Qipco 2000 Guineas
|Group 1, Newmarket
1m, Class 1
|Saturday 2nd May 2015|
Elm Park set to be thrown straight into 2000 Guineas after impressive winter
Andrew Balding has been delighted with the progress made by Elm Park over the winter as his Classic hopeful appeared among 83 entries for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2.
The Phoenix Reach colt made rapid progress last season, culminating in a stunning victory in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October.
Balding has no plans to run Elm Park in a Guineas trial and will instead head straight to Headquarters.
"The intention is for Elm Park to make his seasonal debut in the Qipco 2000 Guineas, he wouldn't run beforehand," said the Kingsclere handler.
"He's a Group Two winner over the course and distance and we're all in agreement that the Guineas is the best first race for him - it ticks a lot of the boxes.
"He is a quality horse who has already won a Group One over this distance and he has a very high cruising speed.
"That is not to say that I don't expect him to come into his own over longer distances later in the year.
"He is proven on all types of ground, but he handles slower ground better than most and I suppose that would be in his favour as it would be more of an inconvenience to many of his rivals.
"I'm delighted with him. He's developed well physically over the winter and has been cantering for a while now."
"Ivawood's doing very well and so is Estidhkaar. We will work them later in the week when the weather warms up ahead of their trials," said Hannon.
"We'll probably enter all of those horses in all the trials and go from there. I wouldn't want to run Ivawood if the ground was very soft at Newbury. Newbury is where we want to go with him."
Mar 19 Trainer Wesley Ward says he is considering bringing American star Hootenanny to Newmarket for the 2000 Guineas.
The first classic of the British flat season is a realistic target for a horse that was amongst the most impressive globe-trotting two-year-olds of last season.
Hootenanny scored on debut at Keeneland last April before arriving in Britain to destroy a 24-runner field over 5f in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, driving three-and-a-half-lengths clear up the stands-side rail under Victor Espinoza.
From there Ward sent his charge to France where he was narrowly denied a Group 1 success in the Prix Darley Morny Stakes at Deauville in August.
On that occasion it was Frankie Dettori on John Quinn's The Wow Signal that took the honours, but back on American soil at The Breeders' Cup, Dettori ensured Hootenanny ended his two-year-old campaign with top level success.
The pair scored in the Juvenile Turf with Hootenanny readily taking the step-up in trip to a mile in his stride.
On that occasion Dettori suggested he had lost some momentum cornering, so the prospect of the straight mile at Newmarket is likely to make plenty of appeal for the Coolmore owned colt.
Ward confirmed Newmarket is in his thoughts for Hootenanny, saying: "We're thinking about it (2000 Guineas). We lost a little time due to the weather here in Kentucky during the winter, but the race is the first Saturday in May, so we should be right on it. He's going great. He had a nice workout this morning and we're really happy with him."
Top Series rider Joseph O’Brien believes ante post favourite Gleneagles has what it takes to win the Newmarket British Classic.
O’Brien, who won the Series contest in 2012 on board Camelot, was an impressive juvenile performer on the track last season, winning the Group 2 Futurity Stakes and Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.
Gleneagles has been compared favourably to former Ballydoyle star Giant’s Causeway by the son of leading trainer Aidan O’Brien and he is of the opinion that the three-year-old will be hard to beat on the Rowley Mile in May.
Joseph told the Racing Post: “Gleneagles is closely related to Giant's Causeway and he would remind you of him in an awful lot of ways. I'm really excited about him.
"He looked possibly the best two-year-old around last year. I certainly think he is the best two-year-old I saw last year.
“Anything that puts it up to Gleneagles in the Guineas will really be an exceptional horse. I don't even think you'd need a good gallop either. He has lots of pace, relaxes and can handle anything pace-wise.”
Sir Michael Stoute’s Convey (25/1) may not be the obvious pick amongst the plethora of Group winners in the market, having run just once on the polytrack at Kempton during his two-year-old campaign.
He was however, mightily impressive in that 7f contest, overcoming traffic problems to display an impressive turn of foot to scoot clear of his rivals.
But what makes him interesting is the fact that he was sired by Dansili.
It has become apparent that most of the Prix Du Muguet winner’s offspring get better with age, with many of his notable progeny showing their best form after their juvenile campaign.
The brilliant mare The Fugue raced just once in her debut year, taking a Newmarket maiden before going on to land four Group 1s between the ages of three and six.
Furthermore a third Dansili youngster, Delegator, was beaten twice in three runs before going on to find only the great Sea The Stars too strong in the following season’s 2000 Guineas.
It’s clear that you shouldn’t write one of this horse’s foals off even if they didn’t shine in their first year on the track.
One shouldn’t be put off by the fact that Convey hasn’t mixed it amongst the best of them of yet, with his handler’s last success, in the race, Golan, coming after just a solitary run as a two-year-old.
The yard have been on somewhat of a renaissance in the last couple of season, having gone nearly three years, since claiming the Arc with Workforce, without a Group 1 win.
The Freemasons Lodge team bagged three in 2014 alone, a further nine successes coming at Group 2 or Group 3 level.
