One of the biggest races of the flat season is upon us in the 2000 Guineas, will anyone top Frankel’s performance this year? Probably not no. But nevertheless it should most certainly be a decent spectacle…
I’ll start things off with the Class 2 Spring Lodge stakes. A race over 1 mile and a furlong which is headed by a horse that has got a lot of improving in him for Sir Michael Stoute in Ballet Concerto (11/4). This horse has won three of his last four starts and was only beaten a short head in the other, he took the Spring Mile at Doncaster on his last start when making a surge through the field from mid division and looks a real improver now gelded. Next Stage will possibly be the main threat having won nicely last time out for Saeed Bin Surror however I think the Stoute horse will be hard to beat here.
The 2.20 is the Group 3 five furlong sprint contest and it’s headed by Profitable following his victory in this last year when completing the Palace House/Temple/King’ Stand treble last term, however he wasn’t up too all that much after but a repeat of any of those three runs would see him bang there again. However there’s a few i’d be willing to take him on with as each way selections here starting off with Washington DC (7/1) for AP O’Brien and Ryan Moore, he put in a several big performances last season all round the globe and won a listed event on his return to action last month at Naas suggesting there is more to come again from him this time around. Another I like here is Priceless (8/1) for Clive Cox and Silvestre De Sousa, she has relished a step down in trip to 5 furlongs winning her last two starts over this distance and it wouldn’t at all be a surprise if she was to put another big run in here, well worth an each way chance. Finally one at a big price to maybe consider is Ornate (14/1) for Robert Cowell and Frankie Dettori. This is a bit out there this one, but he performed well when second in a Group 3 at the Craven Meeting here and he just might put another big run in here for his new yard.
This year’s 2000 Guineas is the smallest field it’s been in over 20 years I believe and you could argue the main reason for that is because much of the opposition has been scared off by Churchill for AP O’Brien. He’s the market leader here and rightly so off his exploits last term, he signed off by winning the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in good style, he’s won five of his six starts on the flat and is certainly the one to beat. He’s followed in the market by Barney Roy for Godolphin and Richard Hannon, he looked impressive when seeing off Dream Castle at Newbury last time out and has every chance to serve it up to the favourite. Frankel offspring Eminent comes here off the back of winning the Craven Stakes at Newmarket and seems a very popular choice in the betting market. One I like here though is Al Wukair (4/1) for the French master Andre Fabre. He’s won all three of his starts including the Group 3 Prix Djebel last time out. Fabre has come out and said that he believes that this horse will be in the top three come Saturday so he’s clearly one that’s thought very highly off. Churchill will be very hard to beat here if he brings his A game but at the prices I’d be willing to take him on with the Fabre raider in Al Wukair.