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Royal Marine ready for mission in QIPCO 2000 Guineas

2 May 2019

Saeed Bin Suroor says his colt should not be judged on his fourth place in the Craven Stakes.

Madhmooon features among the Irish challenge for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Aidan O’Brien is double-handed as he endeavours to take his record haul to ten in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

A final field of 19 has been declared for the colts’ Classic, which carries prize-money of £523,750 and as always launches this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series. It is the biggest field since 2010.

O’Brien’s first on the roll of honour was King Of Kings in 1998 and the Ballydoyle maestro made it nine with Saxon Warrior last year.

The two horses bidding for glory this time are Vertem Futurity Trophy scorer Magna Grecia and Ten Sovereigns – the unbeaten winner of the Middle Park Stakes.

Madhmoon, trained by Kevin Prendergast, is the other Irish challenger.

Leading the home defence are the William Haggas-trained Craven Stakes victor Skardu and Martyn Meade’s Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise, the mount of Frankie Dettori.

There are three Godolphin-owned contenders in Mark Johnston’s Dark Vision, Saeed bin Suroor’s Royal Marine and Charlie Appleby’s Al Hilalee.

Royal marine finished fourth in the Craven Stakes on his return but Bin Suroor said on Thursday: “Royal Marine is better than what he showed in the Craven Stakes. He was too keen that day, then was stuck in behind horses and couldn’t find any room.

“He has come back from the run very well, did his last piece of work on Monday, and will run in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas equipped with a hood for the first time which should help him relax.

“I am sure that there will be a strong pace, which will suit him, and any rain that we happen to get over the next couple of days should also be in his favour.

“Winning the Guineas again would mean a lot. The Classics are the five best races of the year, they are great races to be involved in, and very few trainers get the chance to win them.”

Completing the list are Azano, Emaraaty Ana, Great Scot, Kick On, King Of Change, Momkin, Name The Wind, Set Piece, Shine So Bright, Sporting Chance and Urban Icon.

Click here for a guide to all this year’s leading contenders.