International Thoroughbred Racing Editor & Handicapper: Geir W. Stabell 1992 - 2020
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20-1 LOCAL TIME
Looked an absolute freak in Dubai this winter, when she won two classics hard held by wide margins. Local Time ran to GF 112p at Meydan, a mark that puts her right up with the best fillies in the Guineas, and 20-1 is wrong.
Ran a good race when third to Guineas favourite Gleneagles in G1 at Longchamp last year (moved up to second as Gleneagles was demoted). Territories has the benefit of a run this year, and he was visually most impressive when winning a G3 at Longchamp. 6-1 makes him a must
Second best on Globeform ratings, the Florida Derby winner should not be bigger than 7-1 for the Run for The Roses. He was unraced last year, and that will put many off, but this colt produced an unusually high rating to beat Upstart on only his third start.
He has been in a fight - and won it -, he promises to stay the Derby distance, and he is likely to improve again. Several bookmakers offer 12-1.
1,000 GUINEAS (G1)
Newmarket 3 May – 1 mile turf (straight)
117 TIGGY WIGGY (Kodiac)
R Hannon / R Hughes
113p REDSTART (Cockney Rebel)
R Beckett / P Dobbs
112p LOCAL TIME (Invincible Spirit)
S Bin Suroor / J Doyle
112p LEGATISSIMO (Danehill Dancer)
D Wachman / R Moore
111p JELLICLE BALL (Invincible Spirit)
J Gosden / W Buick
111 LUCIDA (Shamardal)
J Bolger / K Manning
109p FADHAYYIL (Tamayuz)
B W Hills / P Hanagan
107 OSAILA (Danehill Dancer)
R Hannon / F Dettori
106 QUALIFY (Fastnet Rock)
A P O'Brien / J O'Brien
105 MALABAR (Raven's Pass)
M Channon / M Harley
102p TERROR (Kodiac)
D Simcock / A Atzeni
100p IRISH ROOKIE (Azamour)
M Meade / F Sweeney
93p QUEEN NEFERTITI (Galileo)
D Wachman / TBA
B: FADHAYYIL, LOCAL TIME
C: JELLICLE BALL, REDSTART
The Rowley Mile - home of Europe's premier mile classics
Galileo - sire of Aidan O'Brien's Guineas contenders
Gleneagles, Highland Reel, Found and Together Forever
2000 GUINEAS PREVIEW & BETS
GLOBEFORM RATINGS & HORSE BY HORSE ANALYSIS
By Geir Stabell
2,000 GUINEAS (G1)
Newmarket 2 May – 1 mile turf (straight)
Probable runners – final field on Thursday
118p GLENEAGLES (Galileo) A P O'Brien / R Moore
116p TERRITORIES (Invincible Spirit) A Fabre / M Barzalona
116 ELM PARK (Phoenix Reach) A Balding / A Atzeni
115 ESTIDHKAAR (Dark Angel) R Hannon / P Hanagan
115 IVAWOOD (Zebdee) R Hannon / R Hughes
112 KOOL KOMPANY (Jeremy) R Hannon / P Dobbs
112 CAPPELLA SANSEVERO (Showcasing) G M Lyons / O Murphy
111 DUTCH CONNECTION (Dutch Art) C Hills / W Buick
109p HOME OF THE BRAVE (Starspangledbanner) H Palmer / J Doyle
109 RIDE LIKE THE WIND (Lope De Vega) F Head / M Guyon
108P INTILAAQ (Dynaformer) R Varian / D O'Neill
107p OL' MAN RIVER (Montjeu) A P O'Brien / J O'Brien
108 CELESTIAL PATH (Footstepsinthesand) Sir M Prescott / L Morris
105p MOHEET (High Chaparral) R Hannon / L Dettori
105 GLENALMOND (Iffraaj) K Burke / K Fallon
104 CODE RED (Bahamian Bounty) W Muir / M Dwyer
102 ROOM KEY (Mount Nelson) E Johnson Houghton / J Fortune
100 BOSSY GUEST (Medicean) M Channon / C Bishop
95 HAIL THE HERO (Galileo) D O'Meara / D Tudhope
A-TO-Z LEADING CONTENDERS
DUTCH CONNECTION, who represents Charles Hills, finished 2 ½ lengths behind Gleneagles when third in the 7-furlong National Stakes (G1) at the Curragh last year. It was a fine way to round off a fine season. The son od Dutch Art broke his maiden at the third time of asking when winning over 7 furlongs at Goodwood in early August, and denied subsequent G2 winner Toocolforschool by a head to win the Acomb Stakes (G3) at York three weeks later. Dutch Connection ran up with the pace in the National, and raced a bit too freely. He led two furlongs out but could not match strides with Gleneagles and Toscanini through the final furlong. Toscanini had previously finished second in three high class juvenile contests, behind Kool Kompany, Richard Pankhurst and Dick Whittington. Dutch Connection has tough gap to close on Gleneagles, not least since the latter improved again after their clash in the National, but the Hills trained colt impressed in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket in mid-April, and he is a live longshot in the Guineas. 25-1 about this colt is not a bad each-way bet.
