- Sire-Dam -
Aidan O’Brienyyudcwdwwwydudsbsxdsvvaczs became the first trainer in more than 180 years to win three successive renewals of the QIPCO 2000 Guineas when Magna Grecia galloped home ahead of his 18 rivals in the latest renewal.
Ridden by his son, Donnacha, as Saxon Warrior had been 12 months earlier, Magna Grecia was always going sweetly among three runners who stuck to the stands rail and quickened up smartly to win by two and three-quarter lengths from King Of Change.
There had been doubts about whether Magna Grecia was quick enough to win a Guineas, having won over a mile as a two-year-old, but O’Brien revealed that the team felt the race would really suit him.
“We thought he would get a mile well but he’s developed a lot of speed as well, he stays well but he is starting to travel this yeah so we couldn’t be happier with him,” he said.
“John [Magnier] knows pedigrees like nobody, he’s been putting pedigrees together all his life and he always thought that he would be a miler and I would imagine that’s the route he’ll take now. We discussed it the other night and thought the best route would be the Irish Guineas and then Ascot for the St James’s Palace Stakes.
“The lads put so much work into the pedigrees, day in, day out, and we are so privileged to be part of a massive team that all do such a great job.
“He’s such a lovely straightforward horse, he’s become very pacey, he’s a strong traveller now and is very uncomplicated.
“We were a bit worried that he was up the near side and away from a lot of the other fancied horses but Donnacha got him into a terrific position and into a lovely rhythm.
“He knew the horse, he’s been riding him in all of his work, so I didn’t need to say anything to Donnacha. It looked a well-run race which would have helped him.”
Magna Grecia was a leading fancy for the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh on his next start but was below-par, finishing fifth.
He was found to have suffered a hamstring injury and much better was expected when he reappeared in the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day. However, folded tamely from two out.
O’Brien had a challenging 2018 with a soggy spring at Ballydoyle followed by a virus that affected all his horses.
His juveniles were among those to suffer and it was not until the final day September that we saw Magna Grecia in action.
Under a month later, he had squeezed in three quick runs, won in Group 1 company and established himself as a Classic contender.
A handsome son of Invincible Spirit, out of Galileo mare Cabaret, Magna Grecia went off 2/1 favourite for a 12-runner maiden at Naas on his debut and, never far away, quickened up smartly to thump two more debutants in Mudlahhim and Tranchee.
The placed horses were put away for the season but Magna Grecia was in action only 13 days later when contesting the Group 3 Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes over a mile.
He and Persian Moon, the unbeaten French raider, dominated the betting and the race itself – pulling clear of their six rivals in an exciting tussle.
The more experienced Persian Moon prevailed by a neck but Magna Grecia emerged with his reputation enhanced.
Just a fortnight later, Magna Grecia went off 2/1 favourite for the 11-runner Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster.
The Group 1 contest produced a blanket finish, with little more than a length separating the first five home.
Magna Grecia knuckled down well to win by a head from a solid yardstick in Phoenix Of Spain, with two more O’Brien inmates – Western Australia and Circus Maximus – the next pair home.
His sire’s stock generally fare best at up to a mile.
BCS Career statistics
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