22 Jun 2019 - NEWSBLUE POINT DOUBLES UP IN DIAMOND JUBILEE
Arizona hands 9th Coventry Stakes victory to O'Brien
Posted in: Royal Ascot News
Sent off the 15-8 favourite on the back of an impressive eight-length win at the Curragh, his supporters will have been a little worried early on.
Outpaced, Ryan Moore was riding him pretty vigorously from halfway, but the fine stamp of a two-year-old began to eat up the ground inside the final furlong.
Mark Johnston's Makyon had led the field along under Silvestre de Sousa and entering the final furlong was still in front.
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As his stride shortened the Archie Watson-trained Guildsman threw down a challenge before Richard Hannon's Threat, the second-favourite, clicked into gear.
He had no answer to the son of No Nay Never, however, who beat Threat by half a length, with Guildsman a neck back in third.
Speaking after the race, jockey Ryan Moore said: "He's impressed me on all his starts and has a super attitude, he's just not fully switched on yet.
"He'll probably benefit from stepping up in trip a little bit and I think he's a high-class colt.
"He's come out of a maiden, so it was a different tempo today.
"You could only be delighted with what he's done."
O'Brien said: "It's always so competitive here, so to get a winner, you'd be delighted.
"He made great progress from his first to his second run, and progressed again. He was very green today and laboured through the race, but Ryan gave him a great ride and he's a lovely horse going forward.
"We always thought this horse would have no problem getting seven (furlongs) and when they do that, normally they'll have no problem getting a mile next year.
"He has a lovely mind and you'd be delighted with him."
Arizona was cut to as short as 10-1 clear favourite for next year's 2000 Guineas, and O'Brien is confident stepping up in distance will not be an issue.
He added: "He could sharpen up a lot from that, but seven furlongs should be very comfortable to him. He's a fine, big horse and you'd look forward to him next year.
"You'd imagine he'd get a mile. He's probably quicker than he lets on. He's still a baby and when he won at the Curragh we thought if he was eligible for the Chesham we'd have had no problem running him in it."
Hannon nominated the July Stakes at Newmarket as a possible next port of call for Threat, saying: "He is a Group One horse and we can't wait for the rest of the year."
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