horse-racing

A Preview of The 2000 Guineas

May 04, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Saturday’s 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket looks set to field its smallest entry list for at least 22 years after only 12 colts were confirmed for the race on Monday. That has now been cut down to just 10. Despite the low numbers, the first classic of the season promises to live up to its big race reputation through the sheer abundance of quality overshadowing the apparent lack of depth at the starting gate.

First contested on 18 April 1809, the name of this derives from the fact that a prize of 2000 Guineas was originally guaranteed, irrespective of the number of subscribers. The times and purse have changed spectacularly since its humble beginnings with the total purse fund now standing at an impressive half a million quid.

Should there be any more casualties before Saturday’s encounter on the Rowley Mile, it would be the first single-figure field since 1988. Aidan O’Brien is looking for an eighth win in the Classic, which would make him the most successful trainer in the race’s history – ante-post favourite Churchill will be one of four runners representing the Irishman.

Here are a handful of our 2,000 Guineas tips and how we expect this year’s Classic to pan out…

Churchill

Age: 3

Trainer: Aidan O’Brian

Owner(s): Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith & Mrs John Magnier

Recent Results: 1/1/1/1/1

Odds: 5/4

A formidable 2016 saw the two-year-old colt triumph in five of his six races including the Chesham, National Stakes and Dewhurst. Mighty and powerful, Europe’s leading juvenile should be more than capable of staying the course and living up to his pre-race billing. We fancy Churchill to have enough in the tank to edge out Barney Roy.

Barney Roy

Age: 3

Trainer: Richard Hannon

Owner: Godolphin

Recent Results: 1/1

Odds: 7/2

An impressive showing at Greenham saw him comfortably oust Godolphin stablemate Dream Castle by two lengths. The horse will relish the rising ground at Newmarket and the chance to go back up to a mile will further his chances as one of those expected to push Churchill all the way.

Al Wukair

Age: 3

Trainer: Andre Fabre

Owner: Al Shaqab Racing

Recent Results: 1/1/1

Odds: 7/2

The hopes and dreams of France lie with Andre Fabre’s three-year-old. His unblemished record from three includes a rout of the Prix Djebel field at Maisons-Laffittee. Huge potential, but can he deliver another win against the most testing of opposition?

Eminent

Age: 3

Trainer: Martyn Meade

Owner: Sir Peter Vela

Recent Results: 1/1

Odds: 5/1

A son of the legendary Frankel, Eminent possesses the bloodline of success and these genetic attributes have already come to the fore with Martyn Meade’s colt a perfect two for two. Both victories came at Newmarket, with his emphatic Craven win generating a real buzz around one of the main contenders for the 2000 Guineas Classic.

Dream Castle

Age: 3

Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor

Owner: Godolphin

Recent Results: 2/1

Odds: 12/1

Far from the finished article as was evident in his inability to sustain his promising start in the Greenham which saw him sweep to the front before losing out to Barney Roy. Still very much a raw talent, but brings added flair to an exciting shortlist of potential winners. Could Godolphin’s dark horse emerge as King of the classic?

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