2000 Guineas tips, runner guide, odds and racecard for Newmarket race
The first Classic races of the Flat season take place this weekend, with Wembley hoping to score in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
The Galileo colt, named after the home of English football, was backed in to favouritism this week.
He is trained by Aidan O'Brien, who seeks a record-extending 11th victory in the Group 1 and also has market leader Santa Barbara in Sunday's 1000 Guineas.
Wembley, the mount of Ryan Moore, raced six times as a juvenile and was a close second in the 2020 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, one place ahead of fellow leading Guineas contender Thunder Moon.
Others high up in the betting market include Mutasaabeq, who has a fitness edge and Godolphin's One Ruler.
Ladbrokes spokesman Jon Lees said: “Ryan Moore has chosen to take the Wembley way as his route to a third 2000 Guineas triumph.
"It’s a major vote of confidence and should ensure the colt he rode into second place in last year’s Dewhurst Stakes goes off favourite.
"Frankie Dettori rode Ballydoyle stablemate St Mark’s Basilica to victory that day and his booking for Battleground is bound to be noted by punters.”
Here's Mirror Racing's guide to the Qipco 2000 Guineas (3.40pm, Newmarket, Saturday):
1 – 96-196 Albadri (6) (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Hollie Doyle) 200-1*
A 100-1 winner on debut and successful in a Southwell handicap. Subsequently finished ninth in the Saudi Derby and outclassed here.
2. 5112- Battleground (15) (Aidan O'Brien/Frankie Dettori) 6-1
The winner of the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Vintage Stakes as a juvenile is the mount of Frankie Dettori. Made up late ground to finish second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. The type to improve this year.
3. 1119-1 Chindit (14) (Richard Hannon/Pat Dobbs) 14-1
Got up near the finish to win the Greenham to continue his decent record. Has plenty of class, but his only poor run came at this track and his trainer is not sure it really suits him. No margin for error here.
4. 2748-4 Devilwawa (1) (Ralph Beckett/Rossa Ryan) 100-1
Went from the front the Dewhurst and finished a creditable fourth at huge odds. Weakened into the same position in the Craven, behind Master Of The Seas and very difficult to see him improving on that.
5. 21-2 Legion Of Honour (5) (Roger Varian/David Egan) 50-1
Promising colt, a half-length second to Megallan on the all-weather at Newcastle. Form of his run behind Devious Company worked out well from last season. Capable of putting in a good run in behind the places.
6. 12152- Lucky Vega (3) (Jessica Harrington/Shane Foley) 22-1
Impressed in the Group 1 Phoenix at the Curragh last August, when showing a sharp turn of foot to go clear. Then faced trouble in running when behind a few of these on his next start. Has course experience, however he will most likely be plying his trade in sprints after this.
7. 114-21 Master Of The Seas (2) (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) 9-1
Suffered a shock defeat at Meydan before changing gear to win the Craven in a hood, which is retained. Behind Thunder Moon and Wembley in a Group 1, he took a keen hold that day and the headgear could help him secure a place.
8. 1-1 Mutasaabeq (12) (Charles Hills/Jim Crowley) 6-1
The unknown quantity in the field and very interesting. Unbeaten and both starts have been at Newmarket, with an easy comeback win over seven furlongs. Stormed clear by six lengths there and it convinced connections to supplement the son of Invincible Spirit and Ghanaati for this. Looks another top horse for trainer Charlie Hills.
9. 1133-3 Mystery Smiles (13) (Andrew Balding/Silvestre De Sousa) 100-1
Plenty of ground to make up on his last run for the 2020 winning yard. More will be finishing in front of him than behind.
10. 33-312 Naval Crown (11) (Charlie Appleby/Adam Kirby) 66-1
Turned over stablemate Master Of The Seas at Meydan, before making almost all the running in the Free Handicap at HQ. Fit and ready for this, he's one of the pace angles. Likely to be swamped by stronger finishers late on.
11. 21312- One Ruler (7) (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) 17-2
Travelled strongly when beating Van Gogh by a length and three quarters in the Autumn Stakes over course and distance, before he was went down by three quarters of a length in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. Will Buick has not chosen to ride him however, which has to be a negative.
12. 101-1 Poetic Flare (4) (JS Bolger/Kevin Manning) 12-1
Took a 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last month by a length-and-a-half. Did not fire in the Dewhurst however and his trainer, who won this in 2013 with Dawn Approach, said he needed the race. Could go well now back on song.
13. 113- Thunder Moon (10) (Joseph O'Brien/Declan McDonogh) 11-2
Despite a rather difficult passage he managed to sprint away from Wembley in the National Stakes at the Curragh, after winning a maiden over the same course and distance. Third to St Mark's Basilica in the Dewhurst, the soft ground seemed to blunt his final effort. Will stay a mile and right in the mix.
14. 62121- Van Gogh (9) (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan) 10-1
Attracted some market support this week as he heads to Newmarket for his eighth career start. Versatile with regards to ground conditions, with form on good and heavy. Behind One Ruler last season, this trip might be a little on the short side now. No doubting his talent though.
15. 22122- Wembley (8) (Aidan O'Brien/Ryan Moore) 9-2
Improved in the autumn from his earlier starts, chasing home Thunder Moon in the National Stakes and St Mark's Basilica in the Dewhurst. The number one Ballydoyle contender on jockey bookings, he's not too far clear of the pack but has plenty of potential.
VERDICT: Carrying the colours of late owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Mutasaabeq is tipped for a poignant triumph in the first Classic of the season. Visually impressive and strong at the finish here last time, he is a colt of huge potential. Irish raider Thunder Moon can chase him home, while a bold run from Poetic Flare will not come as a surprise.
*Odds correct at the time of publication, subject to change
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