Qipco 2000 Guineas
Group 1, Newmarket 15:45
£500,000 added,
3yo only,
1m, Class 1  
Saturday 30th April 2016

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1 Galileo Gold 14/1
2 Massaat 9/1
3 Ribchester 33/1
13 ran Distances: 1½l, 2l, ½l
TIME 1m 35.91s (slow by 0.91s)

Galileo Gold becomes his sire Paco Boy's first Group 1 winner

Galileo Gold was an easy winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas under Frankie Dettori, as Air Force Blue proved an odds-on flop.

Galileo Gold
© Racehorse Photos
Galileo Gold

The 14/1 chance was quickly out of the stalls and took the field along down the centre of the course in the early stages, before taking a lead from Zhui Feng.

Gradually wound up by Dettori, he edged into an advantage two furlongs out and had the race in safe keeping from that point. Once getting the better of Massaat, he cut across to the stands' rail and kept on strongly to beat Owen Burrows' first-ever Classic runner by a length and a quarter with Richard Fahey's Ribchester a creditable third.

Delighted trainer Hugo Palmer was hardly able to believe what he had just seen.

"Masterful ride, willing partner," he said. "I feel so lucky to have him. He's a beautiful, lovely horse, who has just got better and better and better. We have to work with him, not against him, but he's rewarded us.

"Ultimately, I believe the best horse wins the race and it's just the job of the trainer to get him there as best as he can.

"When you come to a race like this you have to have confidence, if not you may as well go somewhere else. If I was going to come here, I was going to believe in it. I've never believed in a horse quite like I believe in this one.

"Frankie was so alert, he said nothing had been coming from behind and that if nothing took us on, he would do it himself and he did."

Asked about the possibility of now heading for the Investec Derby at Epsom, Palmer said: "He's out of a Galileo mare, and my first instinct is that he might stay, but looking at the horses he beat today I don't think any of them are in contention for Epsom.

"He's in the French Derby (over a mile and a quarter) and the St James's Palace Stakes (one mile) and they are the other options but we'll let the dust settle before we rush into any decisions."

© Racehorse Photos

Galileo Gold was cut by Sky Bet to 10/1 for the Investec Derby on the back of the victory, with Massaat a 16/1 chance.

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "This Guineas didn't scream 'Derby trial' but the way Galileo Gold won means we have to give him every respect, should connections be tempted to step him up in trip."

Dettori, winning the race for a third time, 20 years since his first success aboard Mark Of Esteem, added: "I had a lot of faith in this horse. I knew I'd be in the first three. He's a great horse. My main thought was that he stays very well and I knew if I made my may home, he'd gallop on strong.

"It was a great performance from an impossible draw in an impossible race - but it showed what a champion he could be. Everything was against him and he was still much the best."

The jockey, who had admitted that he had been on the verge of retirement until appointed to the role of first-choice rider for Galileo Gold's owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, said he was pleased to justify the confidence shown in him.

"Well done to Hugo and to Sheikh Joann, who I am now starting to repay for what he did," he said.

Air Force Blue was niggled along soon after halfway and had nothing to give from fully two furlongs out. Aidan O'Brien's commented: "Ryan said he just didn't feel like the same horse as last year."

Burrows said he was "chuffed to bits" to finish second. "He travelled well, picked up well, and ran right to the line," added the rookie trainer. "My first thought is that he would certainly get 10 [furlongs], but whether he would get the mile and a half we will have to wait and see."

William Hill Offer Club

Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes
(British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£500,000 added, 3yo only, 1m, Class 1
13 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (1) Galileo Gold 14/1 L Dettori
H Palmer 3
2nd (8) Massaat (IRE) 9/1 P Hanagan
Owen Burrows 3
3rd (3) 2 Ribchester (IRE) 33/1 W Buick
R A Fahey 3
4th (13) ½ Air Vice Marshal (USA) 20/1 J A Heffernan
A P O'Brien 3
5th (4) Kentucky-connection (USA) 100/1 Connor Beasley
B Smart 3
6th (12) ½ Zonderland 33/1 A Kirby
C G Cox 3
7th (10) First Selection (SPA) 66/1 Jim Crowley
S Crisford 3
8th (11) nk Herald The Dawn (IRE) 25/1 K J Manning
J S Bolger 3
9th (2) hd Buratino (IRE) 14/1 James Doyle
M Johnston 3
10th (6) ¾ Zhui Feng (IRE) 80/1 T P Queally
Mrs A J Perrett 3
11th (9) 4 Stormy Antarctic 7/1 G Baker
Ed Walker 3
12th (5) Air Force Blue (USA) 4/5f R L Moore
A P O'Brien 3
13th (7) 1 Marcel (IRE) 8/1 P J Smullen
P W Chapple-Hyam 3

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