Dubai: Irish handler Aidan O’Brien won a 10th English 2,000 Guineas to become the first trainer in nearly 200 years to win the first British Classic three times in a row.
O’Brien saddled two of the 19 runners in the mile contest including the 9/4 favourite, Ten Sovereigns, but it was Magna Greica, ridden by his son Donnacha O’Brien, who prevailed in a competitive race.
Madhmoon, ridden by Chris Hayes for trainer Kevin Prendergast, finished fourth and best among a quartet of horses carrying the hopes of Dubai connections.
A Shadwell homebred out of former Epsom Derby winner Dawn Approach, Madhmoon stayed on well inside the final furlong but could not match the leaders for pace.
Madhmoon raced in the colours of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, who won 2,000 Guineas in 1989 with Nashwan and Haafhd in 2004.
Dubai-owned Godolphin sent out three contenders with the Mark Johnston-trained Dark Vision finishing in 12th position and Saeed Bin Surour’s Royal Marine in 13th.
Al Hilalee, representing the Derby-winning team of Charlie Appleby and William Buick was back in 16th place.
O’Brien, whose previous Guineas wins came with Saxon Warrior and Churchill, told ITV Sport. “We couldn’t be happier. It’s incredible. It’s a massive team effort. It’s really exciting.”
“I don’t think people give him enough credit,” said winning jockey Donnacha, who also rode Saxon Warrior to victory in the race 12 months ago.
“He’s a genius and I’m just learning as much from him as I can.”
King of Change was second, two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner, with James Doyle’s Skardu running on for third.
The 2,000 Guineas was first run in 1809.
A clash with the likes of Godolphin’s Blue Point and Hamdan’s Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June looks on the agenda for Mabs Cross who emulated Sole Power to win a second Palace House Stakes, the sprint feature on Guineas day at Newmarket.
“To win the way she did with a penalty — she’s the real deal,” said winning jockey Paul Mulrennan.
“This is extra special as I missed the bulk of last season, but there’ll be plenty more good days in her. She had to do it the hard way here as she was out on a wing — that was a brilliant performance. She’s a very special filly and she’ll come on a lot for that too.”