Western Australia Looks Rock Solid for O’Brien in Feilden Stakes

Aidan O’Brien is yet to win the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket, but that run may be about to end when he sends Western Australia to this year’s renewal. Along with the Nell Gwyn, this is the highlight of the first day at Newmarket, the first of what promises to be three very informative days of racing.

The Feilden is a listed race for three year olds over 1m1f, and seen as a trial for the classics. Whether that is those who drop down a furlong to run in the Guineas or those who use the race as a stepping stone up in trip to run in the Derby and Oaks depends on the horses in the race, and in terms of Western Australia it is not out of the question for him to do both. I think we will learn a lot about him tomorrow, and where his future lies, but eventually I do think we will see him over further than this and heading towards the Derby. He has to show something tomorrow to prove he is a genuine contender for the Derby, but with Aidan O’Brien usually fielding a few runners, you could see him in there as an outsider based on what we have seen from him so far on a racecourse.

Based on two year old form in the book, this is the best horse in the race tomorrow, and either he is going to have to run below that, or the others are going to have to improve to beat him. He has had plenty of runs, certainly more than some of his rivals, so there is little chance of improvement to come from Western Australia, what we have seen is probably as good as we are going to get from him.

He finished second in a listed contest at Dundalk on his seasonal reappearance and while that wasn’t his best form, he will come on for that according to his trainer. That run will give him the fitness edge on most of his rivals, with just one of the other six having had a run already this season. This is often something that plays an important part at the start of the season, and a big reason why I believe Western Australia will win this race.

He may not be the best a few months down the line, but he has rock solid form in the book, the advantage of a recent run behind him, and he is a tough horse who knows his job. There are some nice types in against him, most notably Kadar, who I really like for the future, but as far as tomorrow goes, I think Western Australia will be too streetwise and too fit for him.

This looks a good renewal of the Feilden Stakes, and one that I fancy will finally go to Aidan O’Brien thanks to the solid, if not quite top level, Western Australia.