It’s 2000 Guineas day at Newmarket and the ITV racing team are bringing us four races form flat racing’s HQ. There are some old sprinting favourites to display in the Palace House Stakes, Marcus Tregoning bids to continue his fine run of form in the Spring Lodge and can Aidan land a third Guineas in a row?
Marcus Tregoning has his yard in great form at present and looks to have a great chance of another winner with Power Of Darkness here. The son of Power pulled hard and met some trouble on seasonal debut at Newmarket. That was his first run following wind surgery and a gelding operation in the off-season. The lightly-raced four-year-old looks the one to beat and is open to lots of progression.
The Queen is represented by Elector who looked good when winning his maiden on debut. In his proceeding six starts the son of Dansili has failed to add to his tally but off a mark of 93 and on his first start following a gelding operation he should be very competitive.
Al Muffrih has only run three times in a lightly-raced career thus far and has his first start in a handicap here. He’s open to plenty improvement and is worth keeping an eye on.
Others of interest include top-weight Vintager and Ibraz.
Selection: Power Of Darkness
Mabs Cross bids to emulate Sole Power and become only the second horse to win the race twice. Michael Dods sent her out to win this twelve months ago under Paul Mulrennan and ended the campaign with a victory in the L’Abbaye at Longchamp. she is the class horse in the ace and will take plenty beating.
It was Judicial who followed Mabs Cross home last year and actually finished first in his Group. He went on to land a Group 3 which was a career highlight but I think he’ll need to improve again to win this.
The John Quinn-trained El Astronaute was a model of consistency last season, finishing in the first four on all twelve starts. He took a listed race on his final start of the campaign at Maisons-Laffitte but that probably wasn’t the strongest contest. If he’d broken better last month, he’d have won but that being said needs to take another step up to win this Group 3 prize.
If the betting market is anything to go by, then Sergei Prokofiev will be difficult to beat. He finished third in the Coventry at Royal Ascot behind Calyx and although he hasn’t hit any great heights since he was a good winner at Navan in March and could be on an upward curve.
Selection: Mabs Cross
Coronet looks the one to beat on the basis of her three Group 1 seconds last season. John Gosden’s mare has a good record when fresh which was highlighted by a Group 2 win on seasonal debut last season. This looks like the perfect starting point and a good season looks in store.
Roger Varian runs Defoe in this and although the son of Dalakhani didn’t add to his tally following a victory in this race last season, he ran some big races in Group 1 company. He’ll improve plenty from a recent seasonal debut and should prove a big threat to Coronet.
Young Rascal is lightly-raced and has won four of his seven starts thus far by he was a disappointing favourite on seasonal debut in the Surprise Stakes at Newbury. I’m sure he’ll come on for that run but he’ll need to if he’s to trouble the principals.
The 2000 Guineas is the first Classic of the season and although there have been plenty high profile defections in recent weeks, it still looks like a top quality contest. The ante-post suggested that Ryan Moore looked likely to partner Magna Grecia, as he was all the rage last week but contrary to predictions Ryan is aboard the unbeaten Ten Sovereigns.
The Aidan O’Brien trained pair look like the ones to beat and on paper Ten Sovereigns is very likeable having won all three starts over 6f including in the Group 1 Middle Park at Newmarket when last seen. There are major stamina questions to answer for the son of No Nay Never and that is enough of a worry for me to look elsewhere.
Magna Grecia has only been beaten by French star Persian King and was a good winner of the Futurity Trophy over the mile when last seen. Another O’Brien horse Saxon Warrior did the double last year. I think he needs to improve again to live up to that star but he still must go close.
Another Irish-raider is the Kevin Prendergast Madhmoon who was disappointing on seasonal debut at Leopardstown and although the better ground will undoubtedly bring improvement, I struggle to see him being good enough.
I think the each-way value in the race has to be Advertise, who represents the Martyn Meade team. The vibes have been very strong regarding the colt’s chances and I can see why. Advertise was second in the Coventry last year before going on to win the Phoneix Stakes at the Curragh and ended the campaign by finishing runner-up behind Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst. He’s not guaranteed to get the mile but if he does then he should be very competitive.
Selection: Advertise – E/W