Aidan O’Brien has great chance of 11th QIPCO 2000 Guineas win with leading contenders Auguste Rodin and Little Big Bear

Aidan O’Brien.

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AIDAN O’Brien has won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas 10 times and has a great chance of again winning the first Classic race of the season with leading contenders Auguste Rodin and Little Big Bear.

Auguste Rodin heads the betting at 6-4 (Paddy Power) and has been favourite for the feature race at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Saturday since winning the Group 1Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster last October. He is also the short-priced favourite for the Epsom Derby on June 3.

Stablemate Little Big Bear is currently second favourite (9-2) for the 2000 Guineas after four wins over five and six furlongs, that includes victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last term.

Speaking at a Great British Racing press conference, O’Brien first spoke of Auguste Rodin’s chance:

“The Guineas is a great race and there is only one Guineas,” O’Brien said. “It is a great race to start him [Auguste Rodin] in and we will find out a lot about him.

“If it went well, then obviously the plan was always to go on to the Derby next and if that went well, let’s see what the lads want to do.

“Obviously the Triple Crown (2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger) is a very hard thing to do, but sometime it would be great to do it. He is by Deep Impact, who stayed well, he’s out of a Galileo mare and we are looking forward to it.

“It is a difficult type of horse to find, because they have to have a lot of class and they have to have pace enough to run in the Guineas.

“It is really class that those horses have to have. It’s pure class and class gives them stamina and gives them speed. We just thought that, at the moment, he fits into that bracket really well.”

Of Little Big Bear’s chance O’Brien said: “He is by No Nay Never which is a big influence on speed.

“There is stamina in his dam’s side. He is a big, powerful horse and we saw what he can do over five and six furlongs.

“He’s a horse who won over five furlongs at Ascot and we know what kind of pace and precociousness that takes, and he had it.

“Then he got six and I suppose we were wondering would he get six. He got six and the way he got it, he looked like he would get seven standing on his ear, so obviously we are going to learn a lot.

“He hasn’t run in a long time (August 2022). His work over that distance has been nice and he’s doing everything right, really.”

“He is a very laid-back horse and he doesn’t use any petrol really – only what he needs to use. His temperament is a big advantage.”

On jockey bookings, O’Brien added: “Really, we leave Ryan [Moore] to make up his own mind as late as possible and we never put him under any pressure.

“I suppose when he decides what he is going to ride, then the rest falls into place.

“At the moment we think it will be Auguste Rodin.”

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