sport

Lyons happy with Obliterator

Ger Lyons was in no way disheartened by Obliterator's defeat in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday.

The County Meath handler expects him to improve immeasurably for his first run of the season, and just his second in all.

Lyons takes the view his charge will come into his own over middle distances later in the season and it will be the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial or the Dante Stakes at York next.

"Obliterator came out of the race great, he stayed in Newmarket overnight and came home Thursday," said Lyons.

"I've watched it again and if you take the winner out he's beaten the rest easily.

"He'll have learned a lot, we never have ours cooked up first time out and we thought he'd be better off having a race rather than a racecourse gallop at home on ground he wouldn't like, he must have top of the ground this horse.

"It clarified that he's a 10-furlong horse, he'll want that trip as a minimum. He holds all the entries and it will be the Derrinstown or the Dante next. If the ground is nice enough at home he'll run in the Derrinstown, if not he'll go to York

"After that it will be the Irish Derby or Royal Ascot (King Edward VII Stakes).

"His run proved exactly what we thought - he's not a Guineas horse.

"He lost nothing in defeat and I hate having horses that don't improve from their first run.

"Because he won first time out, is related to a Classic winner (Just The Judge), was entered in some big races and is owned by the Sheikh (Fahad) there was a lot of expectancy around him, but we'll go through the gears gradually.

"That was only his second ever run and it came a long time after his first."