Ante-post betting preview – 2000 and 1000 Guineas
Who heads the betting for the Newmarket classics?
As we prepare for the resumption of UK racing, we’re heading down the final furlong to the first classics of the season, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
The meeting for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies has been rescheduled for Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June. Before the action at Newmarket gets underway, we’ve cast our eyes over the main contenders in the ante-post betting.
The favourite – Pinatubo
Last season’s champion two-year-old, the Charlie Appleby-trained Pinatubo heads the pack for this year’s 2000 Guineas.
The unbeaten three-year-old colt remains unbeaten, and after fending off all comers last season, draws comparisons to the great Frankel. The comparisons grew even stronger after wins by some distance in the Vintage Stakes, the Vincent O’Brien Stakes and the Dewhurst.
It remains to be seen whether the son of Sharmardal has progressed even further, with few pointing out that he hasn’t gained much, if any, muscle over the winter.
Should he continue the same meteoric rise as he did last season, then we could be looking at one of the great Guineas runs from the odds-on favourite, stopping Aidan O’Brien’s quest for four successive titles in the race.
The challenger – Arizona
In the build-up to the race, it looks like it could be Arizona who’s best placed to challenge the favourite at the front of the pack.
After winning the Coventry last season, he failed to push on and went on to lose all four of his Group 1 runs.
The main issue for the challenger could be Pinatubo himself, with form against the favourite not pleasant viewing.
Arizona finished just over 9l back from the favourite in the Vincent O’Brien Stakes, and fell 2l back in the Dewhurst. There may have been progression, but it’s hard to tell over the different ground conditions.
There have been plenty of positives to take from some of his performances though, finishing fifth by just shy of 2l in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with a difficult draw.
Should Pinatubo hit the same form as we’ve seen previously, the O’Brien-trained challenger needs to have found form, or further improvement to finally get the better of a quickly-developing nemesis.
Kameko and Kinross are next up in the pecking order to challenge the favourite, but it could be the American bred, Andrew Balding-trained Kameko who stands as most likely.
He’s coming in off the back of a stunning win in the rescheduled Vertem Futurity, winning at the Newcastle course 3l clear of the rest. He could have just caught form on the artificial track that day, but we think there could still be more to see.
Kinross went off as the favourite for the Vertem Futurity, but only managed to canter home in fifth on a disappointing showing. In contrast, the Ralph Beckett-trained colt may have struggled to find his feet on the surface, so could be worth a look on the Newmarket turf.
He made a great start to his career with a sensational debut win, further evidence that he’s got more in the tank, with a 1m trip likely to suit more than others.
Fancy a look elsewhere? We’ve still got a Richard Hannon-trained colt in the field, and we know he’s a man that can prime his runners for a top-class showing. He’s putting out Threat in this one after consistently performing in Group contests last season.
If he can perform anywhere near as well as he did in the 7f run in the Champagne Stakes, we could see a strong showing here, especially as he’s another who could suit the 1m trip down to the ground.
The favourite – Quadrilateral
O’Brien and the Ballymore stables may have won three of the last four 1000 Guineas, but they won’t be coming in with a favourite in this year’s race.
It’s the Roger Charlton-trained Quadrilateral who heads the field at a short-price. Despite being lightly trained, she’s managed to win all three of her starts, including the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.
It’s expected that many of the field that day will line up here too, so she’s got the beating of much of the field.
Charlton has reported that she’s wintered well too, which could be a good sign for a strong run at Newmarket, and good news to those who are looking to add to the backing she’s already racking up.
The challenger – Love
Outside of Quadrilateral, it’s only Love who comes into the race as a single-figure chance for this year’s Guineas win. Under the watchful eye of Aiden O’Brien, she could make it four wins from the last five Guineas for the Irish trainer.
We’re still unsure just how many riders the Irishman will be sending across for this event due to the travel restrictions on jockeys, but it looks highly likely Love will be leading the challenge with jockey Ryan Moore already on the UK’s shores.
Moore and Love formed a formidable partnership at the back end of 2019, winning her last three races including an impressive Group 1 success over Daahyeh in the Moyglare.
She’s already finished behind Quadrilateral in the Fillies’ Mile, with Powerful Breeze between the pair that day too. She could have more to give, and providing the ground is right, she could be best placed to pinch the Guineas win from Quadrilateral’s grasp.
Disregarding the top two, it’s the Jessica Harrington-trained Millisle who’s next up after a highly promising juvenile campaign.
She progressed nicely as a two-year-old, finishing the season with a win over Raffle Prize, the Queen Mary winner, and Tropbeau, who remains the favourite in the French 2000 Guineas.
Her resolve over a 1m course remains to be seen, but her stamina levels over 5f and 6f have provided some hope she may last.
Next up, we’ve got the Roger Varian-trained Daahyeh, who could be in with a shout on her day. She’s got previous over the 1m trip, lasting well in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenine Fillies Turf to finish just behind Sharing.
She’s previously run Love close in some nice runs in Group contests, taking on Raffle Prize too. If she can find some form here, she could be in the hunt come the final lengths.
Albigna, Alpine Star and Khayzaraan are all double-digit shots outside of the top four. Khayzaraan, the Freddy Head-trained French filly has the benefit of a run this season, although she limped home in last in the Prix de la Grotte at Paris Longchamp in May.
All odds and markets are correct as of date of publication.