Aidan O’Brien has confirmed Auguste Rodin will remain in training as a four-year-old.
The Deep Impact colt enjoyed a brilliant three-year-old campaign, winning the Derby at Epsom and following that up with success in the Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes.
He signed off the season with a superb victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf earlier this month, after which there was plenty of speculation over whether he would continue racing or be retired to embark on a stud career, given how valuable he would be as a son of the great Japanese stallion.
However, O’Brien has now revealed he will stay in training at Ballydoyle after being given the go-ahead by the Coolmore triumvirate of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, along with partner Georg Von Opel’s Westerberg operation.
“It’s a big decision and we’re obviously absolutely delighted,” said O’Brien. “The decision has been made to keep him in training and we’re just delighted.
“He covers a lot of bases; he’s a multiple Group One winner over 10 furlongs and a mile and a half, so he’s versatile, so it’s just going to be great to have him again.
“Obviously, the first thing is for him to have a little rest, he had a long season, then we’ll see about where he will start off.”
When asked if a Breeders’ Cup Classic bid would be his ultimate aim next season, O’Brien said: “Obviously, all the races will be open to him and we’ll just see how he gets on.”
Auguste Rodin was the winter ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas and the Derby after notching three wins as a two-year-old, culminating in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.
He flopped in the 2000 Guineas on his seasonal debut, finishing a distant 12th of 14 behind Chaldean at Newmarket, although O’Brien and the Coolmore team retained their faith in him.
That faith proved justified at Epsom as he outbattled King Of Steel under Ryan Moore to claim Classic glory, and he followed that up by winning the Irish Derby from stablemate Adelaide River.
Auguste Rodin’s up-and-down season continued at Ascot in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes when he trailed home last of 10 behind Hukum, but he was back to winning ways when beating another of his stablemates, Luxembourg, in the Irish Champion Stakes in September.
He then rounded off his campaign in style at Santa Anita when, under a superb ride from Moore, he took the honours in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.