Little Big Bear continues to rise up the ranks after an ultra-impressive win in last Saturday’s Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and is now the clear favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2023. However, before that his trainer Aidan O’Brien has said he’ll now head to the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (11th Sept) at the Curragh on Irish Champions weekend.
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Little Big Bear Romps To 7-Length Phoenix Stakes Victory
It was impressive stuff last Saturday at the Curragh as the Aidan O’Brien-trained LITTLE BIG BEAR powered home to land the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes by a remarkable 7 lengths.
Under jockey Ryan Moore, this exciting 2 year-old was always up with the pace and one-by-one fought off the challenges of Bradsell, who was sent off favourite, plus the Richard Hannon-trained Persian Force.
Run over 6f, the way he pulled clear of the field suggests the step up to a mile next season – and a possible tilt at the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday 6th May 2023 – will be well within range. You can back Little Big Bear @ 5/1 with 888Sport for the 2023 2000 Guineas.
Kieren Fallon told the Racing Post “I think he looks like next year’s Guineas winner. It’s a long way away, but Aidan [O’Brien] is a master and knows exactly how to take them along. If he takes the George Washington route, you could have a very short-priced favourite for next year’s Guineas.”
Where Next For Little Big Bear?
After his superb Phoenix Stakes win on Saturday 6th August, horse racing fans were wondering where next for Little Big Bear?
The Nunthorpe Stakes at the York Ebor Festival (19th Aug) had been one rumour, but his trainer (Aidan O’Brien) expelled this theory on Monday – telling the media the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (11th Sept), run at the Curragh on Irish Champions weekend, will be the main target. After that, it’s all roads to the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket next season.
O’Brien told the Racing Post “I don’t think he could have been any more impressive. He was very impressive in the Anglesey too on the start before, but he was brilliant on Saturday.”
“We’re looking at the National Stakes with him next month, that’s the race we’ve had in mind for a while, and it’ll be onto the Guineas then hopefully.”
Aidan O’Brien Will Be Looking For 12th National Stakes Success
With 11 wins already, O’Brien will be hunting for his twelfth success in next month’s Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes with Little Big Bear, but is still a bit short of the 15 winners the races namesake (Vincent O’Brien) racked up during his career.
Aidan O’Brien’s first win in the 7f Curragh Group One was in 1996 with the Walter Swinburn-ridden Desert King, while his most recent victory in the contest came in 2016 with Churchill.
However, since then, the Charlie Appleby (right) Godolphin camp have won three of the last four renewals, including 12 months ago with Native Trail.
Watch Little Big Bear’s 2022 Phoenix Stakes Romp Again
Trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Has Won The 2000 Guineas 10 Times
Housed at the powerful Aidan O’Brien yard, Little Big Bear will have a trainer that’s won Newmarket’s 2000 Guineas 10 times in the past – most recently in 2019 with Magna Grecia.
If Little Big Bear takes the 2000 Guineas route next season in 2023 he’ll be looking to become the first Phoenix Stakes winner since George Washington (2006), who was also trained by Aidan O’Brien, to follow-up in the Newmarket Classic.
Aidan O’Brien’s 2,000 Guineas Winners – King of Kings (1998), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Footstepsinthesand (2005), George Washington (2006), Henrythenavigator (2008), Camelot (2012), Gleneagles (2015), Churchill (2017), Saxon Warrior (2018), Magna Grecia (2019)
Little Big Bear Now Clear 2000 Guineas Favourite For 2023 Newmarket Race
The head of the betting for the 2023 Newmarket 2000 Guineas is dominated by the Aidan O’Brien and Charlie Appleby stables.
|2000 Guineas (2023) Horse||Latest Odds||Trainer||Bookmaker|
|LITTLE BIG BEAR||5/1||Aidan O’Brien|
|NAVAL POWER||10/1||Charlie Appleby|
|AUGUSTE RODIN||16/1||Aidan O’Brien|
|NOBLE STYLE||18/1||Charlie Appleby|
|HANS ANDERSEN||20/1||Aidan O’Brien|
|BAR THE OTHERS||25/1||–|
All odds correct as of 10:00 BST on Mon 8 Aug and subject to change
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