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Magna Grecia claims 10th 2,000 Guineas for 'unbelievable' Aidan O'Brien

This was the Irish trainer’s third consecutive 2,000 victory after Churchill in 2017 and Saxon Warrior last year.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien after winning the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes with Magna Grecia.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien after winning the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes with Magna Grecia.
Image: Mike Egerton

MASTER IRISH TRAINER Aidan O’Brien celebrated his 10th 2,000 Guineas success on Saturday when his son Donnacha partnered Magna Grecia to victory in the colts’ classic at Newmarket.

This was O’Brien’s third consecutive 2,000 victory after Churchill in 2017 and Saxon Warrior last year, a feat that was last accomplished in the 19th century.

Magna Grecia, at 11-2, stayed on strongly to comfortably deny 66-1 outsider King of Change, with Skardu at 8-1 in third.

The 20-year-old Donnacha was not even born when his father claimed the mile classic for the first time with King of Kings in 1998.

O’Brien in characteristic fashion deflected any praise directed at him, telling ITV Racing: “This is great for everybody. I’m so privileged to be part of this vast team, guided by ‘the lads’ (Coolmore stud partners Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith).

“It’s great for everybody.”

While O’Brien was being characteristically unassuming his son had no qualms in paying him a glowing tribute.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement for Dad,” said Donnacha. 

“The horses were in great condition coming here and he’s a genius. I just need to learn as much from him as I can!”

Magna Grecia was always racing prominently on the stands side as O’Brien’s other runner, 9-4 favourite Ten Sovereigns, travelled well on the far side on his first attempt at a mile only to fade out of contention in the closing stages.

At the two furlong pole Magna Grecia eased to the front and stayed on strongly to pass the post two-and-a-half lengths clear of King of Change, with the well-fancied Skardu a length-and-three-quarters back in third.

Magna Grecia is expected to skip the Epsom Derby and stick for the time being to a mile with his next race likely to be the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

© – AFP 2019

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