ELM PARK, who won the Racing Post Trophy (G1) for trainer Andrew Balding last autumn, when he also took the Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) over the Guineas mile, may be more of a Derby horse but he can't be dismissed. Any rain leading up to, or during, Guineas weekend would be most welcome to his connections. He looked quite special when beating Nafaqa by a length in the Royal lodge, and even more so when outclassing Aloft by almost three lengths in the Racing Post at Doncaster – though whether he beat genuine Group One horses is open to debate. Most likely, the answer is no. Elm Park is not certain to line up for the Guineas. His trainer has stated that firm ground may mean a defection for the son of Phoenix Reach.
Update: Elm Park worked with Infantry after racing at Newbury two weeks before the Guineas, and Infantry worked better than him - so it was disappointing to see Infantry finish a well beaten fourth in a Listed event at Ascot on April 29.
ESTIDHKAAR, part of Team Hannon in this mile classic, made a pleasing return to racing action when second, a neck behind Muhaarar, in the Greenham Stakes (G3) over 7 furlongs at Newbury, where the two Hamdan Al Maktoum owned colts drew 4 ½ lengths clear of Ivawood – another Hannon trained Guineas contender. Estidkhaar was always up with the pace and battled on well when Muhaarar came with his winning kick at the business end of the affair. Many reports have said that Estidkhaar was coming back at the winner close home. That was not my impression, and can't make it out on the replays either. What was clear as daylight, however, was that Muhaarar was bumped and lost ground at the start. He may be heading to the French Guineas. Estidkhaar won G2 events at Newmarket and Doncaster last year, when he was also fourth, beaten by Belardo, Kodi Bear and Smuggler's Cove in a somewhat ordinary renewal to the Dewhurst Stakes (G1) here at Newmarket (all three races were over 7 furlongs). He has shown that he has trained on at three, he has experience, and runs for a stable in form, but quite why Estiddkhaar is second favourite for the Guineas is hard to understand.
GLENEAGLES, trained by Aidan O'Brien, was Globeform's top juvenile last year, when he was first past the post in five of his six races. Much like Bob Baffert in California, O'Brien tends to give his young horses an educational – and losing – run first time out, and this was the case also with Gleneagles, who finished fourth at Leopardstown on his racecourse bow. After that it was onwards and upwards with every race. All of his races came over 7 furlongs. After winning a maiden, a Group 3 and a Group 2, he stepped up to Group One company for his last two runs of the year. He impressed on both occasions, to beat Toscanini in the National Stakes at the Curragh and sweep past Full Mast for a half-length win in the Prix Jean Luc Lagardere at Longchamp. Gleneagles was demoted in France, for having cause some interference to Territories (third), but he was much the best, and the form of this race has worked out well. He came from well off the pace to get to the lead going into the final furlong, and ran on really strongly to the line. Full Mast also ran on gamely but was never a real threat. He had won both of his previous races and was coming off a Group 3 win over the same course and distance. Territories, who was a neck behind Full Mast in the Lagardere, was an impressive winner of the Prix de Fontainebleau (G3) this spring. Gleneagles is a very classy colt with a fine turn of foot – he fully deserves to be the Guineas favourite and if he has trained on at three this son of Galileo will be hard to beat. Ryan Moore takes the ride, which is also a big plus.
