O’Brien-Trained Gustav Klimt Easily Takes 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes

Gustav Klimt booked his ticket for Newmarket in swooping late to bag the Ballylinch Stud 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge had been off the track since winning the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last July, but punters were still keen on his chances, sending him off the 6-4 favourite for the seven-furlong event.

Ryan Moore settled his mount last of the four runners, with stablemate Kenya setting the gallop, and still had plenty of ground to make up when the race-fit Imaging kicked for home in the straight.

But Moore kept his cool and as Gustav Klimt really started to motor, the Galileo colt eventually eased to the lead to run out a cosy length-and-three-quarter winner.

“We’re very happy. Obviously the ground was far from ideal, but it was nice to get a run into him as it’s a long time since he ran. Ryan was very happy with him,” said O’Brien.

“Ryan said he was very impressed with the way he quickened in that ground. He’s a real good-ground horse.

“Newmarket (Qipco 2000 Guineas on May 5) is the plan if everything is well.”

Kenya was an 11-length third, with last year’s champion juvenile U S Navy Flag last of the four, a further two and three-quarter lengths adrift, although O’Brien was not too disheartened.

He added: “We knew he’d hate the ground, but he needed to get out and Donnacha’s (O’Brien, rider of Kenya) horse will stay further.

“U S might go to the Guineas now and he’ll grow another leg between now and then.”

Betfair cut Gustav Klimt to 8-1 from 10-1 for Newmarket and to 10-1 from 14-1 for the Investec Derby at Epsom.

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