Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

O'Brien quartet head for Guineas

Magician is one of Aidan O'Brien's team of four for the Irish 2000 Guineas
Magician is one of Aidan O'Brien's team of four for the Irish 2000 Guineas

Aidan O'Brien has declared a team of four as he goes for a ninth triumph in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.

A field of 10 is set to line up for the colts' Classic, with the Ballydoyle trainer responsible for ante-post favourite Magician, Flying The Flag, George Vancouver and Gale Force Ten.

Johnny Murtagh was aboard three of the eight O'Brien winners and he aims to get his training career off to a flying start when he saddles Ask Dad and Fort Knox in the one-mile showpiece.

This race has so far eluded trainer Jim Bolger and the Coolcullen handler tries this time with Trading Leather, having removed his four other possibles.

First Cornerstone, trained in Northern Ireland by Andy Oliver, is set to make his seasonal debut in the Classic after a slight setback forced him to miss the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

Richard Hannon has successfully plundered the Irish 2,000 Guineas three times and the Herridge handler sends a powerful duo in the shape of Van Der Neer, third in the Newmarket equivalent, and Havana Gold, who was fifth in the French version.

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