So forget all those Irish hype horses and put your faith in a horse who is bred to get better with age and goes for a yard prolific during the last campaign.
Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (207th Running)
(British Champions Series) (Group 1)
£450,000 added, 3yo only, 1m, Class 1
|24-||Akeed Champion||3||9-0||R A Fahey|
|32212-||Al Bandar (IRE)||3||9-0||Simon Crisford|
|011-||Algaith (USA)||3||9-0||B W Hills|
|1-||Arctic Gyr (IRE)||3||9-0||A Fabre|
|211106-||Baitha Alga (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|1-||Balios (IRE)||3||9-0||D M Simcock|
|14141-||Belardo (IRE)||3||9-0||R Varian|
|611-||Best Of Times||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|001223-||Bossy Guest (IRE)||3||9-0||M R Channon|
|125314-||Cappella Sansevero||3||9-0||G M Lyons|
|113-||Celestial Path (IRE)||3||9-0||Sir Mark Prescott|
|2111-||Charming Thought||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|Cock Of The North||3||9-0||S Dixon|
|6511-||Code Red||3||9-0||W R Muir|
|2-||Compass Hill (USA)||3||9-0||John Joseph Murphy|
|1-||Consort (IRE)||3||9-0||Sir Michael Stoute|
|1-||Convey||3||9-0||Sir Michael Stoute|
|221311-||Dick Whittington (IRE)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|32113-||Dutch Connection||3||9-0||C Hills|
|Elm Park||3||9-0||A M Balding|
|1-||Endless Drama (IRE)||3||9-0||G M Lyons|
|21114-||Estidhkaar (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|11-||Fannaan (USA)||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|1-||Faydhan (USA)||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|11||Festive Fare||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|1-||Flaming Spear (IRE)||3||9-0||K A Ryan|
|0-||Franklin D (USA)||3||9-0||M L W Bell|
|111-||Full Mast (USA)||3||9-0||Mme Christiane Head-Maarek|
|123-||Future Empire||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|146-||Glenalmond (IRE)||3||9-0||K R Burke|
|411113-||Gleneagles (IRE)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1-||Golden Horn||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|525-||Hail The Hero (IRE)||3||9-0||D O'Meara|
|2||Hakam (USA)||3||9-0||C Hills|
|2-||Hathal (USA)||3||9-0||W J Haggas|
|211-||Highland Reel (IRE)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|213-||Home Of The Brave (IRE)||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|13121-||Hootenanny (USA)||3||9-0||Wesley Ward|
|1112-||Ivawood (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|314-||Jamaica||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|211-||John F Kennedy (IRE)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1312-||Johnny Barnes (IRE)||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|132325-||Jungle Cat (IRE)||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|2512-||Kodi Bear (IRE)||3||9-0||C G Cox|
|011265-||Kool Kompany (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|411-||Latharnach (USA)||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|133304-||Lexington Times (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|1215-31||Maftool (USA)||3||9-0||Saeed bin Suroor|
|11-||Make Believe||3||9-0||A Fabre|
|21-||Mobsta (IRE)||3||9-0||M R Channon|
|1-||Moheet (IRE)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|021-||Mustadeem (IRE)||3||9-0||B J Meehan|
|4112-||Nafaqa (IRE)||3||9-0||B W Hills|
|0-||Napoleon Solo||3||9-0||P W Chapple-Hyam|
|11120-||Nucifera (USA)||3||9-0||J E Pease|
|01-||Nuno Tristan (USA)||3||9-0||W Jarvis|
|11-||Ol' Man River (IRE)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|511-||Parish Boy||3||9-0||J S Bolger|
|1326-||Restorer||3||9-0||W R Muir|
|41-||Richard Pankhurst||3||9-0||J H M Gosden|
|1462-||Ride Like The Wind (IRE)||3||9-0||F Head|
|1235-||Room Key||3||9-0||Eve Johnson Houghton|
|321513-||Salateen||3||9-0||K A Ryan|
|621116-||Secret Brief (IRE)||3||9-0||C Appleby|
|Shark Island (IRE)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|223-||Sinfonietta (FR)||3||9-0||F Chappet|
|2-||Sir Isaac Newton||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|103131-||Smaih (GER)||3||9-0||Richard Hannon|
|5113-||Smuggler's Cove||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|31-||Spanish Squeeze (IRE)||3||9-0||H Palmer|
|021-||Stake Acclaim (IRE)||3||9-0||D K Ivory|
|22-||Storm The Stars (USA)||3||9-0||W J Haggas|
|1-||Tale Of Life (JPN)||3||9-0||J E Pease|
|1110-||The Wow Signal (IRE)||3||9-0||J J Quinn|
|2121-||Vert De Grece (IRE)||3||9-0||R Varian|
|033250-||War Envoy (USA)||3||9-0||A P O'Brien|
|1-||Weld Al Emarat||3||9-0||K A Ryan|
|14-||White Lake||3||9-0||L M Cumani|
|1-||Zawraq (IRE)||3||9-0||D K Weld|