Ol’ Man River in full flow

Ol’ Man River enhanced his Classic prospects with an authoritative victory in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

Ol’ Man River in full flow

Aidan O’Brien has an embarrassment of riches for 2015, including Ol’ Man River, who was duly cut to 8-1 joint-favourite, from 14-1, with Ladbrokes for the Investec Derby and to 10-1 (from 16s) for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.

A 2.85million euro purchase as a yearling, the Montjeu colt stepped up to Group Two company with the minimum of fuss, just four weeks after making a successful debut over the course and distance.

The 1-2 favourite coasted to the front under Joseph O’Brien and was not extended to win easily by two and three-quarter lengths from Clonard Street, who ran a good race in his own right.

The victory made it a treble on the card for the trainer and jockey after Qualify and The Great War, while it was the 14th time O’Brien has saddled the winner of the Beresford, equalling the late Vincent O’Brien’s tally.

“He travelled and learned a lot, as today was on the round course. He was able to sit in and relax and he has a lot of speed. It was a nice experience and I couldn’t be happier,” said the trainer.

“He’s in the Racing Post Trophy and the Dewhurst. He has all the entries, but he doesn’t have to run again this year as he has the two runs and knows enough now going into next year.

“He could run again this year, but we won’t force him. This time of year horses can change, so we’ll see what happens.

“He loves fast ground and is a beautiful mover. He’s by Montjeu, but a horse with that pace will always handle nice ground. He’s exciting.

“He might get a mile and a quarter, but you couldn’t be sure he’ll get a mile and a half. He’s a hardy horse, which is a good sign. He moved forward lovely from his maiden and he learned plenty today.”

RaceBets also make Ol’ Man River 8-1 for Epsom, in an ante-post market that O’Brien dominates.

Spokesman Joseph Burke said: “In 2015 Aidan will be seeking to equal another of Vincent O’Brien’s hauls, that of six Epsom Derby winners, and that appears a formality with Ballydoyle currently housing the first five in the market, headed by 7-1 favourite John F Kennedy.”

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