Aidan O’Brien happy with his horses after Del Mar canter

Irish trainer has brought 14 runners to California for Breeders’ Cup meeting

Aidan O’Brien has brought 14 horses to California for the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Del Mar. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Aidan O’Brien expressed his satisfaction after seeing his Breeders’ Cup contenders take to the track at Del Mar.

The Ballydoyle handler has sent a typically strong team of 14 runners to California and each of them stepped on to either the dirt or turf surfaces for the first time on Thursday morning.

Among them were Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Churchill, defending Turf champion Highland Reel and Filly & Mare Turf hope Rhododendron, and O’Brien is generally pleased with their condition.

He said: “They all cantered on the track and they all seem to be fine. I think we’ve got chances of sorts wherever you look.


“There are highs and lows, negatives and positives to be gleaned from what happened this morning, and we’ll know more about that when I speak to the lads.”

O’Brien has enjoyed plenty of success at the Breeders’ Cup over the years, particularly in the Turf, which he has claimed a record six times.

He is paying his first visit to Del Mar, however, and is impressed with what he has seen.

He said: “The track is what’s written on the tin. It’s a lovely place to be, for both people and horses.

“We have a big team and as always we are hoping for the best.”