Qipco 2000 Guineas
|Group 1, Newmarket
1m, Class 1
|Saturday 2nd May 2015|
Ante-post favourite Gleneagles tops 34 possibles for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2 following the latest scratching stage.
Godolphin are poised to supplement Territories
Gleneagles won his last five starts only to be demoted after finishing first past the post in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in October.
His trainer Aidan O'Brien has trimmed down his entry to four with Highland Reel, Ol' Man River and War Envoy still standing after the defection of the likes of John F Kennedy after he was surprisingly beaten on his seasonal debut.
Other Irish possibles are Ger Lyons' Cappella Sansevero and Endless Drama plus the Dermot Weld-trained Zawraq.
Elm Park pleased connections as he went through his paces after racing at Newbury on April 18
Galloping with two companions over seven furlongs, the Andrew Balding-trained Racing Post Trophy winner was partnered by Andrea Atzeni and travelled in second before picking up around a furlong out to finish just in front at the line, without being asked any serious questions.
Balding said: "I was perfectly happy with that, as I didn't want to over-do him on that ground. He was a little bit rusty, but he finished off well and hardly had a blow afterwards."
"We are just looking forward to Newmarket, as long as everything is all right. He probably wouldn't run if it was rattling quick, but if it is good ground it will be fine."
Atzeni said: "That ground would have been plenty quick enough for him. I was happy with the way he settled in behind and picked up when the horse from behind came at him.
"I was very impressed and it can only get better."
"It was a very hot renewal of the Greenham, and Estidhkaar ran a super dress-rehearsal," he said.
"He looks every inch a Guineas horse, and he was coming back at the winner at the line, so you'd have to think he would improve again going up a furlong.
"Estidhkaar definitely goes for the Guineas, and the plan is also to send Ivawood.
"Ivawood will improve an awful lot on this first run. He is a big horse who carries a bit of weight, and we have not lost faith in him."
French trainer Freddy Head, sent out Charm Spirit to finish fifth 12 months ago, and is expecting his second 2000 Guineas runner Ride Like The Wind to do himself justice.
"He has done very well since his last race, his work has been good, and I think that he has improved a bit," said Head.
"He is on the same sort of level as Charm Spirit was at this time last year. They are similar horses in that they tend to be a bit keen and if Ride Like The Wind settles better than Charm Spirit did last year, I think that he has a good chance."
"That is why I have given him two runs already this season, to get the freshness out of him before the Guineas."
"I was very happy with his Prix Djebel victory. He settled then quickened well and it was to his credit that he won despite being held up at the back of the field when the pace was slow."
"The undulations at Newmarket won't be a problem for him and although seven furlongs is a good trip for him at the moment, I think that he will stay a mile as long as he relaxes and gets a good run. He needs good or good to firm ground."
Godolphin are poised to supplement their exciting colt Territories following advice from trainer Andre Fabre.
Territories made a sparkling seasonal debut, at Longchamp on April 12, when landing the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau on good to soft ground in most convincing style.
The Invincible Spirit colt has pleased the trainer since. Fabre said today: "Territories has come out of his trial very well and has come on for the run.
"At this stage, a supplementary entry in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket is under serious consideration and we are 90% certain to take that route, subject to the horse continuing to please me.
"We will monitor the weather forecast and going conditions closely as he is a horse who prefers genuinely good ground. He is more likely to get his favoured ground conditions at Newmarket than at Longchamp a week later," Fabre said.
Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (207th Running)
(British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£450,000 added, 3yo only, 1m, Class 1
34 remaining entries
|32212-4||Al Bandar (IRE)||S Crisford|
|1-||Balios (IRE)||D M Simcock|
|14141-8||Belardo (IRE)||R Varian|
|611-||Best Of Times||S bin Suroor|
|71223-1||Bossy Guest (IRE)||M R Channon|
|125314-||Cappella Sansevero||G M Lyons|
|113-||Celestial Path (IRE)||Sir Mark Prescott|
|6511-6||Code Red||W R Muir|
|32113-||Dutch Connection||C Hills|
|31111-||Elm Park||A M Balding|
|1-2||Endless Drama (IRE)||G M Lyons|
|21114-2||Estidhkaar (IRE)||R Hannon|
|1-9||Flaming Spear (IRE)||K A Ryan|
|123-2||Future Empire||S bin Suroor|
|146-4||Glenalmond (IRE)||K R Burke|
|41111D-||Gleneagles (IRE)||A P O'Brien|
|525-16||Hail The Hero (IRE)||D O'Meara|
|211-||Highland Reel (IRE)||A P O'Brien|
|213-1||Home Of The Brave (IRE)||H Palmer|
|1112-3||Ivawood (IRE)||R Hannon|
|11265-1||Kool Kompany (IRE)||R Hannon|
|215-312||Maftool (USA)||S bin Suroor|
|11-2||Make Believe||A Fabre|
|1-3||Moheet (IRE)||R Hannon|
|4112-2||Nafaqa (IRE)||B W Hills|
|11-||Ol' Man River (IRE)||A P O'Brien|
|1462-21||Ride Like The Wind (IRE)||F Head|
|1235-||Room Key||Eve Johnson Houghton|
|223-5||Sinfonietta (FR)||F Chappet|
|1119-||The Wow Signal (IRE)||J J Quinn|
|3250-24||War Envoy (USA)||A P O'Brien|
|1-1||Zawraq (IRE)||D K Weld|