Qipco 2000 Guineas
|Group 1, Newmarket
1m, Class 1
|Saturday 3rd May 2014|
Kingman Heads 73 for 2000 Guineas
Ante-post favourite Kingman features among 73 initial entries for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 3. John Gosden's charge headed the market throughout the winter after notching two impressive wins, rounding off with victory in the Group Three Solario Stakes.
Kingman had to bypass a possible run in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp last autumn due to an ankle problem that required minor surgery, but punters' enthusiasm is undiminished.
Given how well the handler had spoken of the colt and that the horse had been supplemented for the race, it was no real surprise to see him win, but the easy four-length margin was a big surprise.
The 11-runner field looked immensely strong, but the two-year-old shrugged them off to perhaps become a live contender for the 2,000 Guineas.
Trainer Varian said: "He's a lovely mover and I don't think faster ground will be a problem for him. He has a great cruising speed and turn of foot, so you wouldn't rule out the Guineas.
"He'll be in everything and we'll see how he develops over the winter and trains in the spring."
Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (206th Running)
(British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£450,000 added, 3yo only, 1m, Class 1
|1-||Adelaide||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1-||Age Of Innocence||3||9-0||A Fabre|
|1-||Agena||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|16111-||Astaire (IRE)||3||9-0||K A Ryan|
|211-||Australia||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|21-||Baarez (USA)||3||9-0||R Varian|
|125-||Barley Mow (IRE)||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|21-||Be Ready (IRE)||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|24-||Beaumontel (FR)||3||9-0||E Lellouche|
|311-||Berkshire (IRE)||3||9-0||P F I Cole|
|122-||Big Time||3||9-0||John Joseph Murphy|
|1-||Bookrunner (USA)||3||9-0||M Delzangles|
|124322-||Cable Bay (IRE)||3||9-0||C Hills|
|213-||Charm Spirit (IRE)||3||9-0||F Head|
|14-||Due Diligence||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1-||Ebanoran (IRE)||3||9-0||J M Oxx|
|4-||Elusive Guest (FR)||3||9-0||G G Margarson|
|1222-12||Emirates Flyer||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|1-||End of Line||3||9-0||A M Balding|
|21-||Ertijaal (IRE)||3||9-0||W J Haggas|
|Fog of War||3||9-0||G M Lyons|
|11-||Geoffrey Chaucer (USA)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1312-||Giovanni Boldini (USA)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|154-||God Willing||3||9-0||E A L Dunlop|
|41-||Golden Town (IRE)||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|12-||Hors De Combat||3||9-0||J R Fanshawe|
|Idea (USA)||3||9-0||Sir Michael Stoute|
|1-||Indy (IRE)||3||9-0||T D Barron|
|1202-||Invincible Strike (IRE)||3||9-0||J Tate|
|422-||Johann Strauss||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1211-||Karakontie (JPN)||3||9-0||J E Pease|
|11-||Kingman||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|111-||Kingston Hill||3||9-0||R Varian|
|2111-||Kiram (FR)||3||9-0||J C Rouget|
|1-||Lat Hawill (IRE)||3||9-0||M Botti|
|1-||Lightning Spear||3||9-0||R M Beckett|
|21-||Madeed||3||9-0||B J Meehan|
|251-||Master The World (IRE)||3||9-0||D R C Elsworth|
|212-||Michaelmas (USA)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|111001-||Miracle of Medinah||3||9-0||M D I Usher|
|412-||Mustajeeb||3||9-0||D K Weld|
|2-||Mutakayyef||3||9-0||W J Haggas|
|1-||Muwaary||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|01-||Naadirr (IRE)||3||9-0||M Botti|
|11-||Night Of Thunder (IRE)||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|21320-||No Leaf Clover (IRE)||3||9-0||Ollie Pears|
|1112-||Noozhoh Canarias (SPA)||3||9-0||E leon Penate|
|1-||Obliterator (IRE)||3||9-0||G M Lyons|
|612212-||Oklahoma City||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1233-||Parbold (IRE)||3||9-0||R A Fahey|
|1-||Patentar (FR)||3||9-0||M Botti|
|512-||Postponed (IRE)||3||9-0||L M Cumani|
|31-||Scotland (GER)||3||9-0||A M Balding|
|10-||Shankly||3||9-0||C G Cox|
|11-||Shifting Power||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|1343-||Sir John Hawkins (USA)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|31-||Snow Trouble (USA)||3||9-0||M P Tregoning|
|142120-||Somewhat (USA)||3||9-0||M Johnston|
|42135-||Stormardal (IRE)||3||9-0||I Mohammed|
|311125-||Sudirman (USA)||3||9-0||David Wachman|
|2-||Sufranel (IRE)||3||9-0||M Botti|
|1220-||The Grey Gatsby (IRE)||3||9-0||K A Ryan|
|5211-||Toast Of New York (USA)||3||9-0||J A Osborne|
|111-||Toormore (IRE)||3||9-0||R Hannon|
|21-||True Story||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|313-||Voice of A Leader (IRE)||3||9-0||P W Chapple-Hyam|
|11311-||War Command (USA)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|21-||Windfast (IRE)||3||9-0||B J Meehan|
|112312-||Rizeena (IRE)||3||8-11||C E Brittain|
Trainer Enrique Leon wants to run the colt, who has Group One-placed form and just one defeat in four career starts.
