Aidan O’Brien says that Kyprios and Statuette will miss the first half of the season. “I don’t think he’ll make the Gold Cup.”
Aidan O’Brien hopes that Emily Dickinson can develop into a live contender for the staying showpiece at Royal Ascot in Kyprios’ absence from June’s Ascot Gold Cup due to injury.
When he was just four years old, Kyprios was the best stayer of 2022, winning all six of his starts, including a historic Gold Cup rerun. He was anticipated to once again dominate the division this year after concluding his campaign with an astonishing 20-length victory in the Prix du Cadran on Arc weekend.
O’Brien had hoped that a joint infection would clear up quickly, so the Gold Cup will come too soon.
O’Brien said: “I don’t think Kyprios is going to make the Gold Cup. He got an inner infection, inside in the joint. It’s an unusual thing for it to come inside the joint. The joint had to be flushed. Then his bloods were still up after it was flushed so that meant there was further infection in the joint and they had to flush it again.
“It’s like one of your own joints, sometimes it takes a while to settle down and that’s where we’re at with them at the moment. It happened a month ago and it’s just not settling down yet. Sometimes those things can settle very quickly and sometimes they don’t.”
When asked who might fill the void left by Kyprios in the staying division for the first half of the season, the master trainer replied: “We were very impressed with Emily Dickinson at the Curragh on her last run. She grew another leg when we upped her to two miles. Broome will be there as well, although I’m not sure whether he will stretch out that far in trip, but we’ll certainly look at Goodwood and the Irish Leger and Melbourne Cup for him. Changingoftheguard could be another, but he will start over middle distances.”
Statuette is another potential Ballydoyle star who will miss the beginning of the season. O’Brien has ruled the unbeaten Justify filly out of the Classic despite being a 6-1 outsider for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas.
He said: “Statuette has had a hold up and I don’t think she’s going to make the Guineas. We’re going to go gently with her. She’ll be back for the second half of the season.”
The Ballydoyle team in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas will now be led by Meditate. She is 100-30 second #1 with Paddy Power behind 11-4 market pioneer Tahiyra.