Racing: Oratorio maintains revival of O'Brien's juveniles

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The Independent Online

Aidan O'Brien struck lucky at Group One level with a two-year-old when Oratorio got up close home under Jamie Spencer in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère.

Fresh from saddling Ad Valorem to win the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Friday, Aidan O'Brien struck again at Group One level with a two-year-old when Oratorio got up close home under Jamie Spencer in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, the race formerly known as the Grand Criterium.

William Hill now go 16-1 about Oratorio for the 2,000 Guineas next May, with Ladbrokes offering the colt at 20-1.

O'Brien has not enjoyed a good season by his standards and said: "It's a big relief for everybody, right to the top, that they are running so well again."

Divine Proportions cemented her position at the head of the betting for the 1,000 Guineas with success in the Prix Marcel Boussac. The victory continued the domination of trainer Pascal Bary and the Niarchos family in the contest following the wins of Six Perfections and Denebola in the last two years.

William Hill and Coral were impressed and make the filly their 4-1 favourite for the Newmarket Classic. But Alan Cooper, racing manager to the owners, did not confirm the Guineas as her target. "It's next May and we've plenty of time to think about it," he said.

Titian Time finished second and her trainer, John Gosden, said: "The winner is exceptional and whatever Guineas she goes for, we'll go for another one."

Jim Bolger's Alexander Goldrun took the Prix de l'Opera to give the Irish a second win and Clive Brittain struck for Britain with Var in the Prix de l'Abbaye.

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