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Aidan O’Brien “excited” by Guineas candidate Ten Sovereigns

22 Mar 2019

The master of Ballydoyle also has Newmarket Classics in mind for Magna Grecia and Fairyland.

Ten Sovereigns and Donnacha O’Brien after victory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes. Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.

Aidan O’Brien is “very excited” about Ten Sovereigns ahead of the new season, with the QIPCO 2000 Guineas – the first race of the QIPCO British Champions Series – very much on his radar.

The No Nay Never colt did not make his debut until the end of August, but just over a month later he was a Group 1 winner in the Middle Park Stakes with a Group 3 win sandwiched in between.

While all his victories were over six furlongs, O’Brien believes there is no reason to suggest he will not stay a mile.

Speaking in a stable tour on, O’Brien said: “We have our eye on the 2000 Guineas with him and he hasn’t shown us anything to suggest he won’t stay a mile yet.

“He has the option of having a trial before the Guineas, but going straight there with him is an option too. Looking back on last season with him, he didn’t debut until late-August and he ended up packing his three starts into a five-week period which was a tough ask of him.

“He won his first two races through raw ability, so it was understandable that when he stepped up into a Group 1 that he looked a little bit green in the Middle Park. That race will really stand to him and he learned a lot from it. He’s a horse that you’d have to be very excited about.”

One who could be joining him at Newmarket is Magna Grecia, winner of the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster having gone down narrowly to Andre Fabre’s Persian King in the Autumn Stakes previously.

“We are looking towards the 2000 Guineas with him. I’m not sure whether he’ll run in the trial for it yet,” said O’Brien.

“He’s a lovely, uncomplicated horse to train. He has done well physically over the winter and he looks good and powerful.

“It probably all happened a bit quick for him last season, as it was the end of September by the time he made his debut. We brought him over to Newmarket a fortnight after his maiden as we thought that if he was going to be a Group One horse, he needed another run for experience.

“He ran very well there and came out of it well enough to encourage us to go on to Doncaster a fortnight later. While he won there, he was still babyish enough and you’d hope he’d improve from that again.

“He’s by Invincible Spirit and while he got a mile well at Doncaster, you couldn’t be too bullish as to how far he’ll stay. He’s a horse you’d be excited about.”

Heading up O’Brien’s Classic fillies is Fairyland, winner of four last season, including the Lowther and Cheveley Park Stakes.

“Fairyland is in good form. We are happy with how she did over the winter and the work she has been doing of late. We haven’t decided if she’ll have a trial before it, but the plan is to run her in the 1000 Guineas,” said O’Brien.

“She has never run over further than six furlongs, but we’ve always thought she would get further, so we’ll give her a go at a mile in Guineas and see what happens. She has always been a very straightforward and uncomplicated filly.”