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Aidan O'Brien reports Magna Grecia in top form for QEII mission on Saturday

George Washington is the only horse to have completed the 2,000 Guineas-Queen Elizabeth II Stakes double for Aidan O'Brien, but the master trainer is hoping Magna Grecia can provide him with a belated birthday present by following in his footsteps 13 years later.

O'Brien, who turned 50 on Wednesday, has won the QEII four times in his career, most recently with Minding in 2016, and he reports the brilliant Qipco 2,000 Guineas winner to have fully recovered from the pulled hamstring he suffered in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh in May.

"We are all very happy with Magna Grecia," O'Brien said. "He pulled his hamstring in the Irish Guineas at the Curragh and it has taken a long time for that to settle down. He has been in work for quite a while, though, and everything seems very good with him now. It has all settled down and he seems to be in very good form."

While it might appear a late decision to have a crack at the QEII with Magna Grecia, O'Brien says the race has been on his mind for some time. 

"We had three autumn targets for Magna Grecia. He was going to go to York for the Juddmonte International, but Japan was a bit more forward at the time and took his place.

"He was due to go to the Irish Champion Stakes too, but Magical took that slot. This was the third of his three autumn targets and he has come forward nicely to take his chance this time."

Magna Grecia beat Phoenix Of Spain in the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster last season on good to soft ground at Doncaster, but has never experienced anything as soft as the surface he will encounter at Ascot on Saturday.

"I don't think the ground at Ascot on Saturday will be suitable for any horse but it is the same for everyone and we hope he will cope," added O'Brien.

O'Brien brings a big team to Ascot on Saturday with 13 runners across six races.

He runs four in the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes with son, Donnacha, on board Fleeting. Arc-winning jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has been booked for Pink Dogwood for the first time, while Seamie Heffernan rides Delphinia and Sean Levey takes the mount on South Sea Pearl.

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