Ante-post preview and free betting tips for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket May 3rd.
The 2000 Guineas, the first classic of the season, is run over 1m of Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course. For many this race represents the first opportunity to examine how last season’s top two year-olds have developed both physically and mentally over the winter. Despite the current betting markets, this year's renewal looks to be a hugely competative affiar with some of the best horses in training lining-up.
Kingman (6/4 bet365) has had the bookmakers running scared since his rout in the Greenham and some have ducked for cover offering only evens about his chances. The speed figure that he ran to in his trial was mightily impressive. He should handle the course and conditions, but his trainer is under no illusion that he will face ‘a proper test’ in the Guineas. Undoubtedly, he’s easy to back based on his latest performance but the value may lay elsewhere for punters.
The bookmakers were mixed in their reaction to TOORMORE (7/1 Ladbrokes) and his victory in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket. It was hardly a breathtaking performance and some bookmakers remained unimpressed. He made all of the running, a tactic which is probably not ideal, but nevertheless scored under a small penalty and a hands and heels ride from Ryan Moore. The Hannon camp seem really upbeat since that win as Toormoore has never been a horse to rout his opposition, it’s just not his racing style. He’s proven he handles the course, gets a mile, and has solid 2 year-old form in the book, al of which should give him solid claims at an attractive price.
Aidan O’Brien has surprisingly decided to run War Command (9/1 bet365) in the British Guineas as opposed to its French equivalent and the Coventry Stakes winner has duly shortened in the betting. His juvenile season was impressive, the highlight of which was the Coventry victory where he won pulling away over 6f. His season cumulated in beating Outstrip (25/1 Coral) (Godolphin’s sole representative here) in the Dewhurst over 7f. He was given a more serious ride that day and Joseph O’Brien claimed that the ground took its toll. He’s definitely of interest to those looking for an each-way angle into the race and it is worth bearing in mind that he comes via the same route as last year’s winner, Dawn Approach.
Australia (3/1 Betfred) was mostly on the drift after Kingman’s performance and has recently received a Dante entry. He carries all the expectations of a horse that has been dubbed ‘the best I have trained’ by the master of Ballydoyle but with the market having not much to hang on except O’Brien’s word he’s stayed put since Kingman’s Greenham win. One thing’s for sure though, he is good, Aidan O’Brien has sectional timing on his gallops so he, more than anyone, would know. While Australia remains the first string overlook O’Brien’s other contenders at your peril.
Kingston Hill (11/1 William Hill) hasn’t come in for a lot of support and the Racing Post trophy winner has gradually drifted out to fourth in the market. That might be unwarranted as he surely has the stamina to see out the mile well, a lot will depend on his preference for a flat track and if he has the requisite speed needed for this race.
Of the rest, Noozhoh Canarias (16/1 Ladbrokes) was cut promptly after Spain’s representative was named as Christophe Soumillion’s mount for the race. The proven front runner could definitely outrun his odds and find himself a place. Ertijaal (33/1 SkyBet) came in for money after taking the All-Weather championships three year-old race. However the Guineas looks a tall ask for William Haggas’ colt and he may be given time to mature until later in the season so may yet be withdrawn. Hannon has also been upbeat about Night of Thunder (25/1 Coral) and Shifting Power (40/1 SkyBet). The former has had his expectations lowered by Kingman but Shifting Power is a bit of a wildcard after winning a tight handicap at the start of the season.
Overall TOORMORE should appreciate a strongly run race and still represents good value in what looks to be a terrific renewal of the 2,000 Guineas. Connections have primed him well and he looks set to run a big race at a fair price.
TOORMORE (E/W) (7/1 Ladbrokes)
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