O'Brien stumped by Magna Grecia flop

Magna Grecia - on target to bid for double
Image: Magna Grecia: Didn't perform at the Curragh

Royal Ascot remains a likely target for Magna Grecia despite his lacklustre performance in Saturday's Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

A cosy winner of the Newmarket Guineas for Aidan O'Brien, Magna Grecia could finish only fifth in the Irish Classic, being beaten nearly six lengths by Phoenix Of Spain.

The Ballydoyle handler could offer no immediate explanation for that eclipse, but indicated a crack at the St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot is still on the agenda, unless something subsequently transpires.

O'Brien said: "Everything seems grand with Magna Grecia. He only went out for a walk this morning, but for some reason he wasn't the same horse as he was at Newmarket.

"Having said that, I wouldn't dream of taking away from the winner in any way.

"We were happy with him going into the race. It was only three weeks from Newmarket so we didn't do an awful lot with him, but he seemed to be fine.

"The plan was that he would run here (at the Curragh) and then go to Ascot so unless something unforeseen comes up, that will probably be where he goes."

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