O'Brien confident summer break will see Luxembourg peak for the Arc

Luxembourg had 105 days out between Newmarket and the Curragh

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ryan Moore on Aidan O'Brien's Luxembourg on the way to Irish Champion Stakes glory

Aidan O’Brien is confident Luxembourg’s summer break will ensure he is peaking at the perfect time as the trainer searches for his third victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, writes Tom Masters.

The three-year-old was sidelined for three months after suffering injury when finishing third behind Coroebus in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but comes into the Arc as favourite following victories at the Curragh and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

After receiving the favourable draw of stall eight this morning, his stock will only have improved, with the bookies already moving him in from 4/1 to 7/2.

O’Brien told the Racing Post: “We can (make Luxembourg missing the summer an advantage).

“He was just about ready for his first race at the Curragh and then he was trained harder before the race at Leopardstown.  

“We have not been as hard between Leopardstown and Longchamp, but he seems in great shape - he’s a straightforward horse. 

“Everything’s gone well since and we’ve been pleased with his runs – at Leopardstown he really put his head down and fought to the line.” 

It is the first time that Luxembourg will race at one mile four furlongs on Sunday, showing the quality he has to still be favourite despite stepping up in trip.

Making the trip has always been the plan and O’Brien, who previously won the race with Dylan Thomas and Found, has every confidence his colt will be able to stay on Sunday. 

“We had it mapped out that he’d go for the Guineas and then the Derby,” he added. 

“So we always thought he would stay and that it would really suit him.” 

Sunday’s showpiece race is set to see a fascinating battle between Luxembourg and Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista, unbeaten in two years and recently taking the Yorkshire Oaks ahead of another O’Brien horse, Tuesday. 

But there is a worry among trainers that the quality of the race could be significantly decreased should the going be very soft as it is currently predicted to be. 

O’Brien is one of those trainers who is hoping the ground can improve but he has not considered taking either Luxembourg or his other contender Broome out of the race.

He said: “I don’t think anybody wants extremes [of ground] and we are the same. 

“Hopefully it won’t get too bad, but everybody is in the same boat. 

“He ran on soft in the Vertem Futurity at Doncaster last year, but in an ideal world it would not be too soft.  

“We are not thinking about not running any horses at the moment.” 

We have not been as hard between Leopardstown and Longchamp, but he seems in great shape - he’s a straightforward horse. 

- Aidan O'Brien on Luxembourg

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