Picture : Paddington after his courageous Sussex Stakes victory (Goodwood.com)
Superstar all set for Juddmonte at York
Sam Morgan (The Sun)
THERE was little to suggest an ordinary handicap in Ireland would produce the horse of a generation.
Of the 20 runners that sunny October day last year, only five have ever won a race.
Paddington won £8,000 when seeing off Rochester Mike.
In his next six races he would win £1,636,680.
Rarely has there been such a rapid rise as that of Aidan O’Brien’s star three-year-old.
And that includes the likes of Derby winner Auguste Rodin.
Paddington is the main man now at Ballydoyle, there’s no doubt.
And his trainer has confirmed he is all set for York’s blockbuster Juddmonte next Wednesday.
Already odds-on with Coral, Paddington has turned into a relentless winning machine.
It didn’t look that way when, in O’Brien’s own words, the horse got ‘stage fright’ as a first-time-out two-year-old at Ascot.
Since then he has loved the big occasion, winning four straight Group 1s from 1m to 1m2f and never looking really, really hard pressed in doing so in any of them.
Paddington, by Siyouni, won the Irish 2000 Guineas in May then bagged the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
He saw off Emily Upjohn to win the Coral-Eclipse in July then landed the Sussex Stakes over soft at Goodwood earlier this month.
You wonder where and whether his magnificent winning streak is going to end – or if he will ever get tired.
But he simply looks to love his racing and O’Brien has absolutely no doubts about running him again at the Ebor Festival.
He told At The Races: “He’s an amazing horse really and is progressing from run to run, that’s all he has done all year.
“We thought he was a very good two-year-old, he went to Ascot first time out but he got stage fright and just never performed so we gave him a good break.
“He went to the Curragh after that and won very easily. Because of that we left him alone.
“He was trained for the Classics in the spring but we started as low as we could because we had a lot of horses to get out.
“Ryan Moore was very impressed with him. As you know, Ryan doesn’t say much but he was very impressed with him in the Sussex.
“He would have preferred a lead but there was nobody else prepared to so that was why he went on.
“John Magnier always felt on pedigree he would get a mile and a half.
“He went to the Eclipse for his first run over a mile and a quarter so this is a little bit further on a flatter track.
“It will be interesting to see and we’ll take it race by race with him at the moment.”
Frankie Dettori gets the ride on Mostahdaf, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner whose regular rider Jim Crowley is banned.
While former Derby hero Desert Crown, Bay Bridge, and Andrew Balding’s course and distance winner The Foxes are among the eight set to line up.