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Merchant Navy to join Aidan O’Brien team

Group One-winning colt Merchant Navy will join Aidan O’Brien’s string in Ireland to be prepared for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Merchant Navy won the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes for three-year-olds last spring and finished third in Saturday’s Group One Newmarket Handicap over the same 1200m straight course at Flemington.

Owned in a partnership with Coolmore, Merchant Navy has done most of his racing under trainer Ciaron Maher.

More recently he has been prepared by Aaron Purcell while Maher serves a six-month suspension.


“I am very excited by Merchant Navy,” O’Brien said in a Coolmore statement.

“I was very interested to see his run on Saturday and I thought he was unlucky not to win. I love that he can produce a long, sustained burst of speed and the Gr.1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot looks the perfect race for him”.

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is on June 23.

Co-trainer David Hayes has confirmed Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior is also on a path to run in the Diamond Jubilee.

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