News

St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley head Aidan O’Brien’s 2000 Guineas squad

Wed 3 Mar 2021

Dewhurst one-two St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley are among a dozen entries for Aidan O’Brien in this year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The master of Ballydoyle has saddled a record 10 previous winners of the first Classic of the British Flat season – and looks set to be well represented once again on the Rowley Mile.

St Mark’s Basilica saw off stablemate Wembley by just under a length in the Dewhurst in October and the pair could renew rivalry on May 1.

The horse priced up as favourite with several bookmakers is the O’Brien-trained Battleground, who won the Chesham at Royal Ascot and the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last season, before finishing second at the Breeders’ Cup.

However, O’Brien in January raised the possibility of the son of the yard’s Arc heroine Found sidestepping Newmarket and instead being trained with a return to the Royal meeting for the St James’s Palace Stakes as his chief objective.

The trainer’s squad also features unbeaten Derby favourite High Definition and Van Gogh, who won a Group One prize in France at the end of his juvenile campaign.

Other leading hopes among 72 entries for the 2000 Guineas include Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon – not far behind his father’s pair in the Dewhurst – and the Richard Hannon-trained Chindit, who disappointed in the same race having won each of his three previous starts.

The fillies get their chance to shine in the following afternoon’s Qipco 1000 Guineas, for which 63 have been entered.

Ante-post lists are topped by Joseph O’Brien’s Pretty Gorgeous, who won the Fillies’ Mile over the course and distance when last seen.

Shale, who took on Pretty Gorgeous on several occasions last term, could represent Joseph's brother Donnacha, with Curragh maiden winner Santa Barbara perhaps the most interesting of their father's entries.

The home team features John Gosden’s Fillies’ Mile runner-up Indigo Girl, the unbeaten Love Is You from Roger Charlton’s yard, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Saffron Beach and the Andrew Balding-trained Alcohol Free.

Trainers Joseph O’Brien, Andrew Balding and Richard Hannon gave updates on their contenders as the entries were revealed today.

WHAT THEY SAY

Joseph O’Brien - Thunder Moon

Won first two starts, including Group One Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, before finishing third when 11-4 favourite for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes

Thunder Moon has wintered well and we are pleased with where we are. There is plenty of water still to go under the bridge yet but it is exciting to have a live contender for the 2000 Guineas. We were very pleased with the run in the Dewhurst considering the ground on the day. He was posted on a tougher part of the track as there was bias towards the stands rails but we were pleased with him. He is obviously a pretty quick horse on what he has done so far but he shapes as though a mile will be within compass so I don’t see the trip being a problem. I do feel that he will be better on quicker ground as well. It is nice to have had a run at the track previously and that experience there won’t do him no harm. We have the option of running him beforehand but we will decide nearer the time and see how the horse is before making that decision.

Andrew Balding - Youth Spirit

Successful in a seven-furlong maiden on the July Course, he subsequently came home third to Battleground in the Vintage Stakes

He had a setback after the Vintage at Goodwood that is why we didn’t see him for the rest of the year. We are just about to increase the speed of his work. He would be a possibility for the 2000 Guineas.

Richard Hannon – Chindit

Won first three starts, culminating in Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster before finishing down the field in Darley Dewhurst Stakes

I’m very pleased with him and he has done very well. He did just a bit more than a canter a few days ago, him Fancy Man and Etonian all worked and it was a lovely start. Regarding his Newmarket run, the times say that the ground was heavy and it looked it. Chindit will go wherever there is decent ground. If it turns up at Newbury that is where he will go first (Greenham). He had done all his winning on flat tracks at Doncaster and Ascot before Newmarket and I’m not sure he loved the track. He has always been a neat horse with a good action. He is a good horse with a lot of speed. I think he would get the mile in a Guineas and would be suited by that trip as he is a very straightforward, simple horse.

QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS (Group 1) ENTRIES

A Case of You (IRE) 3 9 0 Gary Devlin Adrian McGuinness

Admiral Nelson (GB) 3 9 0 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O'Brien

Akmaam (FR) 3 9 0 Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum Brian Meehan

Albadri (IRE) 3 9 0 Alsharq racing Jane Chapple-Hyam

Albasheer (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum Owen Burrows

Ataser (GB) 3 9 0 Guaymas T. J. Kent

Baradar (IRE) 3 9 0 Amo Racing Limited Roger Varian

Battleground (USA) 3 9 0 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O'Brien

Belloccio (FR) 3 9 0 All for One Racing David Menuisier

Cadillac (IRE) 3 9 0 Alpha Racing 2020 Mrs J. Harrington

Chez Pierre (FR) 3 9 0 Mr R. Jackson Francis-Henri Graffard

Chindit (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Michael Pescod Richard Hannon

Devilwala (IRE) 3 9 0 Amo Racing Limited & Arjun Waney Ralph Beckett

Duke of Mantua (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs John Magnier,Mr M.Tabor & Mr D.Smith Aidan O'Brien

El Drama (IRE) 3 9 0 Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum Roger Varian

Encounter Order (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Abdulla Al Mansoori Ismail Mohammed

