs in a Guineas trial we'll see, but Donnacha feels he'll have no problem with a mile and a quarter.

"I'd imagine that will be it for this year. Obviously things can change, but more than likely that will be it."

James Cook earlier won the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders' Fund and Bound completed a Leopardstown treble by winning the Trigo Stakes.

The daughter of Galileo came into the race as an 11-race maiden but had showed talent, including when a close-up fourth at this Listed level at Naas last week.

She tracked the pacesetter Grandee until Seamie Heffernan made his move two furlongs out and although she didn't put the race to bed immediately, Bound (5-1) eventually established a decisive advantage and disposed of 6-4 favourite Cannonball by a length and three-quarters.

O'Brien said: "Seamus always liked her and he wanted to ride her today. He gave her a lovely ride.

"She is a very honest filly, and very clear winded. We didn't always get a clear run with her and she's probably even better than her form. She is a very well-bred filly and I'd say she will be going to the paddock next year."

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