🏆Newmarket – ⏱3.35 – 🌦Good – 📏1m – 💰£283,000
The Qipco 2000 Guineas is back for 2018 and it looks set to be an absolute cracker with all the major stables and owners having a crack at the famous prize. The ground is good and the weather is looking that way too, so let’s hope for a scorcher of a race?
(1). Name: Cardsharp – Trainer: Mark Johnston – Form: 3335-9 – Odds: 100/1
Winner of the group 2 July stakes (6f) over this track, he has lost his way slightly and his best form appears to be over shorter. Never one to discount but would have to considerably up his game here to make any major impact especially if trying to make all which is likely.
(2). Name: Elarqam – Trainer: Mark Johnston – Form: 11 – Odds: 11/2
Only the two runs so far in his short career. Made the most striking of impressions on debut and then followed up with another impressive display in a group 3 over this track, both over 7f. Bred to relish this extra furlong and has the ability to play a major role here. Lively one.
(3). Name: Expert Eye – Trainer: Michael Stoute – Form: 119-2 – Odds: 10/1
Impressed on first two starts last season and appeared to have the world at his feet when winning a group 2 here. Form has dipped considerably since, including a luke warm return to action two weeks ago. Could still live up to his early potential so it’s dangerous to right him off, especially at 10/1.
(4). Name: Gustav Klimt – Trainer: Aiden O’Brien – Form: 511-1 – Odds: 3/1
The current market leader (although has been drifting) will be well prepared for this as Aiden O’Brien begins his assault on the leading crowns for the season. Deal of promise the way he swooped home in his return to action last month at Naas but this is much tougher. A tough favourite but one that’s more than beatable.
(5). Name: Headway – Trainer: William Haggis – Form: 1263-1 – Odds: 25/1
Won a decent race on his second start and was highly tried after that. Still ran credibly and then resumed progress when swooping home late in the day to grab a 7f contest at Lingfield on champions day. This extra furling sure to suit and looks a lively contender at a big price.
(6). Name: James Garfield – Trainer: George Scott – Form: 4210-1 – Odds: 20/1
Won a Group 2 and a Group 3 in his last three runs and just edged out Expert Eye and Raid in the Greenham on his return over this course. Dettori retains the ride which is a huge positive, this however looks a step too far and it’s easy to see classier horses in the field. Not without a chance though.
(7). Name: Masar – Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Form: 136-01 – Odds: 4/1
Winner of a group 3 at Sandown last September before a couple dissapointing runs in Chantilly and Meydan over the winter. Hot straight back to form at the Craven meeting, bolting up in the stakes by 9l, hard to oppose on that form but may have been flattered. Godolphins record in this race isn’t the most encouraging either, however he is one of the biggest players in the field.
(8). Name: Murillo – Trainer: Aiden O’Brien – Form: 6133 – Odds: 66/1
The outsider of the Ballydoyle trio who will no doubt be here as a pacemaker for the two big guns. He is a nice looking type who will win races but just isn’t anywhere near the required standard today. Readily opposable.
(9). Name: Nebo – Trainer: Charles Hill – Form: 6321-6 – Odds: 80/1
Progressed nicely as a two year old, which culminated in a group 2 win. Has potential and is the ride of the champion jockey but will have to have come on a lot from dissapointing reappearance where he was behind a couple of these.
(10). Name: Raid – Trainer: David Simcock – Form: 1-4 – Odds: 25/1
Winner of his only start at two. He finished off nicely when closing the gap over 7f on his return. Not far behind James Garfield and Expert Eye. Very promising type and one to keep and eye on this season but this race will have come too soon for him to make any real impact.
(11). Name: Rajasinghe – Trainer: Richard Spencer – Form: 11300 – Odds: 50/1
Boasts some useful form including his win of the Coventry stakes at Royal Ascot. Form did take a dip after that though and it’s hard to be confident in him for this one when he’s not bred for this trip and not had a run this season yet. Readily Discounted.
(12). Name: Roaring Lion – Trainer: John Gosden – Form: 1112-3 – Odds: 18/1
Winner of his first three starts, including a group 2 here at Newmarket. Proceded to give Saxon Warrior a scare in the racing post trophy but then ultimately did not impress when a laboured third on his return in the craven when beaten 10 lengths by Masar. Possible that he could have needed the run and he will most definitely be sharper today. Place claims at 18/1.
(13). Name: Saxon Warrior – Trainer: Aiden O’Brien – Form: 111 – Odds: 10/3
Unbeaten ballydoyle runner who arguably brings the most potential to the field. Won the Racing Post trophy on final start and looks like he could be anything. Concerns are that Aiden O’Briens runners so far this season look to need a run before hitting form, although I’m certain he will be well prepared for this one.
(14). Name: Tip Two Win – Trainer: Roger Teal – Form: 2121-1 – Odds: 40/1
Brings some interesting form to the table and already seems ultra consistent. This his toughest test to date but he did stay on well to score over 7f in a group 3 on his return so this extra furlong looks sure to suit. Probably outclassed but one to keep an eye on.
All in all this will be one of the most interesting Guineas in years, plenty of untapped potential and not a single runner can be readily discounted. Our selection for the race is Elarqam for Mark Johnston and Jim Crowley. Although it has been 24 years since Mark Johnston last won the Guineas, he has held this horse in high regard and I see him as a potential superstar. Only time will tell I suppose. As for the other runners, I see Roaring Lion and Expert Eye to be on the premises and they are good value at double figure odds. Saxon Warrior will be close no doubt and Headway will be the best of the outsiders I think. Let me know what you guys are punting for the big one!
Elarqam is best priced at 11/2 with Betway