Excel can do better
Connections face difficult retirement decision
Last Updated: October 21, 2012 1:54pm
Aidan O'Brien revealed that he believes Excelebration is still "on the upgrade" after the four-year-old's impressive victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.
The Ballydoyle trainer confirmed the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on November 3 remains a likely target for the colt who established his position as the champion miler in Europe without Frankel.
"The boys (Coolmore) had it in their head they would go to the Breeders' Cup after Ascot. I think if everything is well, that is the way it is looking," O'Brien told At The Races.
"He has progressed with every run and we have only had him this year so we were experimenting with him a little bit. The beauty is this horse is he is on the upgrade.
"We have learnt a lot about him. He is a very fast horse right up to a mile which he gets well. He shows an awful lot of speed and is a very classy horse."
O'Brien would love Excelebration to stay in training as a five-year-old, but accepts the horse is now such an attractive proposition as a stallion.
"It would be a dream for us (to keep him in training) but obviously we have to be realistic," he said.
"He would be very sought after now for breeding. He has shown form at two, three and now at four and has shown he is very high class at a mile now.
"We would be hoping and dreaming about that, but those are decisions that have to be made. It would be a big decision and I wouldn't be sure."
Excelebration had often tried, and failed, to lower the colours of Frankel and O'Brien said of the Champion Stakes winner's performance: "It was just incredible.
"I suppose we were nervous because when you have a horse that high profile you just hope everything goes right, but that's not always the way," said the Ballydoyle trainer.
"You just hoped for Sir Henry and the Prince (Khalid Abdullah) and everybody involved that it would go right - they have put so much into it.
"Sir Henry has done such a marvellous job with him all the way along.
"It was great for racing that he ran to show what an unbelievable racehorse he is."