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Kyprios highlights Navan five-timer for Aidan O’Brien

Kyprios emerged as a potential Gold Cup contender after starring in a five-timer for Aidan O’Brien at Navan on Saturday.

Not seen since finishing fourth in the Lingfield Derby Trial 11 months ago, the four-year-old proved too strong for his older full-sister Search For A Song and provided his trainer with an eighth victory in the Vintage Crop Stakes.

Search For A Song, a dual winner of the Irish St Leger, was all the rage as the 6-5 favourite on her first start of the season for Dermot Weld.

But try as she might, she could not reel in 5-1 shot Kyprios, who looked better the further he went under Ryan Moore and passed the post with almost three lengths in hand.

O’Brien said: “We always thought he was going to be very nice. He went to (Royal) Ascot last year and jumped out under the stalls and he hasn’t run since then.

“He looks like a stayer with a bit of class, he relished that trip. We liked him a lot last year and he has done well since then. He relaxes and he quickens.

“If we are going to Ascot, we could have a look at the Saval Beg (at Leopardstown in May). We might not travel him before Ascot, but we will see.”

A tilt at the Commonwealth Cup is on the agenda for O’Brien’s New York City after he doubled his tally for the season in the Committed Stakes.

Although winless in five juvenile starts last season, the Invincible Spirit colt was placed on four occasions and opened his account in some style on his return to action at Navan last month.

New York City after winning at Navan
New York City after winning at Navan (Michael Graham/PA)

Stepping up to Listed class on his return to County Meath, the 5-1 shot was ridden positively by Wayne Lordan and found a bit extra once challenged by 11-8 favourite Straight Answer to prevail by a length.

“He must have been a little bit babyish or something last season, but he is a big, powerful horse now,” said O’Brien.

“We thought he would do plenty last year, but he took until this year to win. He was very impressive again today.

“Wayne said he was still a bit babyish when he got there, but you would like the way he went again.

“The plan will be to go to the Commonwealth. Looking at him you would hope he would get six furlongs.”

Aesop's Fables impressed in the opener at Navan
Aesop’s Fables impressed in the opener at Navan (Michael Graham/PA)

Aesop’s Fables could also be part of the Ballydoyle team bound for the Royal meeting after making a successful debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Ridden by Moore, the 7-4 chance won in the style of a hugely-exciting colt and was cut to 10-1 from 14-1 for the Coventry Stakes by Paddy Power.

“I’m delighted with him, he’d been doing everything lovely at home. He’s a high-class horse who was on the Ascot list from an early stage,” O’Brien added.

“He’s a lovely, big, uncomplicated horse who relaxes and quickens and travels well.

“We’ll see how he comes out of it, but you’d like to give him another run before Royal Ascot and he’d have the option of going to Naas or the Curragh.”

Concert Hall with connections in the Navan winner's enclosure
Concert Hall with connections in the Navan winner’s enclosure (Michael Graham/PA)

Concert Hall came out on top in a thrilling finish to the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes.

Magical Lagoon refused to go down with a fight, but 2-1 favourite Concert Hall claimed the Listed prize by a short head under a power-packed Moore ride.

Betfair cut the winner to 8-1 from 12-1 for the Investec Oaks and O’Brien confirmed a trip to Epsom is likely to be the plan.

“We are delighted with her. She has done well over the winter and she liked the trip,” he added.

“She is out of an Oaks winner (Was) and as she goes up (in trip), she should get better. That’s what she did today and she did well to get through. She has a bit of class.

“She could go for another Oaks trial, or she could go for the Irish Guineas on the way or she could go straight for the Oaks.”

O’Brien ended the afternoon in the best possible way, with the Seamie Heffernan-ridden newcomer Arbutus (12-1) leading home a one-two-three for the team in the concluding Racing Next On Saturday May 14th Maiden.

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