Qipco 2000 Guineas
|Group 1, Newmarket 15:45
1m, Class 1
|Saturday 6th May 2017|
Churchill among 11 O’Brien entries in QIPCO 2000 Guineas
Aidan O’Brien has issued positive bulletins on Churchill and Caravaggio, who dominate the ante-post betting on the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6.
The first Classic of the season launches the seventh edition of the QIPCO British Champions Series and O’Brien has a formidable hand.
Caravaggio, currently second favourite, is set to go straight to Newmarket or tackle the Pould d'Essai des Poulains in what amounts to a change of tack.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien had said he was looking at running the colt in the Listed Patton Stakes over seven furlongs at Dundalk on April 12, before a decision was made regarding Classic plans.
However, speaking on Friday, the trainer said: "We took Caravaggio to Naas on Monday and were happy with what he did there. So we've changed our mind about running him at Dundalk and the plan now is that he'll reappear in either the Guineas at Newmarket or in the French Guineas."
Caravaggio, a son of Scat Daddy, was unbeaten in four starts last season. He has not run since landing the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August and has never raced beyond six furlongs, but that has not prevented him from figuring prominently in the Guineas market, his odds ranging from 5-1 to 8-1.
O’Brien also had news of Churchill, who finished his campaign as the champion European two-year-old following wins in the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes.
“Churchill is good and everything seems to be fine so far with him as well,” he said.
Whitecliffsofdover is not currently entered, but could be added to the field at the supplementary stage on May 1, after he led his rivals a merry dance in the bet365 European Free Handicap at Newmarket on April 19.
Orderofthegarter may also be supplemented following his Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial win on April 8.
Standing in their way could be several sons of the mighty Frankel, who famously won all nine QIPCO British Champions Series races he contested in 2011 and 2012.
Winner of his only start at two, the Martyn Meade-trained colt was sent off at 8-1 in a strong-looking trial.
He only hit top gear on meeting the rising ground and powered clear of Rivet to win by a length and three-quarters.
Frankuus, Seven Heavens and Swiss Storm are also among Frankel's offspring and could figure, although you will get long odds against any making all and obliging by six lengths – as their sire did in the race six years ago.
National Defense heads four French possibles. Runaway winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere last October, his trainer, Criquette Head-Maarek, has an outstanding Guineas record of four wins from just 12 runners, albeit all of her victories have come in the 1000 Guineas.
Head-Maarek said: “National Defense has done extremely well over the winter and worked on the grass for the first time [this year] yesterday (Tuesday). The going was terribly soft but that didn’t seem to be an issue for him and he went nicely.
“He looks really good at the moment – he has put on a lot of weight and has a shiny coat – but he does need some sun.
“I plan to run him in the Prix Djebel over the straight seven furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte on 10th April by which time I hope to have him at about 90 per cent, leaving a little to work on. After that we will decide between the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.”
She added: “Because of sickness last year was a disaster for a lot of trainers and my string was hit really hard, so National Defense made my season by winning a Group 1. But he was affected [by the virus] earlier in the year, just like all the others.
“He is a galloper who does not like to be restrained, otherwise he won’t breath properly, though I would love to see him settle better in behind. I hope Pierre-Charles Boudot will be available to ride him as he knows him very well and has learned that he is not a horse that you can fight.”
Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes
(British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£500,000 added, 3yo only, 1m, Class 1
|41-||Ahlan Bil Zain (FR) 200||3||9-0||D M Simcock|
|11-1||Al Wukair (IRE) 26||3||9-0||A Fabre|
|11-3||Ambassadorial (USA) 24||3||9-0||M Halford|
|7114-||Apex King (IRE) 259||3||9-0||E A L Dunlop|
|1-||Barney Roy 224||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|121-||Best Of Days 224||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|1-2||Big Challenge (IRE) 24||3||9-0||S bin Suroor|
|17-1||Bin Battuta 34||3||9-0||S bin Suroor|
|21||Bless Him (IRE) 35||3||9-0||D M Simcock|
|113-||Boynton (USA) 284||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|1-1||Brittanic (IRE) 115||3||9-0||D M Simcock|
|21-||Cape Byron 199||3||9-0||R Varian|
|1111-||Caravaggio (USA) 272||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1-||Chessman (IRE) 171||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|311111-||Churchill (IRE) 210||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|5219-||Contrapposto (IRE) 196||3||9-0||D Menuisier|
|1-||Cracksman 199||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|1||Dream Castle 34||3||9-0||S bin Suroor|
|11-||Dreamfield 199||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|621-5||Dubai Sand (IRE) 28||3||9-0||J S Bolger|
|1-||Eminent (IRE) 226||3||9-0||M Meade|
|14-||Emmaus (IRE) 198||3||9-0||R Varian|
|117-||Escobar (IRE) 226||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|534118-||Frankuus (IRE) 188||3||9-0||M Johnston|
|431-||Gulliver 210||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|Gustavo Fring (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Spencer|
|21-||Harry Angel (IRE) 231||3||9-0||C G Cox|
|2-7||Inca Gold (IRE) 41||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|23149-4||Intelligence Cross (USA) 24||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|Lahore (USA)||3||9-0||R Varian|
|14522-4||Lancaster Bomber (USA) 42||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|131-||Larchmont Lad (IRE) 226||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|31583-1||Law And Order (IRE) 28||3||9-0||J Tate|
|21-||Leshlaa (USA) 171||3||9-0||S bin Suroor|
|21335-||Lockheed 210||3||9-0||W J Haggas|
|22018-6||Lucky Mistake (IRE) 54||3||9-0||J Reynier|
|214-||Majeste 238||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|21-||Make Time (IRE) 220||3||9-0||D Menuisier|
|1-||Medahim (IRE) 150||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|10126-||Mokarris (USA) 224||3||9-0||S Crisford|
|131-2||National Defense 26||3||9-0||Mme C Head-Maarek|
|1-||Omeros 198||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|142138-||Peace Envoy (FR) 224||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|513-||Pedestal (IRE) 326||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|21151-||Rivet (IRE) 196||3||9-0||W J Haggas|
|111190-||Rodaini (USA) 183||3||9-0||S Crisford|
|12-||Salsabeel (IRE) 239||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|117-||Seven Heavens 210||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|911316-||Sir Dancealot (IRE) 196||3||9-0||D R C Elsworth|
|610-||Solomon's Bay (IRE) 210||3||9-0||R Varian|
|1-||Son Of The Stars 150||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|11162-||South Seas (IRE) 188||3||9-0||A M Balding|
|312-8||Spirit of Valor (USA) 42||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1-1||Spotify (FR) 65||3||9-0||C Ferland|
|71-||Swiss Storm 231||3||9-0||D R C Elsworth|
|11-||Syphax (USA) 262||3||9-0||K A Ryan|
|18-||The Grape Escape (IRE) 196||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|2241-11||Thunder Snow (IRE) 42||3||9-0||S bin Suroor|
|1-||Time Zone 225||3||9-0||P W Chapple-Hyam|
|32-3110||Top Score 42||3||9-0||S bin Suroor|
|1-||Utmost (USA) 207||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|2-4||Venezuela (IRE) 34||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|351-||Via Egnatia (USA) 217||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|331-||Via Serendipity 225||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|61-3||Volatile 63||3||9-0||J Tate|
|121-||War Decree (USA) 284||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|71-1||War Secretary (USA) 24||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|312-||Zainhom (USA) 210||3||9-0||Sir Michael Stoute|
|1-3||Zorion 28||3||9-0||J S Bolger|