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Looking for tips for the first Classics of the flat season? Our experts cover all things 1000 and 2000 Guineas, providing tips and inside information.

2000 Guineas tips

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the first Classic of the season for colts and provides readers with his tips at Newmarket on Saturday 5th May.

The day before the fillies take centre-stage in the 1000 Guineas, a field of the finest colts in the business take to the track at Newmarket and battle for supremacy in the 2000 Guineas. Some of the best flat racers in history have begun their three-year-old campaigns by claiming victory in this Classic, with names like Gay Crusader, Nijinsky, Sea The Stars, Camelot and Frankel adorning the honours boards at flat racing HQ.

Aidan O’Brien’s Saxon Warrior (5/1 Ladbrokes) - the horse who handed Aidan O’Brien a record-breaking 28th Group One last season - had initially led the betting for this Classic, until being usurped by his stablemate. Saxon Warrior was the favourite heading into the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, but looked to have been trumped asRoaring Lion (16/1 Coral headed him with a furlong to travel. Yet, Ryan Moore’s mount found bundles under pressure and clawed back the deficit to claim a hugely impressive victory.

Saxon Warrior is likely to be joined by several of his Ballydoyle stablemates and Gustav Klimt (5/2 Paddy Power) jumped ahead of his bunkmate in the betting after strolling to a simple success in the 2000 Guineas Trial on his reappearance. When last seen on British shores, Ryan Moore was forced to weave right across the track to find the racing room to in the Superlative Stakes and Gustav Klimt made a lasting impression when snatching a narrow victory. O’Brien’s charge was unable to appear after that triumph at the July meeting, but connections are confident he’s recovered from his injury setback and should take well to the step up to a mile. 

Roaring Lion was the firm favourite to win on his reappearance in the Craven Stakes. Yet, it was Charlie Appleby's Masar (5/1 Paddy Power) who stormed to a hugely impressive victory and replaced Roaring Lion as the second favourite for the 2000 Guineas. After a disappointing flop out in Dubai, Masar's performance on the Rowley Mile was a surprise to many onlookers. William Buick still seemed to have plenty left in-hand as his mount cruised over the line and the duo have been backed into a short price since.

Another 2000 Guineas contender to have tasted victory at Newmarket is Mark Johnston’s Elarqam (6/1 Coral), who powered home in convincing fashion to land the Tattersalls Stakes by close to three lengths. Sheik Hamdan hasn’t claimed a winner in this Classic since Haafhd’s triumph in 2004 and Johnston has high hopes for this unbeaten son of Frankel and Elarqam seems to be the talking horse heading into the first Classic of the season.

Kentucky Derby-bound Mendelssohn is unlikely to hand owners Smith, Magnier and Tabor a fifth 2000 Guineas in the last seven years. The ownership syndicate will have to pin their colours on US Navy Flag (20/1 Paddy Power), who led home an O’Brien 1-2-3-4 in the Dewhurst here at Newmarket. The War Front colt couldn’t recreate that run on the turf at Del Mar, but several horses have scored in this Classic after winning the Dewhurst and US Navy Flag is too classy to be ignored.

Saxon Warrior (right) and Roaring Lion (left) could renew their rivalry in the first Classic of the season.


Following a fantastic victory in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, the world was laid out before Expert Eye’s (12/1 Betfair) feet. Sir Michael Stoute and his team came crashing back down to earth as the favourite finished last in the Dewhurst. Stoute and his team had hopes Expert Eye would bounce back on his reappearance in the Greenham Stake. Sadly, he was comfortably held off by James Garfield (25/1 Ladbrokes) and it will take a huge victory to return to winning ways on the biggest stage of his career.

Frankie Dettori celebrated jubilantly after guiding James Garfield to victory for his great friend George Scott. Whether Dettori will be able to take the ride again with a couple of John Gosden hopefuls in the field is doubtful, but he will probably have a better chance of winning on someone like Without Parole (12/1 Ladbrokes) anyway.

Gosden's Frankel foal has secured two impressive victories during his career so far, streaking clear of his rivals to score a six-length triumph on his reappearance at Yarmouth last month. Without Parole has no big-race experience to back up his claims but he's unexposed, well-bred and looks open to further progression.

Headway (25/1 Paddy Power) produced a sparkling display to reel in Rufus King and make a winning return to action at Lingfield. Roger Teal's Tip Two Win (40/1 Betfair) also recorded a victory on his first three-year-old start, but favourites have an excellent record in the 2000 Guineas and the winner is likely to come from the top end of the betting. 

Saxon Warrior looks like an animal to be feared this season. It’s likely he has progressed during the summer and could even target the Triple Crown of Classic victories. Given his size and obvious strength, it’s no surprise to see him baring a shorter price for the Derby than the 2000 Guineas, so it could pay to back a speedier sort to get the job done at Newmarket.

Elarqam will be an obvious danger, especially if the ground comes up soft. However, the one who appeals most is Aiden O’Brien's second-string GUSTAV KLIMT.