HOME OF THE BRAVE, a game Free Handicap (LR) winner for Hugo Palmer's in-form team at Newmarket on April 15, may take his chance in the Guineas, where he would need to step up again to make an impact. He is talented, no doubt about that, and priced up at 33-1 many will see him as an alternative each-way bet. He is open to improvement, not just on the track but also in the preliminaries. This Starspangledbanner colt was very immature prior to the Free Handicap, where he was racing off 102 and beat Tupi by 1 ¾ lengths after being given a good front-running ride by James Doyle. The odds-on favourite, Faydhan, was third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths at level weights.
INTILAAQ was deeply impressive when winning a mile maiden on Greenham day at Newbury. Looking like a runner who was bordering on being very fit, he made all and quickened right away from his rivals approaching the last furlong. He won by 8 lengths under a hand ride. The favourite Keble (a Derby entry) was second, with the rest well strung out. Intilaaq beat half of his 14 rivals by 25 lengths or more.
He earned a provisional Globeform 108P, while the official handicappers have given him 97. Well, it must be tempting to run him in a handicap off that mark – but his connections seem keen to supplement him for the Guineas. This son of Dynaformer is the real deal, in my opinion, and hopefully he will go for the Newmarket classic. Bookmakers handed out quotes for the Derby but he probably has too much speed for a mile and a half. The way he raced at Newbury one would have to assume he is a natural miler. His dam, the Orpen daughter Torrestrella, won the French '1000 Guineas'. His sire, although well known for passing on stamina, also sired 1,000 Guineas winner Blue Bunting (from a Linamix mare) and Shadwell Turf Mile winner Purim (from a Lord At War mare), and it is a fair bet that his Kentucky Derby winner Barabaro could have won a G1 over a mile.
IVAWOOD shaped like a sprinter last year, when Richard Hannon saddled him out for impressive wins in the July Stakes (G2) over 6 furlongs at Newmarket and Richmond Stakes (G2) over the same distance at Goodwood. He went straight for an easy Sandown maiden win to the July Stakes, where he beat Jungle Cat by 3 lengths. His runner-up went to the Gimcrack next, and lost by just a nose to Muhaarar, who beat Estidkhaar to win the Greenham this spring. Ivawood was 3-1 favourite at Newmarket and he was hammered right down to 2-5 for the Richmond three weeks later, when he beat Louie De Palma (handicap winner off 79 at Ascot on his previous start, not seen since) by 4 ½ lengths, with Jungle Cat third. Ivawood went off favourite also for the Greenham, run two weeks prior to Guineas day, but was soon under pressure and could manage only third, almost five lengths behind Muhaarar. Ivawood has a lot of speed, and the Guineas mile puts emphasis on stamina – so it's not exactly easy to imagine him winning the classic. He was outstayed over 6 furlongs when narrowly beaten by Charming Thought in the Middle Park Stakes (G1) at this course last autumn.
