AIDEN O’Brien and son Donnacha made it a family affair when winning the first Classic of 2019 on Saturday in the Quipco 2,000 Guineas on Magna Grecia at Newmarket.
“It’s incredible,” said trainer O’Brien, after landing his 10th career 2,000 Guineas win.
Mild mannered Irish ace O’Brien, who also saddled disappointing red hot favourite Ten Sovereigns, said: “I thought Magna Grecia would get the mile well, but he also has the speed.
“The win is down to a massive team effort. I feel most privileged to be part of racing. It’s very exciting.”
Jockey Donnacha said: “I was happy for most of the race and I was proud to be aboard – to win my father’s tenth 2,000 Guineas. I am very lucky to be sitting on Magna Grecia.”
Uae Jewel, tipped by The Leader, landed the Lightning Spear Newmarket Stakes: “It was pleasing in what is only his second race,” said trainer Roger Varian.
“Uae stayed on well coming up the hill and I’m pretty sure he’s a smart horse. I’m sure he’ll improve,” said Varian.
“Uae was impressive – and he’s still learning. He did well, and won decisively,” said jockey David Egan.
RUBY Walsh spoke about his retirement on Saturday, in the wake of riding Kemboy to victory in the Punchestown Gold Cup on May 1.
“There will be no U Turn. I’d made up my mind, that if Kemboy won I would get out,” said Walsh.
Walsh, 39, who turned professional in the 1998-99 season, is the all-time leader in Cheltenham Festival winners – with 59.
Walsh who won the Grand National twice; on Papillon and Hedgehunter, rode for Paul Nicholls, the 11-times British champion trainer, and was stable jockey to Willie Mullins.
“He’s been a fantastic jockey, one of the best ever to ride for us and will always be a friend,” said Nicholls.
“It will be strange without him. He was just a natural,” said Mullins.
“I was very lucky to ride for two of the greatest trainers, in Paul and Willie,” said Walsh, who suffered a broken shin, fractured wrists and hips, cracked elbow, dislocated shoulders and suffered cracked and bruised vertebrae during his career.
“I was so lucky to come across a golden bunch of horses,” said Walsh, who rode more than 2,000 winners.
“Even with a crystal ball you couldn’t have seen how lucky I’ve been. You have a dream and I lived that dream,” said Walsh.
*The Leader winners and each way tips on Saturday included Nowlookatme, Glorious Dane, Solomon Grey, Uae Jewel, Takumi, Beat Le Bon and Volt Face, the latter running second at Uttoxeter at 20-1.
Astro Jakk (8-1) and Inchcolm (9-4) both went down by necks in photo finishes.
The Costa Blanca and Costa Calida Leader racing news and tips Online at www.theleader.info