(Photo : Horsephoto)
Twelve months ago, Yeats (Ire) (half brother to Summerhill’s promising young sire, Solskjaer) stepped into history, equaling the feat of Sagaro (GB) by winning three renewals of the Gr1 Gold Cup. This time, Susan Magnier and Diane Nagle’s goliath is bidding to create his own legacy, and nearly all of Ascot will be holding its breath as he swings off that final turn once again.
Having made this arena his own since stepping out under Kieren Fallon for the first of those triumphs in 2006, the pride of Ballydoyle has to defy advancing years after he dropped tamely away to a distant sixth in his traditional prep, the April 26 Listed Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.
Like all Yeats’ fans, Aidan O’Brien is just hoping the magic resurfaces. “He’s a year older and wiser than last year, so he minds himself and is clever,” said Aidan O’Brien. “He’s a marvelous horse and one of those unique horses you just sit back and look at each morning. His first run was disappointing, but that was a steadily run race in bad ground and he was still very relaxed in himself. To have him in top gear at that time of the year, it would be very hard to get him to peak again after, so I wouldn’t read that much into it. We think he’s come forward again since then and hopefully, he’ll leave that behind.”