2000 Guineas Preview

We bring you a preview of the 2000 Guineas – the first of the five British flat classics and one of the oldest races in the world, having been first run on the ‘Rowley’ mile in 1809.

Newmarket is the host of the big event for Colts, and we take a look at the field with our racing expert The Duke and BoyleSport’s Leon Blanche.


There are ten runners to choose from in the 2000 Guineas and I’d focus on the top five in the racecard, with only Lancaster Bomber and Larchmont Lad having slim hopes in the lower half of lists. Let’s take a look in more detail at our five possibles, starting with the race favourite.

Churchill was clearly an excellent two-year-old, he has been favourite with the bookies for months and understandably so. He has won two Group 1s and the yard are saying all the right things, but then they always do. This might be total insanity, but I don’t think he’s beaten all that much? Am I the only one questioning the value of the Group 1s he has won before? I have total respect for the trainer and I wouldn’t call the horse a lay by any means, but he’s too short for me as a betting prospect.

Of the 19 horses that Al Wukair has beaten in his three runs to date, only one has gone on to win since, so it’s pretty difficult to assess that as strong form. He beat a former Group 1 winner, National Defense, in the Prix Djebel in France last month. He came from a position that was ten lengths behind National Defense and swept from last to first to win quite comfortably. He is unlikely to progress in to a middle distance horse, his pedigree is all speed, but he has a reasonable chance of winning the prize for France if he sees out a mile.

The more I look back at the Craven Stakes, the less excited I am by it. Eminent recorded the fastest time in the race for half a century. The clock said “wow” and yet I don’t feel “wowed” by it. Nevertheless, he’s done little wrong and could have more progression to come.

Dream Castle looks like he could be a sprinter rather than a miler. If the race lacks speed in the early stages he could come right in to it at long odds. The application of a first time hood may help him to settle better and at around 16-1 he could be the most interesting horse for each-way punters.

And so we come to the win pick, Barney Roy. This son of Excelebration was bought by Godolphin in March with a view to him running in the top races this season. He justified the decision by winning the Greenham Stakes for the boys in blue a fortnight ago. The big question is whether he can take another step forward to win this. I think he can. He clearly has bags of ability and plenty of scope to improve. With Churchill dominating the top of the betting, the percentages have to be balanced and Barney Roy is truly tasty value.

WIN – Barney Roy
E/W – Dream Castle

THE BOOKIE – BoyleSports’ Leon Blanche

From our prospective it has been a one horse book and all about Chruchill. He of course won the Dewhurst on the same track, a furlong shorter and it was good, good to firm but he has won on everything.

He does everything right, he is not hard on himself but he gets the job done. The most likely win is Chruchill, he goes there without a prep run and Aidan O’Brien knows what he is doing.

Elsewhere, Barney Roy was quite impressive at Newbury when he won the Greenham Stakes for Richard Hannon, and you would have to say that he was very good there.

Al Wukair was an impressive winner in France and he is trained by the master Andre Favre and whenever he sends something over to Newmarket you have to take note.

But the one who I think could pose the favourite the biggest question mark is Eminent. He has won at this race track, son of Frankel and he loves the ground. He was impressive winning the Craven Stakes on course and distance. At 5 or 6/1 against the favourite he might the one to chase home Churchill but I do think he is the one to beat, he has matured well if reports are believed and it will be a shock if he is not in the winners enclosure.

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