2000 Guineas tips – Saturday’s Classic race runner-by-runner preview

Pinatubo winning at EpsomPinatubo winning at Epsom

Check out our 2000 Guineas tips and ante-post preview. Can Pinatubo maintain his unbeaten record and win the first Classic of the new flat season?

Despite the efforts of Covid-19 to curtail the new flat season, the Classic races have survived and the latest renewal of the Qipco 2000 Guineas goes to post on Saturday at Newmarket, twenty-four hours after the first Group One of the season in the Coronation Cup unfolded over the Rowley Mile rather than its’ usual home of Epsom.

Getting underway at 3.35pm the colts’ Classic takes place over one mile and a maximum field of 15 runners will enter the stalls each vying for the £140,000-plus first prize and a place in immortality. Racing fans can catch the action live on ITV Racing on Saturday where the Group One feature spearheads a bumper crop of live TV racing over the weekend.

Brian Healy looks over the potential field of runners for the season’s first Classic and gives his 2000 Guineas tip for success in Newmarket’s Saturday feature race.

3.35 Newmarket – Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo) 1m

AL SUHAIL


Raced four times as a juvenile and got off the mark at the second attempt with an impressive win at Yarmouth.

One of three possible runners in the race for Godolphin, Charlie Appleby’s Dubawi colt has made the frame on both subsequent starts in the wake of that success although he was beaten a half-length by Military March – who could also line up – when finishing runner-up in the Group Three Autumn Stakes.

He looks sure to progress this term and a return to this quicker surface could be of real benefit. However he has to improve on his juvenile form to be rated a serious player at this level but no surprise to see him running well.

MILITARY MARCH


2-2 last term with both wins coming at this venue, one each on the July and Rowley Mile courses respectively.

Saeed bin Suroor’s New Approach colt battled well to vanquish Al Suhail in the mud over course and distance when last seen winning the Autumn Stakes and there’s certainly more to come from him this campaign where he can improve.

The return to quicker ground ought not to present a problem and he looks very much one to keep on the right side of this term especially when his stamina is drawn out.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Saeed bin Suroor saddles Military March in Saturday’s 2000 Guineas.

PINATUBO


Outstanding juvenile last term, finishing the season unbeaten in five starts which include a brace of Group One successes at the Curragh and here over seven furlongs where he saw off the Aidan O’Brien-trained Arizona to land the Dewhurst.

That race is usually a decent yardstick for the following season’s Classics and Charlie Appleby’s Shamardal colt sets a pretty stiff standard on last season’s exploits and if he’s trained on as hoped then he’ll prove a tough nut to crack.

He has an extra furlong to travel in this contest but the signs were last term that he’d stay further than a mile so the trip ought not to inconvenience. He’s the one to beat and likely features on most people’s best 2000 Guineas tips selections; while he’s plenty short enough in the betting he deserves to be where he is in the market and he can continue his winning run on his reappearance.

ARIZONA


Showed himself to be high-class as a juvenile with wins at the Curragh and Ascot, latterly beating Threat in the Coventry Stakes prior to making the step up to Group One company following a break.

Aidan O’Brien’s No Nay Never colt has twice been on the wrong end of defeat behind Pinatubo but he ran well for fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf where he was beaten around two lengths behind Structor.

He was possibly given too much to do there although he fared best of those drawn towards the outer of the pack, finishing well having been forced to switch wide. The Irish challenger is one of four possibles for the Ballydoyle maestro and despite ensuring Pinatubo didn’t have things his own way in the Dewhurst with a battling display he needs to find more if he’s to upset the Godolphin star.

NEW WORLD TAPESTRY


Showed ability on his first couple of starts last campaign, finishing third to Arizona on debut and then crossing the line in fourth place behind Armory at the Curragh in June. Aidan O’Brien’s charge then got off the mark at this venue in September when beating Colour Image by three-parts of a length.

