Ones to watch in 2000 Guineas
- Credit: PA
The first British Classic of the season takes place at Newmarket on Saturday with the 2000 Guineas the highlight of an excellent card.
The mile event is a Group One contest and boasts an illustrious roll of honour which features some of the sport’s true superstars. They include Sir Ivor (1968), Nijinsky (1970), Brigadier Gerard (1971), Dancing Brave (1986), Nashwan (1989), Sea The Stars (2009) and Frankel (2011).
A total of 15 horses go to post for this year’s renewal and the market leader for the 2021 running is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wembley (7/2) who finished an excellent second in two Group One events at the back-end of last season.
He has been the subject of bullish reports from trainer Aidan O’Brien in the build-up to this event as he attempts to give the Ballydoyle maestro an 11th win in the opening Classic of the year.
O’Brien runs two other contenders in the contest, live at 3.40pm on ITV Racing. Battleground was one of the most exciting juveniles of last term and finished a fine second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his final start as a two-year-old. Van Gogh was a Group One scorer on his final start and looks like the pace angle for the O’Brien triumvirate.
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Godolphin are also well-represented in the race with Charlie Appleby saddling recent Craven winner Master Of The Seas who is the mount of stable jockey William Buick, whilst James Doyle partners the exciting One Ruler who finished second in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster last term, in which he was beaten by Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare who is 16/1 for this race. Appleby’s trio is completed by Naval Crown a 66/1 outsider.
Thunder Moon runs for Joseph O’Brien was a dual winner last term, including when tasting success in the Phoenix Stakes. Third at Newmarket in the Dewhurst on his final run in 2020, he looks a fascinating player.
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Mutasaabeq has emerged as a candidate for the 2000 Guineas, having been supplemented for the race on the back of a smooth six-length win at Newmarket earlier this term.
Elsehwere, Chindit returned to action with a stylish success in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury and is a danger if handling the track, which is the main concern of trainer Richard Hannon. Lucky Vega was talented as a two-year-old and is another to consider.
Legion Of Honour, Devilwala, Mystery Smiles and Albadri complete the 15 runners.
Big-race verdict – Wembley 7/2
Wembley sets the form standard along with One Ruler and they could fight out the finish. Battleground is a fascinating runner and a leading player with Frankie Dettori aboard, whilst Chindit cannot be ruled out given his progressive profile.
However, Aidan O’Brien is quite simply a genius and with Wembley being strong in the market over the last week, he gets the vote.
Betting: Wembley 7/2; Thunder Moon 9/2; Mutasaabeq 6/1; Battleground 13/2; Master Of The Seas, One Ruler 7/1; Van Gogh 10/1; Chindit 12/1; Poetic Flare 16/1; Lucky Vega 20/1; Legion Of Honour 50/1; Naval Crown 66/1; Devilwala & Mystery Smiles 100/1; Albadri 200/1
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