Our in-form tupster has two fancies on the Newmarket Saturday card and takes Aidan O'Brien to land the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
THE five Classic races during the Flat season are always strong tests at their respective distances and, with his stamina assured, MAGNA GRECIA is taken to give trainer Aidan O'Brien a remarkable tenth victory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
While a son of the speed influencer Invincible Spirit, Donnacha O'Brien's mount is out of a Galileo mare and proved very effective at a mile in his final starts as a two-year-old, going under by a neck to Persian King (already an impressive winner this season and likely to start a hot favourite for the French Guineas next weekend) in the Autumn Stakes over the course and distance in October before winning the Verdem Futurity Stakes at Doncaster a fortnight later.
That form looks easily the best on offer over this trip but Magna Grecia will need some luck in running from stall 17 on the notorious stands-side rail as, although it is invariably the best part of the course to be, traffic problems are common.
It is fascinating that the selection has been discarded by stable jockey Ryan Moore in favour of the unbeaten Middle Park Stakes winner Ten Sovereigns, who appears to be held in very high regard.
Perhaps the colt's evident talent can carry him through but there is a stamina doubt as his brilliantly quick sire No Nay Never seems to be passing on that speciality to his stock. The dam of Ten Sovereigns won at a mile and a quarter, and O'Brien seems confident that he will stay but, to these eyes, he looked more of a speed horse here last autumn.
Moore is drawn towards the centre of the course in stall five and, presumably, will seek cover while, out on the wing, is Madhmoon in stall one.
Kevin Prendergast's colt beat the O'Brien-trained Broome (a wide-margin winner this season and now a leading Derby contender) in a Group Two at Leopardstown last September but was beaten at odds-on by Never No More (O'Brien again) on his return over seven furlongs on soft ground early last month.
That winner could be very smart and Madhmoon will almost certainly relish the return to a mile on the likely fast ground.
With much of the British trial form looking a bit underwhelming, the other leading contender could be Dewhurst Stakes runner-up Advertise who, while no match for Too Darn Hot that day, had the smart O'Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck behind him in third.
In the absence of Too Darn Hot, Frankie Dettori has been snapped up for the mount by trainer Martyn Meade and this likeable colt should run well providing he stays the trip which, on pedigree, is questionable as he is by the speedy Showcasing from a family of five to seven furlong runners.
Earlier, Dettori should take all the beating aboard CORONET in the Group Two Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes.
The John Gosden-trained mare, who won first time out last season at York, ran up against the likes of Waldgeist, Sea Of Class and Magical in later starts and, providing she returns with her enthusiasm in place, looks the class act.
Last year's winner Defoe (who beat the re-opposing Red Verdon by nearly four lengths at odds-on) could finish only fourth behind Marmelo (Young Rascal fifth, Communique seventh) in last month's John Porter Stakes at Newbury.
Roger Varian's five-year-old is probably better than that, but had won first time out in his previous three seasons of racing and, given the stable's sparkling form of late, more might have been expected.