He rallied gamely on that occasion to regain the lead having made most until headed entering the last furlong although subsequently found the step up to Group company too much and he was disappointing when finishing a well-beaten eighth of 11 runners in the rearranged Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle.

Unlike most of the field he’s managed a relatively recent run, appearing at Kempton in March where he finished third of five runners behind Chares. However his form leaves him with plenty to do and he might be deployed here as a pacemaker for Arizona.

ROYAL DORNOCH


Saw plenty of racing last term where he took to the course seven times in all and registering wins at Gowran Park and over course and distance respectively where he lowered the colours of Kameko on the latter occasion when landing a shock Royal Lodge Stakes win.

The Gleneagles colt scored by a neck on that occasion and he was bouncing back to form having been routed by Threat the time before at Doncaster. He battled back well to defeat Andrew Balding’s star on the line in that last outing but there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to uphold that formline here.

He is open to progress but he probably needs a bit more to feature here.

WICHITA


Won two of his four starts as a juvenile, scoring on debut at the Curragh prior to routing Persuasion by seven lengths in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes.

The No Nay Never colt had bumped into the potentially high-class Molatham in between those successes and he ran well in defeat behind Pinatubo over seven furlongs here in the Dewhurst where he crossed the line in third although some five lengths’ adrift of the Godolphin star.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge could well improve for this step up in distance while he possibly wasn’t entirely suited by the proper soft ground last time at Flat HQ having raced keenly early. He travelled quite well into the contest but wasn’t able to match the first pair for effort and a better surface could see him in an altogether different light.

He’s not to be underestimated at tempting odds for each-way backers looking for some value in our 2000 Guineas tips and while Arizona is the Ballydoyle first-string he can give a good account here.

Wichita at Newmarket

Wichita could run a big 2000 Guineas race for Aidan O’Brien.

CEPHEUS


Won his only start as a juvenile, beating Volkan Star over the July Couse here last August.

Always prominent he finished off the race really well with a sustained late charge to collar the leader late with the front two clear of the remainder. That bare form doesn’t look up to much and the runner-up although he won next time was readily brushed aside when last seen in a Group Three contest.

Bryan Smart’s charge should progress but this looks a tall order for the Sea The Stars colt who steps up markedly in grade to challenge the likes of Pinatubo and Arizona who are proven at this level.

JUAN ELCANO


Looked very useful when making a winning debut at Haydock in June after which he was thrust into the Group Two Superlative Stakes on the July Course and Kevin Ryan’s charge lost little caste in defeat when denied by one length behind Mystery Power.

He started slowly that day which probably didn’t help his chance and his latest third behind Threat in the Champagne Stakes was another solid effort in defeat from the Frankel colt who ought to improve for this longer trip.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him posting a big effort here for all he needs to step up on what he’s shown thus far. He looked progressive last term though and the extra furlong here may well unlock another level of his ability.

KAMEKO


Smart dual-winner last term who has drawn comparisons to the classy Roaring Lion by trainer Andrew Balding and the Kitten’s Joy colt was last seen posting an impressive all-weather success at Newcastle when taking the rearranged Vertem Futurity Trophy.

He had suffered a surprising defeat behind Royal Dornoch over course and distance the time before where he had looked unbalanced coming out of the dip before running on again and that has to be a slight concern for supporters.

That was only his third start however and he can continue to thrive for experience. He’s not discounted here with the potential for better to come and every chance he can make his presence felt if handling the dip better.

Oisin Murphy and Kameko win at Newcastle

Oisin Murphy and Kameko win at Newcastle

KENZAI WARRIOR


Roger Teal doesn’t have many Classic runners and his unbeaten Kenzai Warrior has created a good impression on both starts to date, beating Max Vega – a Group Three winner since – on his debut and then following up over this course with a defeat of Ropey Guest to claim the spoils in the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes.

That last win saw him score readily in heavy conditions, overcoming trouble in running to get up close home and while a line through the runner-up leaves him with a bit to find on form with this stronger company he ought to give a good account although he did appear suited by the softer ground latest and this much quicker surface isn’t sure to show him in the same light.

