Magna Grecia takes Newmarket 2000 Guineas for Aidan O’Brien
Donnacha O’Brien takes the stands side as colt wins the season’s first Classic at 11-2
Donnacha O’Brien and Magna Grecia win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA
Magna Grecia provided Aidan O’Brien with his 10th victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
It is 21 years since the Ballydoyle maestro first won the colts’ Classic with King Of Kings and he has since added to his tally with the likes of Rock Of Gibraltar (2002), George Washington (2006) and the last two winners in Churchill and Saxon Warrior.
This year O’Brien fired a formidable twin assault, with the previously unbeaten Middle Park winner Ten Sovereigns the well-supported favourite under Ryan Moore - and the Vertem Futurity Trophy hero Magna Grecia an 11-2 chance in the hands of the trainer’s son Donnacha.
The field split not long after the stalls opened and Magna Grecia was one of just three horses that raced close to the stands’ rail.
It was clear racing inside the final two furlongs that this trio had a significant advantage over their rivals and once asked to fully extend, Magna Grecia rocketed clear to seal a most impressive success.
King Of Change was the two-and-a-half-length runner-up at 66-1, with Craven winner Skardu (8-1) faring best of those that race in the middle of the track, beaten a length and three-quarters in third.
The winning rider told ITV Racing: “I got a lovely tow into the race, he picked up well and stayed on well.”
The trainer added: “I’m delighted. He’s a lovely horse, he’s developed well over the winter and matured well.
“We couldn’t be happier with him. Donnacha had a lovely position and I’m thrilled for the lads. It’s a massive team effort.
“I’d imagine (a mile) is the route he’d be going. I think the owners were thinking to come here, then the Irish Guineas and Ascot. I’ll have to speak with them, but I’d imagine that’s what they’d be thinking.”