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Aidan O'Brien keen on US recruit Verrazano

Last Updated: 08/02/14 2:47pm

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Magician looks set for a stellar 2014 campaign

Magician looks set for a stellar 2014 campaign

Sky Bet

Aidan O'Brien is looking forward to campaigning top American horse Verrazano this year.

The Ballydoyle trainer believes the former Todd Pletcher inmate can be a formidable force on fast ground.

"He's a massive, big horse and it's exciting for us to get a horse like him," O'Brien told At the Races.

"Obviously he knows all about the dirt. Hopefully it will be exciting what he can do and we can get the fast ground on grass for him.

"He has a lovely laid-back way of racing which should be a help. He could be a horse on fast ground you could relax in there.

"He has a very relaxed mind from what we know about him and has a lovely way of lobbing along."

Verrazano was a leading three-year-old in the United States in 2013 last year, winning two Grade Ones over nine furlongs on dirt.

The More Than Ready colt is owned by Coolmore partners John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith and the intention is to raise his profile in Europe ahead of a career at stud.

O'Brien is also expecting big things from Magician in 2014 after the three-year-old overcame a long absence to end last season on a high.

Winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas in May, the colt was off the track after finishing last in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot before upstaging The Fugue in the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November.

The son of Galileo is versatile in terms of distance, which will give O'Brien plenty of options in the upcoming campaign.

"I suppose anything from a mile to a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half (would be considered)," the Ballydoyle said.

"He's done very well and he's training very well. He's in good shape and is cantering away. Hopefully he'll be exciting.

"It would be great to do what he did last year after having an interrupted year."

O'Brien has high hopes for his three-year-olds and reports Classic contenders Australia and War Command to be in good shape.

"War Command is a big horse and a powerful horse. I think he's carrying loads of weight and is cantering away. He's done well and we're happy with him. He could be exciting," he said.

"Everything's good so far with Australia. I couldn't be happier really."

Both are near the head of Sky Bet's antepost betting at 7/1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket while Australia is the 4/1 favourite for the Investec Derby.

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