KINROSS


Demolished rivals by eight lengths on his debut over seven furlongs at this track in October, readily scooting clear of Raaeb for an impressive success although Ralph Beckett’s Kingman colt wasn’t able to back it up next time in the Vertem Futurity Trophy.

He could only finish fifth on that occasion although his chances were compromised early by a slow start and he was never quite able to fully recover from his tardy getaway. Having tried to mount a challenge late on he faded to finish well-beaten behind Kameko although he can perhaps be forgiven that effort and this season should reveal more.

Sure to progress this term a return to turf can see him bounce back and while his bare form leaves him with plenty to find it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him firmly in the mix. He could land some each-way money for our 2000 Guineas tips with a big performance.

Kinross could bounce back from his run at Newcastle and rates our 2000 Guineas tips each-way selection.

Kinross could bounce back from his run at Newcastle and rates our 2000 Guineas tips each-way selection.

MUMS TIPPLE


Beat the classy Molatham on debut at Ascot in July before routing a big field in impressive style to land a valuable prize at York.

Richard Hannon stepped the Footstepsinthesand colt up in Grade to contest the Middle Park Stakes over this course but he ran disappointingly in that contest, eventually beating only one rival home behind Earthlight.

That outing can be excused with him subsequently found to have finished lame and he could yet have more to offer. This however is a big step up in trip for him having only raced over six furlongs and he’s not sure to appreciate a stiffer test on breeding given he’s looked a speedy sort in his previous wins.

Sprinting may well be his game rather than tackling the longer distance of the 2000 Guineas and there has to be doubts over his stamina to see out the trip. The Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot may prove a better target and it would be something of a surprise to see him line up here.

PERSUASION


Ran out a good winner of his debut outing at Goodwood in August but has been beaten on both starts since when upped to Group company at York and here respectively.

Charlie Hills’ Acclamation colt was beaten readily by Valdermoro in the Acomb Stakes before proving no match for Wichita in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes latest, beaten seven lengths.

This extra furlong could see him do better but his juvenile form leaves him with plenty to do if he’s to close the gap with Aidan O’Brien’s rival let alone Pinatubo in opposition and he looks up against it here.

STARCAT


Won his sole start last term on the Kempton all-weather, readily beating Eastern World by three-parts of a length despite looking in need of the experience.

Hughie Morrison’s Lope De Vega colt now takes a big step up in class to dine at the top table and this is a big test of his credentials now tackling turf as well as a very strong field.

He’s open to improvement after just one run and the experienced gained will certainly help although he is very much an unknown quantity at this higher level; the bare form of his Kempton win certainly leaves him short given the exploits of some of his rivals but his handler isn’t known for chasing the rainbow with his charges so he’s evidently been showing up well at home.

This is nevertheless a very big ask of him to step up to this level on the back of one all-weather success.

2000 GUINEAS TIPS – BIG-RACE VERDICT


Aidan O’Brien has won five of the last seven renewals of the 2000 Guineas and the Ballydoyle maestro is likely to rest his hopes on Arizona to upset Pinatubo despite twice being vanquished by the Godolphin star.

He did make PINATUBO pull out the stops on their latest encounter in the Dewhurst, but the softer ground possibly wasn’t entirely in favour of the winner and he can confirm superiority back on better ground.

Charlie Appleby’s charge is unbeaten to date which includes twice winning at Group One level and if he’s trained on from two to three years then the Shamardal colt should prove hard to beat with this extra furlong in his favour.

Plenty went wrong for Kinross in the rearranged Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle when last seen and Ralph Beckett’s charge could atone for that effort where he appeared ill at ease on the surface and fluffed the start to put himself on the back foot.

The Kingman colt is given another chance back on turf and his impressive debut success remains hard to ignore. He carries the each-way pick in a competitive Classic renewal.

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