15:40 Newmarket - 2,000 Guineas
The first classic, and Group 1, of the year and it does not disappoint. The 2000 Guineas is a highly competitive renewal with a number of standout horses lining up to try and emulate some of the greatest to ever grace the turf.
I have always been a very big fan of Van Gogh even before he stepped a hoof on the racetrack, being out of Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh and Irish 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks winner Imagine. He didn’t suit 7f and probably found Cadillac to hot. He stepped up over a mile, on soft ground, at Newmarket, placing second to One Ruler and then came into his own at Saint-Cloud, over a mile in heavy ground, in the Criterium International. He may find the ground too fast for this race but nevertheless, he shouldn’t be completely discounted.
Mutasaabeq was supplemented into the Guineas at the last minute and on the back of a very fast win at Newmarket last time, it was clear to see why. There’s a pretty good chance that he will stay the Mile, pulling away in both his wins, one of which was in heavy ground. His Sire, Invincible Spirit, sired the 2019 victor Magna Grecia and his Dam, Ghanaati, won the 1000 Guineas. Most evidence points to him emulating Haafhd but my concern would be that this race is a very large step up from his recent class, with much more established three year olds, and that he’s only ever ran in smaller fields and with this one being a field of 15 (at the time of writing), there’s a chance his inexperience could show.
I have to give a mention to Devilwala, who is in the Picks From The Paddock, 60 to Follow for the season. He’s a ridiculous price at 100/1. He was beaten 5 lengths in the Craven, in which he lost a shoe and wasn’t disgraced in the Dewhurst and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. He should enjoy the ground and could warrant some nice each way value.
Lucky Vega wasn’t very lucky in the National Stakes, where he came 5th behind many of those at the top of the pecking order in this race and had no racing room and was blocked twice. Before that he had won the Phoenix stakes with ease. His final start of the season came in the Middle Park where he was just held by Supremacy. He seemed to be fine with the track at Newmarket. He’s without the benefit of a run this year and there are some questions to be answered about his stamina but I think he should be able to mix it at the top.
Thunder Moon was very impressive when he won the National Stakes, quickening up nicely to storm home in the final half a furlong. He may not have liked the soft ground during the Dewhurst but didn’t seem to have any qualms with the track. You’d imagine that he wouldn’t be troubled by the step up to a mile and fits the bill, coming from a layoff and has serious claims for the win.
Master Of The Seas seems to be the number one choice for Godolphin, with William Buick taking the ride. He was placed behind a few of these in the National Stakes, where he ran greenly, which could be a slight explanation. The race at Meydan can be more than likely discounted as he returned to form in the Craven Stakes, beating La Barrosa by a ¾ of a length. He’s ran three times at Newmarket, winning all three times, notably over a mile last time out in the Craven. He benefited from the headgear and I think he will take some beating in this race.
MASTER OF THE SEAS (WIN)
written by Kieran McHugh