air force to regain his wings.
Byline: GRAHAM CLARK
BY GRAHAM CLARK AIDAN O'BRIEN is planning a total rethink with Air Force Blue as he tries to get back on the winning track in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday week.
The War Front colt racked up three successive Group One wins last term to be crowned champion juvenile and was sent off an odds-on favourite to pick up where he left off in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
However, Air Force Blue was never in the race, finishing some 15 lengths behind winner Galileo Gold, and is unlikely to wear the headgear that was applied in the hope of eking out his stamina.
O'Brien, speaking at yesterday's open day in Ballydoyle, said: "I don't think the tongue tie will be left on. Anything I did for the English Guineas, I won't do again as it was a dramatic failure, really."
He added: "You are making calls all the time and sometimes you can make very bad calls. If you think something will make a horse better, I would always rather do it and not be afraid to say it was the call afterwards. Everything we do is in good faith at the time.
"I would imagine the noseband and the tongue tie will be off. It will be interesting. I still won't believe he is going to get a mile until I see it, but I would imagine looking at his work recently he is going to travel very strong early. He wants good ground and he wouldn't run if the ground was soft.
"The Curragh comes at a good time and it sorts out your plans for Ascot. It will be his last chance in a Classic against three-year-olds over a mile. He could make progress to the Curragh and Ascot."
O'Brien is also keen to underline his faith in Investec Derby candidate US Army Ranger despite his slightly uninspiring victory in last week's Chester Vase.
O'Brien said: "I know everyone is knocking this horse, but they shouldn't be. If we hadn't have ran (runner-up) Port Douglas at Chester, the other horse (US Army Ranger) would have been an eight-length winner and would be a very short price for the Derby."
HORSE POWER US Army Ranger, ridden by Donnacha O'Brien, leads Ballydoyle string at yesterday's open day