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Saturday 24 August 2019

Magna Grecia going for 2,000 Guineas double

Magna Grecia
Magna Grecia

Aidan O'Brien confirmed the Irish 2,000 Guineas route for Magna Grecia (inset) as he detailed plans for several stable stars at the Curragh next weekend.

Magna Grecia will as expected attempt to follow up his Newmarket success in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas, while Magical is set to be O'Brien's main contender in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Hermosa will run in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, en route to the French Oaks, rather than head to Epsom for the Investec Oaks.

"Magna Grecia, Hermosa and Magical are all well and on target for the Curragh next weekend," said O'Brien.

"Everything has gone to plan so far.

"We mapped out the three runs for Magical, with the Tattersalls Gold Cup as her first main target this season.

"It's possible we will have a few more runners in both Guineas. The ones that will be left in are possibles."

O'Brien had a change of heart with Newmarket Classic winner Hermosa.

"We were thinking originally of going for the Oaks with Hermosa - but it's less than a week between the Irish Guineas and the Oaks," he said.

"We decided we'd go to the Irish Guineas, and from there on to the French Oaks.

"The French Oaks is worth nearly twice what the English Oaks is worth, and we thought it would be a nice stepping stone to go from a mile up to a mile and a quarter.

"Happen could also run, along with Just Wonderful, while Fleeting might go for the Oaks.

"Fairyland will be left in and is a possible, but could go back in distance."

Etoile made a winning debut in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies' Sprint Stakes at Naas for Aidan O'Brien.

Ballydoyle interests pre-race had concentrated on Ryan Moore's mount, So Wonderful, who had finished second to Ger Lyons' Peace Charter last time out - and the pair met again.

However, odds-on favourite So Wonderful never looked like threatening - and while Peace Charter stayed on for pressure for Colin Keane, it was Etoile who showed the best turn of foot.

American Lady led against the far rail and held her advantage until deep inside the final furlong - but she had no answer to Etoile, who burst out of the pack in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

The 12-1 chance won by half a length, with Peace Charter second and Celtic Beauty third. The winner was given a 5-1 quote by Paddy Power for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

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