HAS there ever been a more confusing 2,000 Guineas than the one we have today?
And yet, we have a sizzling hot smashed up Group 1-winning juvenile red-hot favourite in Auguste Rodin!
So possibly many of us are over complicating things, and it’s just simple and an 11th 2,000 Guineas is heading to Ireland and Aidan O’Brien.
That said, only seven market leaders have scored since 1990.
This is the British Classic I love the most.
From Triple Crown hero Nijinsky, to Brigadier Gerard, El Gran Senor and Dancing Brave, from Nashwan to Sea the Stars and Frankel the 2,000 Guineas has given us star after star.
Those against Auguste Rodin, the powering victor in last term’s Vertem Futurity, will say he’s more of a Derby animal and needs further.
Incidentally, the last horse to do the Guineas-Derby double was Camelot in 2012, while Masar was placed in the Guineas before landing the Epsom showpiece in 2018.
In contrast, Auguste Rodin’s stable companion Little Big Bear has stamina to prove.
The son of No Nay Never has been off the track having suffered a setback after landing a blistering success over six furlongs in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August 2022.
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Little Big Bear is not the only one in that situation.
Sakheer looked very fast when dotting up in the Mill Reef at Newbury in September. Again, though, that was over six furlongs.
Trainer Roger Varian is hopeful, but admits only the race will ultimately prove the case.
Royal Scotsman, fancied by the Cole team, is in a similar boat, having dashed home from the back to push the reopposing Chaldean — sure to be popular for Frankie Dettori — all the way in the Group 1 Dewhurst at Newmarket.
Chaldean must have every chance of getting the distance, while a Derby entry for Royal Scotsman will increase his backers’ confidence.
Some might say it’s Knott a race to be adamant about, but let’s hope there is a Silver lining.
That’s because I believe SILVER KNOTT (4.40) has a super each-way chance for the Godolphin team of Charlie Appleby and William Buick.
A year ago Appleby handled the Guineas first and second, and he also saddles the unbeaten Noble Style in today’s renewal.
Silver Knott was actually sent off at odds of 8-13 to beat Chaldean and Indestructible — another who goes again — in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last season.
As it happens Silver Knott got stuck in the mud and ended up last of three.
But he then showed what he was made of in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket and also when an unlucky second to Victoria Road in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Keeneland.
He might not quite have the class to win this but, with a rating of 115, he’s in the mix and stamina is no issue.
In a race of conundrums, the son of Lope de Vega will do for me.
As for Chaldean, I expect a big effort from the Andrew Balding colt and he looks a serious danger.
Sunday is, of course, the 1,000 Guineas and there’s no doubt all eyes will be on Tahiyra for training genius Dermot Weld and jockey Chris Hayes.
The Aga Khan’s filly looked sensational as a juvenile when romping to an over two length success in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
However, the daughter of Siyouni has been off the track since then.
Back in second that day was Meditate, who will be a big rival and absolutely bolted up when stepped up to a mile in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf at Keeneland.
Remarquee is a fascinating contender for Ralph Beckett and Rob Hornby.
The Kingman filly won her only race as a two-year-old and then returned with a dominant display in the Fred Darling at Newbury. Rain might help her.
I’m having a few quid each-way on another Godolphin runner in Dream Of Love for Appleby and Buick once again.
A winner on debut at Newmarket, she was then third in the Listed Montrose Stakes before chasing home Mawj over seven furlongs in Dubai.
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There’s no doubt this trip will suit her much better and I have a feeling she’s got plenty to offer.
This is a Flat season desperate for a star. The Guineas can provide that platform but I’m hoping to tie the Knott and Dream Of Love.
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