Guineas fields announced as Aidan O’Brien looks to dominate

17 colts have been confirmed in the 2000 Guineas field, whilst 18 fillies are in the potential line-up for the 1000 Guineas.

The two opening classics of the British flat racing season take place this weekend at Newmarket and champion trainer Aidan O’Brien dominates both fields, and has the favourites for both.

In Saturday’s 2000 Guineas, Gustav Klimt and Saxon Warrior are the main contenders the from the O’Brien stable as the Ballydoyle trainer bids to win the classic for a ninth time.

O’Brien is already the winning-most trainer in the colts’ Classic and Gustav Klimt, winner of the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on his reappearance, heads his strong team.

Last season’s Superlative Stakes scorer is supported by Racing Post Trophy victor Saxon Warrior, US Navy Flag, who has disappointed twice since landing the Dewhurst Stakes in October, and Murillo.

The British challenge is headed by Craven winner Masar, from Charlie Appleby’s stable, and the Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam.

The latter is a product of two Guineas winners, the mighty Frankel and the brilliant Attraction. He won both his starts last season and looks an exciting prospect.

The Johnston team are also represented by Cardsharp.

Connections of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye are hoping for good ground for the Acclamation colt, who went some way to restoring his reputation following his flop in the Dewhurst when second in the Greenham Stakes.

Greenham winner James Garfield is set to be George Scott’s first Classic runner and the same applies to Roger Teal with Tip Two Win, who chased home Elarqam in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket in September.

John Gosden has left in the unbeaten Without Parole and Roaring Lion, beaten favourite in the Craven.

Completing the prospective field are Headway, Hey Gaman, Nebo, Raid and Rajasinghe.

For the 1000 Guineas, favourite is O’Brien’s Happily and she is one of 18 fillies confirmed for the Sunday classic.

O’Brien’s charge won four of her seven juvenile starts, including successive Group One triumphs in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly.

She disappointed on her most recent appearance at the Breeders’ Cup, but is the general 5/2 market leader to provide O’Brien with a fifth victory in the first fillies’ Classic of the campaign.

The Ballydoyle maestro has whittled his team down to five, with Bye Bye Baby, I Can Fly, Sarrocchi and Sizzling his other contenders. September is a notable absentee.

Charlie Appleby has left in Group One-winning filly Wild Illusion and has supplemented impressive Nell Gwyn heroine Soliloquy at a cost of £30,000.

The Fred Darling winner Dan’s Dream, trained by Mick Channon, has also been added to the field.

With his Ballydoyle yard currently housing the favourites for the 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas and Kentucky Derby, trainer Aidan O’Brien is 14-1 with Coral to complete a remarkable Classic trio this weekend.

The firm go evens that one of the big prizes is won by O’Brien, 5-2 that the winning total is two, and the same price he draws a blank.

Gustav Klimt heads Coral’s betting for the 2000 Guineas at 9/4, Happily is 5-2 market leader for Sunday’s Newmarket fillies’ Classic, while Mendelssohn is 4/1 favourite to become the first European winner of the Run for the Roses on Saturday night.

“The Guineas double is nothing new to the master of Ballydoyle, and as well as having a typically strong hand in both Newmarket Classics, this year Aidan O’Brien has the current ante-post favourite for the Kentucky Derby, so a clean sweep of all three races is far from a long-shot according to our odds,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

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