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Aidan O'Brien eyeing Champion Bumper glory at Cheltenham Festival with Shield

Jon Wilde in Wed. 15th March 4 Mar 2013
Aidan O'Brien (right) and son Joseph (left) are eyeing Champion Bumper glory at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival with Shield (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

All-conquering Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien and his jockey son Joseph will bid for National Hunt glory at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival next week.

The Ballydoyle duo, who won the 2012 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby with Camelot, are trying to win the Champion Bumper with four-year-old Shield.

Shield won at Leopardstown on Sunday ridden by Kate Harrington in the colours of O’Brien senior’s wife Anne-Marie.

O’Brien has recently started having his first National Hunt runners for over eight years with Shield and Egyptian Warrior representing him in bumpers.

Both have run in the same races at Punchestown and Leopardstown, with Shield finishing fourth before his narrow victory and Egyptian Warrior fifth and ninth under O’Brien’s daughter Sarah.

O’Brien senior said: “Sarah is starting to ride in bumpers now and that's the reason I have a few horses for bumpers.

“Kate gave Shield a great ride and he travelled well and quickened well. He was just about ready to run the first day and ran a bit green. Joseph and the lads got him ready for Punchestown but were forcing him a little bit to get there as he had to finish in the first four to be qualified to enter for Cheltenham.

“I think Joseph is able to get special permission to ride him in the Cheltenham bumper - he inquired about it during the week.

“Shield is a home-bred and by Dylan Thomas, they get better with every year. He is a lovely good-looking horse and I have a few more bumper horses also ready to run.”


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Aidan O'Brien eyeing Champion Bumper glory at Cheltenham Festival with Shield

All-conquering Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien and his jockey son Joseph will bid for National Hunt glory at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival next week.

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