Charlie Appleby has been in fine form so far this season and has an excellent record at Newmarket, posting a 38% winning strike rate and level stakes profit of +£47.58 in the last twelve months at the course. He runs Oasis Charm who warmed up for this race with a victory at Chelmsford a couple of weeks back, has winning form on turf, has a good record when teamed up with jockey William Buick and shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the drop back in trip so looks to have a lot in his favour today.
Roger Varian has had a couple of high profile winners since the start of the season but his stable is still yet to really fire with any consistency so Sharja Bridge, who steps up in trip for today’s race, looks a little short in the early market and therefore the bigger dangers could be Tricorn and Dommersen for the in-form John Gosden yard.
Oasis Charm (E/W)
Frankel filly Mori won a couple of races last May and although went off the boil later in the season she brings the best overall form in to the race having finished just a neck behind Coronet in the Ribblesdale last year. Her stable have started to find a few winners in recent weeks and she should prove tough to beat if fully wound-up on seasonal return.
Mam’selle has two wins from four over this trip and won first time out last season so looks to be in with a chance, while Titi Makfi won six times last season and drops back to Listed level after a below-par run at Group level last time out and is another who could get involved.
Havana Grey has made the frame in seven from eight, including wins at Group 3 level and placed efforts at Group2 and Group 1 level on his last two runs of last season. He is likely to go off a short-priced favourite and if ready to go after an eight month break he could prove tough to beat.
That said, there should be no concerns over race fitness for Mabs Cross who was just touched off in a Listed contest at Bath last month and probably would have won with a clear run. She has four wins from five over the minimum trip and should be spot on for this so is our selection and NAP of the day.
A final mention goes to Encore D’or who is perhaps better on the all-weather but arrives here with a solid record over the trip and with both trainer and jockey in flying form so looks to have a chance of grabbing minor honours.
Mabs Cross (WIN) – NAP
Shane Kelly has ridden the winner of this race for the last two years and looks to have a decent chance of making it a hat-trick with his runner Right Action. A winner of his last two and with a good overall record over the trip he could be capable of victory despite the step up in class today.
Donncha hasn’t won for three years but has winning form over course and distance, a decent record over the trip in general and is back down to last winning mark. It would be a surprise to see a big run from him today.
Others to consider include Mister Music who has won his last four and although these all came on the all-weather he has recorded a couple of wins at the course earlier in his career so is respected accordingly, while Gallipoli and Taurean Star are both capable of making their presence felt.
Right Action (E/W)
Defoe will likely go off at a pretty short price but in truth is pretty difficult to oppose for win purposes. A commanding winner over today’s trip when last seen, he had a fantastic season last season and based on last month’s victory could be capable of winning more races this season.
Khalidi is difficult to recommend given his two runs since leaving John Gosden but was a solid performer last year, winning twice at Listed level and placing at Group level. If regaining some of that form he could be the one to challenge the favourite and as a result is a tentative each way option.
Count Octave and Red Verdon have both proved more effective on artificial surfaces but are proven over trip and both would look to pick up the pieces should the favourite falter.
On paper this looks to be a fantastic renewal of the 2000 Guineas. Aidan O’Brien has won this race four times since 2008 and saddles three in an attempt to emerge victorious again. Gustav Klimt looks a high-class individual and made a winning return at Leopardstown last month, however preference is for the unbeaten Saxon Warrior who beat Roaring Lion in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy last season and has reportedly come back bigger and stronger ready for the season ahead. Proven over trip and with conditions to suit, he looks the one to follow.
Masar won the Group 3 Craven Stakes by nine lengths last month and with both trainer and jockey in excellent form it would be no surprise to see their runner make the frame, while Expert Eye should be fit following a half-length second to James Garfield a couple of weeks back and would be right in the mix if able to repeat his run in the Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last summer.
Saxon Warrior (WIN)
written by Dean Kilbryde