KOOL KOMPANY enjoyed the run of the race when taking yet another Craven Stakes (G3) for Richard Hannon 16 days prior to the Guineas. The Jeremy colt made all under Richard Hughes, who rode a super race in front. He slowed the pace down, and as a result many of his rivals ended up running too freely or pulling. Kool Kompany, who was beaten 2 ¾ lengths when fifth of six behind Charming Thought in the Middle Park Stakes (G1) last year, kept on gamely while running close to the far side rail, and beat Nafaqa by 1 ¼ lengths. Moheet, another Hannon trainee heading to the Guineas, was 2 lengths further adrift in third, beating Aidan O'Brien's 'sighter' War Envoy by a nose for that place. Runner-up Nafaqa provides a line to Elm Park, as he was a length behind that colt when second in last year's Royal Lodge (G2) – but Nafaqa was very nervous that day. He has matured mentally over the winter, and this line should perhaps not be taken literally.
MOHEET, a smallish son of High Chaparral, was extremely fit when making his seasonal debut in the Craven, where he was third, 3 ¼ lengths behind Kool Kompany, and he does not look like a horse with a lot of scope. He won his only start at two, taking a 7-furlong maiden at Salisbury, and has since been a bit of a 'hype horse'. Trainer Richard Hannon recently stated that he sees him as a Derby contender.
I'm not so sure.
OL' MAN RIVER, another talented colt from Ballydoyle, has been seen mostly as a Derby horse and it would be significant that Aidan O'Brien decides to take him to this Guineas. This son of Montjeu won both of his races last year, but has not run this term. He landed odds of 11-10 when beating Aared by three parts of a length in a maiden on August 31, and was a heavily backed 1-2 shot when following up in the Beresford Stakes (G2) four weeks later - both races were over a mile at the Curragh. He came from off the pace to take the lead inside the final furlong in the maiden, where he proved too good for his 17 rivals. His runner-up, the Kevin Prendergast trained Aared, failed to frank the form in three subsequent starts, but Ol' Man River made nothing wrong himself. He raced more prominently to win the Beresford by 2 3/4 lengths from Galway maiden winner Clonard Street (who was last of six in a French G1 next time out). Battle Of Marathon took third in the Beresford, having finished sixth of seven in the Railway Stakes (G2) on his previous start (5 1/4 lengths behind Kool Kompany).
RIDE LIKE THE WIND, like last year's fifth Charm Spirit, trained by Freddy Head,
is a bit of a dark horse in the mix. He has the profile of rather an exposed horse but shaped well when winning the Prix Djebel (LR) over 7 furlongs on testing ground at Maisons-Laffitte in early April (beating the less experienced Maybe Later by a head).
A son of Lope de Vega, Ride Like The Wind had finished second to another exposed colt, Muqaawel, at Deauville in March. Ride Like The Wind's juvenile form does not make him a strong Guineas contender though. He was beaten almost nine lengths when sixth of nine in the Prix Morny (G1), won by The Wow Signal.
TERRITORIES, sporting the Godolphin blue but trained by Andre Fabre in France, is to be supplemented for this classic. Anyone who saw how easily he justified favouritism in the Prix Fontainebleau (G3) over a mile at Longchamp will understand why. He was visually most impressive on his reappearance run; coming from well off the pace to beat the second favourite Karar comfortably by 2 lengths, with The Commissioner the same margin further back in third. Karar was coming off a 6-length win in a decent newcomers' event at Saint-Cloud, and The Commissioner had two runs and two wins at Deauville under his belt. These two may both have had a fitness edge over Territories but his class made all the difference. This son of Invincible Spirit finished behind Full Mast twice last year but he seems to be a progressive sort. According to his trainer, he needs genuine, good ground.
GLENEAGLES and TERRRITORIES met at Longchamp last year, when Gleneagles proved best, but the French trained colt has agood chance of revenge here - he looked an improved performer when taking the Prix Fontainebleau (G3) on his seasonal reappearance and there should be more to come from this scopey Andre Fabre runner. INTILAAQ looked the best prospect in action during the traditional trials week in England, despite winning only a maiden. The way he won suggested he could have won any of the trials though, and that despite not being fully fit. DUTCH CONNECTION's racecourse gallop at the Craven meeting had quite a bit of spark about it - and he looks the best longshot.