An eased-down three length winner of a Listed race at Bordeaux, the son of Caradak posted a career-best effort on his final start of 2013 when second to Karakontie in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in October.
Leon spent two years working for Newmarket trainer James Fanshawe and rode the five-times Group One winner, Soviet Song, when she was being prepared for the 2003 renewal of the 1000 Guineas, in which she finished fourth.
He said: "The prospect of becoming the first Spanish trainer to have a Guineas runner is a huge feeling and I am very excited about the opportunity to go back to Newmarket.
Australia created a massive impression when demolishing the highly-touted Free Eagle in the ICON Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial Stakes at Leopardstown on September 7.
The son of Galileo, out of Ouija Board, stormed past the 2-5 favourite in some style a furlong out to win as he liked in the hands of Joseph O'Brien. The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt, sent off at 5-2, went on to score by six lengths.
His trainer said: "You have to be delighted with that. We always thought the world of him, even the lads thought the world of him when they bought him at the sales. He could run again, he doesn't have to as he's had three runs and learned plenty. It was lovely to drop him in today in a nice race and he had to come around them and quicken up."
Richard Hannon's unbeaten juvenile Toormore was crowned last year's champion two-year-old in the European Thoroughbred Rankings.
Owned by Middleham Park Racing, Toormore won each of his three starts in 2013, completing his hat-trick with a most impressive display in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh in September.
He ended his juvenile campaign with a top rating of 122.
The son of Arakan is now officially in the care of Hannon's son, Richard junior, who took over the licence on New Year's Day.
Toormore is rated 2lb below Dawn Approach's mark of 124 when he was crowned champion juvenile after winning each of his six starts at two in 2012.
Outstrip and Giovanni Boldini, who were first and second in the Santa Anita Grade One, were beaten by Toormore in the Vintage Stakes and National Stakes respectively.
While that pair were in action, Toormore is now in his winter quarters after being put away for the season. He ended 21013 undefeated after taking his 100 per cent record to three in the National Stakes at the Curragh in September, giving owners Middleham Park Racing and trainer Richard Hannon dreams of Classic success.
"We tuned into the Breeders' Cup hoping for something like that to happen. We don't know what the handicappers will do with that, but it certainly isn't going to hinder our chances of being champion two-year-old colt. Hopefully it will bolster it," said Middleham Park's Tim Palin.
"Whatever form line you look down they all seem to lead to Toormore. He's the one at the top of the tree.
"There are a couple of unknown quantities like Australia and Kingman, but their's is Group Three form and though they may be very good horses in time I don't know if they can challenge us for champion two-year-old status. Kingston Hill could be in the mix, but a maiden, Johann Strauss, was second and another maiden (Dolce N Karama) was fourth.
"I think when the form anoraks scratch beneath the surface they might decide that Toormore's National Stakes was the best two-year-old performance of the season.
"He's in great shape. We thought of supplementing him for the Dewhurst and we nearly ran him in the Racing Post Trophy, but the ground was never going to suit him. There was always the case he had nothing to prove as a two-year-old. We're going to give him time to grow and strengthen. We should see an even better and improved horse next year.
"Richard Hannon senior thinks we have as good a chance as anything in the Guineas, so all roads lead to Newmarket in May."
The Toormore team will firm up a plan in the spring and should he need a prep race ahead of the Qipco 2000 Guineas then the Greenham Stakes at Newbury would be the logical target.
"We'll have a sit down in the spring and talk about where we go. It seems fashionable to go straight to the Guineas without a prep race, but if we felt he needed to run prior to then it would almost certainly be in the Greenham," said Palin.
War Command gave Aidan O'Brien a belated first two-year-old Group One triumph of the season when lifting the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
War Command, the 10-11 favourite, was hard ridden by Joseph O'Brien to hold 20-1 shot Cable Bay by a length and a quarter, with Outstrip third and Anjaal fourth.
The winning jockey told Channel 4 Racing: "The ground was plenty slow for him. When he got to the front he was idling like mad. He was waiting for a horse to come to him, but did enough. I think he's getting more professional with each race.
"He's definitely a Guineas type. I think he will have no trouble getting a mile and I think the faster the ground, the better he will be."
A French challenge is also possible as trainer Elie Lellouche confirmed Group One Criterium International winner Ectot will be entered in the colts' Classic.
He said: "We are leaning towards running Ectot in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) following a prep race in the Prix de Fontainebleau, but he will be entered in both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby."
Berkshire has the Newmarket Classic on May 3 as his major target.
"We are very happy with Berkshire and are hoping for big things," said Oliver Cole, assistant to his father, trainer Paul Cole.
"When he won the Royal Lodge he did it the hard way as he was coming back from three months away, he pulled hard and he was out on his own in the middle of the track. His toughness saw it out. He is the type of horse that one would expect to get better and better with every race and he is still relatively inexperienced compared with many of his rivals.
"We have had a lot of very serious horses over the years but this horse is an exception in terms of his height and his strength. He has thickened and furnished a lot and is a bigger, stronger horse so I would hope that there is much more improvement to come. We haven't ruled out the possibility of a prep race before the Guineas. It would be either at Newbury (Greenham Stakes), which is just up the road from us, or Newmarket (Craven Stakes)."
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