Newmarket Guineas Meeting 2011 

home Guineas home


Bet £20, Get £20 - BETDAQ

guineas meeting 2011/

By Dylan Jenear ValueChecker

Frankel Now as Short as 1-2 for the 2,000 Guineas

Frankel will face a maximum of 14 rivals when he puts his unbeaten status on the line in Saturday’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Henry Cecil’s charge is poised to be sent off one of the shortest-priced favourites for the first colts’ Classic in living memory, with some firms now going just 1-2 about the son of Galileo.

Frankel winning the Greenham Stakes
© Racehorse Photos

Since the curtain was raised on the Flat turf season a number of Frankel’s potential rivals have been ruled out of the Group 1 contest on the Rowley Mile, and the David Simcock-trained Dream Ahead, who appeared to be one of few credible challengers to the odds-on favourite, was withdrawn at the five-day declaration stage on account of the prospect of fast ground at Newmarket.

Godolphin’s Dubai Prince and Richard Fahey’s Wootton Basset, both unbeaten, have also defected recently. The latter may, like Dream Ahead, now be aimed at the French equivalent at Longchamp next month, but Dubai Prince, who was successful in his two outings for Dermot Weld as a juvenile last season, looks set to be sidelined until later in the summer. Indeed, connections have also ruled the Shamardal colt out of the Epsom Derby in June.

So, the question is, can Frankel be beaten? From a statistical point of view, it’s worth noting that only one favourite for the 2,000 Guineas – George Washington in 2006 – has prevailed in the last 10 years. However, during this period we haven’t witness a market leader as dominant as Frankel, and whereas many that have been sent off favourite for the race in recent years have head to HQ without participating in a trial, Frankel proved that he has trained on by winning his prep race, the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, with minimum fuss.

Let’s take a look at the conceivable threats to Frankel.

Generally second favourite for Saturday’s race, the US-bred colt is unbeaten following three starts as a two-year-old, winding his juvenile campaign up by landing the Group 1 National Stakes at The Curragh, a race Refuse To Bend (2003) and George Washington (2006) both won the season before capturing the Guineas. Considering that the soft ground on that occasion was thought to be far from ideal, he deserves plenty of credit, while the form was boosted when the runner-up Casamento went on to land the Racing Post Trophy. Pathfork is a credible challenger, of that there’s no doubt.

This son of Galileo is one of three entries remaining from the Aidan O’Brien stable, which has landed four renewals of this race since 2002. He looked smart as a juvenile, winning two of his four starts, including a Group 1 in France when last seen out at the end of October. However, he was beaten 2¼ lengths by Frankel in the Dewhurst Stakes on the Rowley Mile prior to that, and truth be told he was probably flattered by his proximity to the winner, who only needed to be pushed out to score, so Ryan Moore’s big-race mount will need to have improved significantly during the winter.

With the exception of Haafhd in 2004, winner of the Craven Stakes have failed to make a meaningful impact in the Guineas. Native Khan did the job in that Group 3 trial over the C&D of Saturday’s race in decent style, and ought to come on for the run. However, while it will aid his cause that the pace is likely to be strong in the Guineas, I can’t help thinking he will be tapped for toe. The Azamour colt was outpaced before staying on when fourth to Casamento in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on his final start last season, and appears to lack the turn-of-foot required to win a Guineas.

Very much the ‘dark horse’, Fury looked smart in winning both starts in 2010 under contrasting conditions. He justified market confidence in a fast-ground maiden on his introduction at Newbury in September and displayed a good turn-of-foot when beating 26 rivals in a valuable sales race at this track on soft ground the following month. On the face of it, the form he brings to the table appears well below what is required to win the 2,000 Guineas, particularly with Frankel in opposition, but Willie Haggas’ charge has done nothing wrong so far and rates an intriguing contender.

Following the defection of their main hope, Godolphin’s best change of ending the 2,000 Guineas drought they’ve suffered in recent seasons rests on the shoulders of this son of Shamardal. He won three of his four starts as a two-year-old for Dermot Weld – his only defeat came in the National Stakes at The Curragh where he was beaten a head by Pathfork – and he confirmed his status as a classy colt when landing the Racing Post Trophy in October. He will certainly win races this season if he trains on, but he looks more of a Derby horse than a Guineas horse.


It’s difficult to envisage Frankel being turned over, as he does look like the real deal. His odds are prohibitive, though, and for punters keen to have an interest in the race, there is plenty of each-way value to be had. Pathfork and Roderic O’Connor both boast solid place claims, particularly the former, but at the generally available 16-1, Fury rates the best each-way option. He displayed the ability to quicken off a strong pace when landing the Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy at this track on October 2, and recorded a good time in the process. Admittedly, he will do well to cope with Frankel, but I can see him running into a place.

Recommendation: Fury (each-way)

tumpline internet home | associations | bloodstock agents | bookmakers | links | information | jockeys | portals | racecourses | race horse trainers | sales | studs | syndicates | submit site
© • 91 Tribune Drive • Carlisle • CA3 0LE