The Newmarket 2000 Guineas Picture….
With the first Classics of the season now just a little over a week away, and with the recent forfeit stage complete, we felt it’s time for a quick review of the first Classic of the season, so here are our thoughts on the main contenders for the 2000 Guineas.
2000 Guineas – Saturday 4th May at Newmarket:
With the recent defection of Ante Post favourite Too Darn Hot the 2000 Guineas now has a very open feel about it.
We’ve previously advised Madhmoon Ante Post at 14/1 prior to his reappearance and despite defeat there, he’s currently a very solid 10/1 chance. A winner of both his 2yo races, his victory in the Group 2 at Leopardstown when comprehensively beating Broome is very strong form and that level of performance alone puts him as a major player for Newmarket. The step back to 7 furlongs on soft ground, when giving 3lbs to a race fit rival was never an ideal way to make your reappearance, but it means he’s had the benefit of a run. The return to a mile here on better ground is very much in his favour.
Looking at the market leaders:
Ten Sovereigns is the current 3/1 Fav having won all of his three starts as a 2yo, including the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, when beating Jash by half a length. All his races were over 6 furlong and being a son of American sprinter No Nay Never his stamina for the mile has to be taken on trust. He did finish off the Middle Park pretty strongly and his form is pretty solid, but does come with that stamina question mark.
Magna Grecia is currently 2nd Fav at around 5/1 having finished his 3 race 2yo season with victory in the Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, formerly known as the Racing Post Trophy. He’d previously been a close 2nd to Andre Fabres Persian King who now doesn’t come to Newmarket and in beating Phoenix Spain a head at Doncaster does hold some pretty strong form.
Phoenix of Spain seems to have been over looked considering the close proximity to Magna Grecia at Doncaster, as he’s as big as 25/1 in places. His previous 2nd to Too Darn Hot in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes reads very well and he’s finished closest to that brilliant 2yo. He also won the Acomb at York prior to that pretty comfortably. Reports suggest he’s done well over the winter, but connections are yet to commit to the English Guineas, with the French and Irish equivalents as possible alternatives. If he’s there on the day, he’ll be one to seriously consider.
Back to the market leaders and we have 2 horses from the Craven Stakes at Newmarket both around 7/1 and probably the two you’d take from that race as potential Guineas contenders. Whilst Momkin and Set Piece ran well in that race we’d expect both Skardu and Royal Marine to be more competitive in the big one. As it happens Skardu won the Craven anyway on what was only his 2nd start, having won a maiden impressively on his sole 2yo outing. He travelled well in the Craven and off what seems a slow pace showed a nice turn of foot. A stronger run race will suit better and he’s sure to improve for that effort and experience. Royal Marine did run up to expectations that day, but didn’t help himself early on in the race before staying on nicely. A Group 1 winner in France as a 2yo, he might perhaps prefer a little ease in the ground and that could dictate where he races next.
The proximity of the 2nd and 3rd in the Craven does make you wonder if the form is quite up to the standard to win a Classic.
Calyx has come in for plenty of recent support, especially since the defection of stable mate Too Darn Hot. Just twice raced as a 2yo and not seen since Royal Ascot due to a set-back, we’ll need to wait and see if he lines up on the day. His 2yo form was quite excellent, following a scintillating display first time at Newmarket, he then won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, beating subsequent Group 1 winner Advertise by a length. The concern with Calyx is that he looked like a sprinter and this may be a second thought following TDH’s withdrawal from the race. The vibes we were getting a few weeks ago suggested a sprint campaign was on the cards and having been heavily backed recently a price of around 8/1 is short enough at this stage.
Mohaather, the Greenham Stakes winner has done nothing wrong in winning his final 2yo start in fine style and then showing a nice turn of foot to win the Greenham from a decent yardstick on Great Scott. That’s probably a little below what you’d expect to be good enough to win a Guineas, but no reason why he can’t step forward from that effort. He’s yet to race on quick ground, so connections would be hoping for a little rain at Newmarket between now and then.
Advertise would be the last of the potential winners for us, and he holds some very strong form.
Runner Up to Calyx in the Coventry Stakes, he went on to win the Group 2 July Stakes and then the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes in Ireland, before a fine 2nd to Too Darn Hot in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes. He’ll be making his reappearance in the 2000 Guineas, looked good in a recent gallop at Newmarket and will go to the race with a big chance.
Plenty to look forward too and much will depend on who turns up on the day and what the ground conditions are.
At this stage we’re pretty happy with our Ante Post position with Madhmoon at 14/1 Each Way and are pretty hopefully he’ll take his chance.
We’ll follow up with an in-depth write up of the race on the day.
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