Etonian (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs J. Wood Richard Hannon

Existent (GB) 3 9 0 Cheveley Park Stud John Gosden

Fancy Man (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Michael Pescod Richard Hannon

Fundamental (GB) 3 9 0 Cheveley Park Stud John Gosden

Guru (GB) 3 9 0 Lady Bamford John Gosden

High Definition (IRE) 3 9 0 D Smith/Mrs.J Magnier/M Tabor/Westerberg Aidan O'Brien

Highland Avenue (IRE) 3 9 0 Godolphin Charlie Appleby

Hms Seahorse (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O'Brien

Ilza'eem (FR) 3 9 0 KHK Racing Ltd & Shaikh Duaij Al Khalifa Simon & Ed Crisford

Insomnia (GB) 3 9 0 REBEL RACING PREMIER III Richard Spencer

Isle of Sark (USA) 3 9 0 Teme Valley Joseph Patrick O'Brien

Jadoomi (FR) 3 9 0 Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum Simon & Ed Crisford

King Vega (GB) 3 9 0 Apollo Racing & DTA Racing Andrew Balding

King Zain (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Jaber Abdullah Mark Johnston

Laneqash (GB) 3 9 0 Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum Roger Varian

Latest Generation (GB) 3 9 0 Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum Simon & Ed Crisford

Legion of Honour (GB) 3 9 0 Teme Valley 2 Roger Varian

Lucky Vega (IRE) 3 9 0 Zhang Yuesheng Mrs J. Harrington

Mac Swiney (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs J. S. Bolger J. S. Bolger

Master of The Seas (IRE) 3 9 0 Godolphin Charlie Appleby

Megallan (GB) 3 9 0 Mr A. E. Oppenheimer John Gosden

Mehmento (IRE) 3 9 0 Hambleton Racing XLVI & Partner Archie Watson

Merchants Quay (FR) 3 9 0 Mr D. Smith, Mrs J. Magnier, Mr M. Tabor Aidan O'Brien

Method (IRE) 3 9 0 Manton Park Racing Martyn Meade

Military Style (USA) 3 9 0 Mrs John Magnier,Mr M.Tabor & Mr D.Smith Aidan O'Brien

Mithras (GB) 3 9 0 Haras de Saint Pair John Gosden

Mujbar (GB) 3 9 0 Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum Charles Hills

Mystery Smiles (IRE) 3 9 0 King Power Racing Co Ltd Andrew Balding

Nando Parrado (GB) 3 9 0 Mrs Marie McCartan Clive Cox

Naval Crown (GB) 3 9 0 Godolphin Charlie Appleby

Noble Dynasty (GB) 3 9 0 Godolphin Charlie Appleby

One Ruler (IRE) 3 9 0 Godolphin Charlie Appleby

Parchemin (IRE) 3 9 0 Godolphin S.N.C. A. Fabre

Percy's Lad (GB) 3 9 0 JD Partnership Eve Johnson Houghton

Poetic Flare (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs J. S. Bolger J. S. Bolger

Prince Lancelot (GB) 3 9 0 A. Gilibert Fabrice Chappet

Rhythm Master (IRE) 3 9 0 John and Jess Dance Richard Fahey

Rifleman (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs J Magnier, Mr M Tabor & Mr D Smith John Gosden

Rogue Force (IRE) 3 9 0 The Rogues Gallery Tom Clover

Roman Empire (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O'Brien

Royal Air Force (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Edward J. Ware Simon & Ed Crisford

Royal Champion (IRE) 3 9 0 Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum Roger Varian

Royal Scimitar (IRE) 3 9 0 AlMohamediya Racing Clive Cox

Sandhurst (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs John Magnier,Mr M.Tabor & Mr D.Smith Aidan O'Brien

Sayf Al Dawla (GB) 3 9 0 Ms Sally Elizabeth Wall Peter Chapple-Hyam

Secret Protector (USA) 3 9 0 Godolphin Charlie Appleby

Snapraeterea (IRE) 3 9 0 J.P. Farrell Joseph Patrick O'Brien

State of Rest (IRE) 3 9 0 Teme Valley Joseph Patrick O'Brien

St Mark's Basilica (FR) 3 9 0 Mr D. Smith, Mrs J. Magnier, Mr M. Tabor Aidan O'Brien

The Attorney (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr Ziad A. Galadari Charles Hills

The Rosstafarian (IRE) 3 9 0 Middleham Park Racing LXXXVII Hugo Palmer

Thunder Moon (IRE) 3 9 0 Mrs C. C. Regalado-Gonzalez Joseph Patrick O'Brien

Van Gogh (USA) 3 9 0 M Tabor/D Smith/Mrs Magnier/Mrs Nagle Aidan O'Brien

Wembley (IRE) 3 9 0 Mr M. Tabor, D. Smith & Mrs John Magnier Aidan O'Brien

Xaario (FR) 3 9 0 Mr Abdullah Almaddah David Menuisier

Youth Spirit (IRE) 3 9 0 Ahmad Al Shaikh Andrew Balding

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