Like many of O’Brien’s stars, he looked fairly unimpressive when finishing fifth on debut. The Galileo progeny was much improved on his second start for the stable, streaking clear over the final two furlongs to win a maiden at the Curragh. 

The odds-on favourite made an inauspicious start in the Superlative Stakes and soon found his path to the post blocked by a wall of challengers. Ryan Moore virtually had to drag his mount sideways to find a route around the pack, but Gustav Klimt showed pace and class in abundance to circumnavigate the field and snatch a narrow victory.

O’Brien’s charge had to travel at least half-a-furlong further than any of his rivals that day, so getting a mile should be no problem at all. Gustav Klimt was my 8/1 selection for this race at the start of the season. That price has come flying in since he claimed victory in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown, but that only enhances my confidence in the selection and he looks to be the one to beat.

1000 Guineas Tips

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the first Classic of the season for fillies and provides readers with his tips for Newmarket on Sunday 6th May.

The day after the colts have contested the 2000 Guineas, the 1000 Guineas will see a field of talented fillies battle it out in their first Classic of the campaign. The list of previous winners of the 1000 Guineas reads like a who’s who of British flat racing - with greats like Pretty Polly, Sweet Solera, Oh So Sharp and Minding adorning the incredible roll of honour.

Aidan O’Brien has won three of the past six renewals of this historic race – training the first two past the post last year and claiming a historic 1-2-3 when Minding stormed to victory in 2016. It’s no surprise to see several of his stable stars sitting prominently in betting and many people feel Happily (5/2 Betfair) could be the best of his talented bunch.

After winning two of her first three starts, Happily scored a tremendous victory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes before powering home to win the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at the Arc meeting. The pace was too hot for her to handle at the Breeders’ Cup but she should be much more competitive when she returns to European shores.

There are several other Aidan O’Brien runners sitting further down the betting, with the names of Sizzling(33/1 Ladbrokes) and Bye Bye Baby (33/1 Coral) standing out. I Can Fly (7/1 William Hill) may have finished third on her previous two starts, including an underwhelming showing on her reappearance, but she's been backed into a single figure price as punters jump on the Aidan O'Brien bandwagon.

Karl Burke’s Laurens (10/1 Paddy Power) cut out the running for much of the Fillies Mile here at Newmarket and showed fantastic battling qualities to hold off September in the dying strides. Burke’s filly tasted defeat just once last season, losing out by half-a-length to home favourite Polydream in the Prix du Calvados. Laurens is the highest-rated British entrant in the field and will return to Newmarket with genuine chances.

Charlie Appleby enjoyed a wonderful start to his season at the Dubai World Cup carnival and Soliloquy (7/1 William Hill) ensured he brought that form back to Britain with him when she scored an excellent victory in the Nell Gwyn Stakes on her reappearance. She's been back into a short price since hacking up in that important trial. Yet, the Godolphin runner who holds the greatest appeal is stablemate Wild Illusion (8/1 Ladbrokes).

James Doyle riding Wild Illusion (left, blue) to win The Total Prix Marcel Boussac - Criterium Des Pouliches during Prix de lArc de Triomphe meeting.


James Doyle guided the 25/1 shot into the Prix Marcell Boussac, but the daughter of Dubawi upset the applecart to claim a maiden Group One. Whether that victory was simply a fluke is yet to be seen, but she defeated some quality horses that day and Charlie Appleby has said she's been working really well during the offseason.

Dan's Dream (14/1 William Hill)  scored an impressive victory over hot-favourite Tajaanus on her reappearance in the Fred Darling Stakes and connections have rewarded their filly with a supplementary entry into this Classic. Altyn Orda (16/1 Coral) had to settle for second as Soliloquy romped to victory in the Nell Gwyn, but last year's Oh So Sharp Stakes winner battled bravely to cross the line second and she could garner some each-way attention.

Given the fact that all of the past five winners of this Classic have carried a single-figure price, it’s sensible to look towards the upper end of the betting to find my selection. Happily is a dual-Group One winning filly and a horse I really like. However, I think her future lies over longer trips – the Epsom Oaks could suit her strengths perfectly – she could struggle for speed over this one-mile trip.

Wild Illusion could have a big say in the matter when she makes her debut on the Rowley Mile. However, I was so impressed with the way LAURENS went about her business last season, I think she’s open to plenty of progression and has to be the best each-way prospect in the current ante-post betting.

Karl Burke decided to dodged the Nell Gwyn last month, instead choosing to send Laurens to Newcastle for a racecourse gallop. PJ McDonald, who rode during the first two days of the Craven Meeting, turned his back on Newmarket to put Lauren's through her paces, illustrating the confidence both trainer and jockey have in this likeable filly.

Considering the progression Lauren's made last season and the fact she's triumphed in Grade One company over course-and-distance, her current price looks extremely generous and this daughter of Siyouni looks worthy of a sizeable each-way wager.

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