Four Aidan O’Brien-trained horses to watch at Royal Ascot

 Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious events in the horse racing calendar, showcasing the finest equine talent from around the world at the iconic Berkshire course.  

Among the trainers vying for glory in the meeting’s most prestigious races, Aidan O’Brien stands out as a formidable force, consistently producing top-class horses that excel on the grandest stage.  

As enthusiasts and punters scour the racing betting while eagerly awaiting the spectacle, here are four O’Brien-trained horses to watch at this year’s Royal Ascot, each with the potential to leave a lasting impression on the historic meeting.  

Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash

Henry Longfellow – St James’s Palace Stakes 

While he didn’t make quite the same impression as his stablemate City Of Troy during their respective two-year-old campaigns last year, Henry Longfellow was still an excellent juvenile performer in 2023.   

Not stepping hoof outside the Curragh, Henry Longfellow got off the mark in a maiden at the County Kildare track in July and he followed up with wins in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes and the Group 1 National Stake to finish the season unbeaten.  

Hopes were high for Henry Longfellow on his seasonal reappearance in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp in May, going off as the short-price favourite before flattering to deceive back in eighth.   

It would be foolish to rule him out entirely on the back of that though, and odds of 5/1 for the St. James’s Palace Stakes could be tempting if you’re looking for Royal Ascot bets 

Kyprios – Ascot Gold Cup  

The Ascot Gold Cup is the feature race of the entire week, and O’Brien has an excellent chance to extend his record in the contest to nine wins with the experienced Kyprios.  

The six-year-old won the 2022 renewal of the Gold Cup by a length and a half from Mojo Star, but he missed out on the defence of his title last year after picking up an injury that left him sidelined for the season.  

Kyprios has been back firing on all cylinders this year, winning at Navan after 189 days off in April before following up in the Group 3 Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown in May.  

He’s priced at evens to regain the Gold Cup at the time of writing, and it’s likely Kyprios will be shorter in the market come race day.  

Opera Singer – Coronation Stakes  

Back to another three-year-old that O’Brien will be hoping can kick on this season, Opera Singer won three of her five races at two — including a Group 3 at the Curragh, when beating her stablemate Brilliant by over six lengths, and a Group 1 at Longchamp.   

She by no means disgraced herself on her seasonal reappearance in the Irish 1,000 Guineas back at the Curragh last month, finishing third behind a very impressive winner in the form of Fallen Angel.  

Opera Singer is currently the 4/1 joint-favourite alongside Fallen Angel for the Coronation Stakes on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot, but it would need to be a special performance to reverse that form on Karl Burke’s filly.  

Continuous – Hardwicke Stakes 

Continuous heads into his fourth season with a mixed bag of results on his race record, which includes four wins in eight attempts.  

However, the 2023 campaign was a career-best year for Continuous as he won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York and Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster before finishing a very respectable fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.  

The four-year-old holds several entries at Royal Ascot, but the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes looks like his most likely destination, currently the 7/2 favourite in the market.  


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