Magna Grecia provided trainer Aidan O'Brien with a record-breaking tenth victory in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas.
The Ballydoyle maestro saddled the first two in the betting but it was the lesser fancied Magna Gracia, rather than market leader Ten Sovereigns, who stole the show with a dominant display under Donnacha O'Brien.
In a fractured contest, Magna Grecia (Invincible Spirit) was one of three horses that decided to stick to the stands' rail and it proved the right move because it was clear at halfway that the trio held an advantage. The 11-2 second favorite put his seal on the contest coming out of the dip and forged clear to win by an emphatic two-and-a-half lengths.
O'Brien has now won the last three editions of the Classic while Donnacha has wasted no time in doubling his tally after landing his first 2,000 Guineas aboard Saxon Warrior twelve months ago.
There had been doubts about whether Magna Grecia was quick enough to win a Guineas but O'Brien revealed that the team felt the race would really suit him.
He explained: “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.
“John [Magnier] knows pedigress 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.”
When asked about vanquished favorite Ten Sovereigns, O'Brien added: ““Ten Sovereigns looked like he travelled well but I haven't had the chance to talk to Ryan yet.
“We wanted to give him the chance at a mile but the plan with him was always to go back in trip to sprinting.
“The rain definitely didn't help Ryan's horse, the top was shifting off it, which was a big minus for him, whereas it was fine for the other horse.”
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