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Australia 5-2 for 2000 Guineas after glowing praise from O’Brien

The Flat Turf season is only days away now and leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has fuelled expectations ahead of the 2000 Guineas with high praise for his clot Australia. The chestnut son of Galileo has been rated the classiest flat horse that O’Brien has trained and is reported to be heading straight to the Guineas at Newmarket.

He beat the highly regarded Free Eagle by six lengths on his third and final start as a juvenile. His stable companion War Command is priced at 8-1 despite having won the Coventry Stakes and the Dewhurst as a two-year-old.

The first big betting race of the turf season is the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster on Saturday. Coral currently have four co-favourites in Captain Cat, Gabrials Kaka, Whispering Warrior and Rebellious Guest, all priced at 12-1.

Trainer Richard Fahey had been hoping to run Brae Hill for the fourth year in succession. He has been second, first and third but looks unlikely to make the cut this season.

Stable companion Gabrials Kaka looked promising last season and is fancied by Fahey to run a big race. Rebellious Guest finished only seventh in the Winter Derby on Saturday but did not get the clearest of runs.

Teaforthree remains a clear favourite for the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday week at 10-1. There has been some support for Nicky Henderson’s Long Run into 16-1 and he is proving stronger than Triolo D’Alene at 20-1.

The best-backed outsiders in recent days have been Pineau De Re and Sunnyhillboy. Pineau De Re went in many notebooks when charging through late to finish third in the Pertemps Hurdle final at the Cheltenham festival.

Sunnyhillboy was desperately unlucky to be beaten in a photograph by Neptune Collonges in the 2012 Grand National. He unseated his rider at the last when tailed off last year but won over hurdles at Cheltenham in December.