Piggott tips Aidan O'Brien for rare third straight English 2,000 success

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) - Aidan O'Brien will become the first trainer since the 19th century to win three consecutive English 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, predicts a man who won the famous mile classic five times -- Lester Piggott.
The legendary jockey, an 11-time British champion and winner of 30 classics, rode Rodrigo de Triano to the last of his 2,000 winners in 1992.
The Long Fellow, as he was known for his tall frame, now 83, was giving his assessment of this year's race at a preview lunch in Newmarket in midweek.
Also appearing at the function was Piggott's son-in-law, William Haggas, who sends out Skardu, one of the main threats to O'Brien's pair -- Ten Sovereigns and Magna Grecia.
"I think he'll (Skardu) finish in the first four but Aidan O'Brien will probably win it," Piggott told The Racing Post.
O'Brien's unbeaten Ten Sovereigns climbed to the head of the betting at 7-2 on Thursday after three-time British champion jockey Ryan Moore picked him over Magna Grecia (the mount of O'Brien's 20-year-old son, Donnacha).
"Ten Sovereigns is good, very good. Everything seems to be fine with him," O'Brien told The Post.
"Magna Grecia seems to get a mile well and has experience of the track having finished second there last year," added the trainer who sent out Churchill to win in 2017 and Saxon Warrior last year.
"We're pleased with him and also Ten Sovereigns, but we can't be sure about the mile for Ten Sovereigns. The lads always thought he had a chance of getting it but you're never really sure until you try," added O'Brien who has won the colts' classic nine times in total.
All of Ten Sovereigns' three wins have come over six furlongs, and all as a two-year-old, while Magna Grecia is assured of getting the trip having landed a Group One over a mile at Doncaster last autumn.
The one big name missing from the line-up is Too Darn Hot. The John Gosden-trained colt would have been a firm favourite but he skips the classic after a training setback in the spring.
His intended jockey, Italian superstar Frankie Dettori, teams up with Martyn Meade's Advertise, who was second to Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October.
Advertise is quoted at 7-1, around the same odds as Madhmoon, who caught the eye when a promising second in a Guineas trial at Leopardstown last month.
He is trying to give his 86-year-old trainer Kevin Prendergast his second win in the classic, 32 years after his first with Nebbiolo.
"Kevin Prendergast is no tourist," owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's racing manager Angus Gold told The Daily Mail this week.
"He knows a good horse when he sees one and they have always thought very highly of this horse. He will certainly stay and now it is a question of whether he is good enough."
With 19 runners going to post this is the largest 2,000 Guineas field since 2010.
The first classic of the English flat season, which numbers the mighty Frankel and the Piggott-ridden Nijinsky amongst its previous winners, is due off at 1435GMT.


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