Saturday 1st May 2021
2000 Guineas Preview
Author: Jordan Yates
Welcome to my preview for the first classic of the season which is set to take place at Newmarket this weekend. It’s none other than 2000 Guineas Day and I’m going to be having a look at the big race itself and dissecting this year’s challengers whom reside from both sides of the Irish sea.
We have to start with the Aidan O’Brien raiders and as usual he holds a very strong hand. Ballydoyle are responsible for the current market leader of the race with Wembley who heads affairs at around 7/2 and is consequently the choice of Ryan Moore. He was slightly frustrating in maidens when touched off several times at short odds, one time however to subsequent Group 1 winner Mac Swiney. He’s since progressed after finally getting his head in front when finishing second the last twice in Group 1 company with the latest effort coming here in the Dewhurst, where he finished just under a length behind stablemate St Mark’s Basilica. Also representing the Irish powerhouse is Vintage Stakes winner and Breeders Cup runner-up Battleground, who’s to be ridden by Frankie Dettori. I thought his run the last day in America was a fine effort and in my opinion I actually think he’s the strongest of the O’Brien representatives in this contest, regardless of what happens here I think he’s got a big future. Concluding the O’Brien trio is the Grade 1 winner Van Gogh who’s the mount of Seamie Heffernan, he was last seen when claiming the Criterium in France and is another very smart sort for his all conquering connections, he’s not to be dismissed by any stretch.
The O’Brien stronghold on the race doesn’t quite end there though, as Joseph sends the smart Thunder Moon over, who’s currently trading prominently in the betting at around 9/2. The Zoffany colt got the better of Wembley last season in Group 1 company at the Curragh before just falling short when finishing 3rd in the Dewhurst when going off the 11/4 favourite. When claiming his Group 1 last term in the Vincent O’Brien stakes he showed an impressive turn of foot and if getting a chance to utilise that again he’s got to have a massive chance.
Also representing Ireland we have the Jim Bolger trained Poetic Flare who I’m personally a big fan of. This three-year-old is a lightly raced son of Dawn Approach and made the perfect start to his season when a Listed trial for this race earlier in the month at Leopardstown, Jim is no stranger to success over on these shores and most recently won the Group 1 Vertem Futurity at Doncaster. I think this horse is a lively outsider. Jessica Harrington also sends Lucky Vega to take his chance, currently trading at around 20/1 he has a bit to find against some of his Irish rivals, however, he was a Group 1 winner himself last season when winning the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
Godolphin have also got an unsurprising strong hand to play in the race with as many as three representatives, of which all are trained by Charlie Appleby. There’s probably a bit to be debated on who’s the first string, but William Buick seemingly believes that Master Of The Seas is his greatest chance of a winner here and I have to say that I probably agree with him. The colt by Dubawi actually started his campaign off in Meydan back in February when he was turned over at short odds, however, when much more tuned up on his second outing he won the Craven here last month. One Ruler subsequently is the mount of James Doyle, a smart horse in his own right and a Group 3 winner here back in October when winning the Autumn Stakes. He was last seen when finishing second in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes at Doncaster as the 6/4 favourite. Naval Crown concludes the trio, he actually beat Master Of The Seas in the Listed contest at Meydan, and was only just beaten here in Listed company again last time. It’s likely that this Group 1 company will be a bit too much for him though, but he’s not completely ruled out at a big price.
The home challenge is currently headed by the Charlie Hills trained Mutasaabeq who arrives here sporting an unbeaten record. He was last seen when winning a conditions race by 6 lengths here earlier this month and looks an exciting prospect, he’s currently trading at around the 9/2 mark and will be ridden by Jim Crowley. Chindit is one of my favourite horses in training and he’s set to take his place here following a tough victory in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes a few weeks ago. He was a Group 2 winner last season when winning the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and is around 14/1 for this particular assignment for Richard Hannon and Sean Levey.