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2017 2000 Guineas tips - French raider to upstage the favourite on the Rowley Mile

Frankie Dettori celebrates after leading Galileo Gold (right) to the 2000 Guineas Stakes title last season.

Our expert takes a look through the early field confirmed in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and provides readers with an interesting ante-post tip.

Along with the 1000 Guineas - which is the feature race on Sunday at the Guineas Festival - the 2000 Guineas has been an important fixture on the flat racing calendar for over two centuries. On Saturday 6th May, some of the most talented three-year-olds in the sport will line up on the Rowley Mile and battle it out for this Group 1, classic title.

Aidan O’Brien had a stranglehold over the classic contests last season and his dominance looks set to continue, as he trains three of the first five names on the ante-post betting list for this year’s 2000 Guineas.

Churchill (13/8 bet365) currently tops the market, after his five high-profile victories last season earned O’Brien over half a million pounds in prize money. Following a surprise defeat on his career debut, this son of Galileo landed the Chesham Stakes at Ascot, a Group 3 title at Leopardstown and two major titles at the Curragh - including a sentimental victory for O’Brien in the Group 1 National Stakes race named after Vincent O’Brien, who established the Ballydoyle operation that Aidan currently runs.

His final victory of the season came over seven furlongs here at Newmarket, when he beat capable stablemate, Lancaster Bomber (33/1 Ladbrokes) to the Dewhurst Stakes title back in October. He's currently the firm favourite to win the Epsom Derby and the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, following a victory in the 2000 Guines this weekend. If he arrives at Newmarket in peak condition, he could be very difficult to stop.

Several Godolphin runners will be looking to sprint their way into the 2000 Guineas winners’ enclosure this weekend. Both Dream Castle (16/1 Paddy Power) and Barney Roy (4/1 bet365) were only seen once during their two-year-old campaigns, but they put in impressive showings to claim strong victories at Doncaster and Haydock respectively.

Richard Hannon spoke very highly of Barney Roy during the build-up to his reappearance in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury, where he stayed strong to beat Dream Castle into second. As a result, Barney Roy's price in the 2000 Guineas has dropped massively, but Dream Castle went to post as the favourite, ahead of his Newmarket rival and there wasn't much to separate the Godolphin duo.

Ryan Moore riding Churchill (near) win the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes here at Newmarket last season.

Eminent (5/1 bet365) was a course-and-distance winner on his maiden outing for Martyn Meade. His trainer was confident he could make a similar impact when he returned to Newmarket last month, but even he wasn't expecting the 8/1 shot to beat several capable rivals to the Craven Stakes title. Jim Crowley gave this son of Frankel an excellent ride that day and the way he struggled to pull his exuberant charge up after the line shows he will be open to tackling extended trips later in the campaign.

Larchmont Lad (33/1 Ladbrokes) and Law And Order (60/1 bet365) made losing seasonal reappearances at Newmarket last month. Richard Hannon's Larchmont Lad passed the post four lengths behind Eminent in fifth in the Craven, with Law And Order fading to a third place finished in the nine furlong Listed Feilden Stakes. Both will tackle their highly-rated rivals in the 2000 Guineas, but they will need to show marked improvement if either wants to feature in the finish.

Christiane Head-Maarek might have thought her highly-rated three-year-old, National Defence was set to win a lucrative title on his reappearance at Maisons-Laffitte. That was until AL WUKAIR (9/2 bet365) produced a stunning late charge from the back of the pack, going from last to first over the final three furlongs before running on to eventually win the Group 3 Prix Djebel title by a single length.

The Dream Ahead progeny won both his starts as a two-year-old during the latter months of last season - cruising to a comfortable victory in his career debut at Saint-Cloud, before landing a Listed title over a mile at Deauville by just over a length. Andre Fabre won the 2000 Guineas title back in 1995 and Galileo Gold carried the Al Shaqab Racing colours to victory last season, the same silks that Al Wukair will wear when he makes his British debut next month. 

Both Rivet and Dream Castle represent excellent each-way value and the favourite is obviously an extremely talented horse, but if Al Wukair can show the same stunning turn-of-foot he displayed when winning at Maisons-Laffitte earlier this month, even Churchill could struggle to stay with him.

6/5/2017 3:35pm Newmarket 2000 Guineas selection – AL WUKAIR (9/2 bet365)

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2017 2000 Guineas tips - French raider to upstage the favourite on the Rowley Mile

Our expert takes a look through the early field confirmed in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and provides readers with an interesting ante-post tip.

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