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The 2000 Guineas Stakes kicks off the horse racing flat season for the 2019 campaign with all eyes focused on Newmarket for the event.
One of the headline horses Too Darn Hot has already been forced to withdraw from the race, leaving the meet wide open for the rest of the field.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has dominated the 2000 Guineas in the past, winning the race nine times over the course of his career, including the last two with Churchill and Saxon Warrior.
O’Brien puts forward another crop of talented horses. Magna Grecia and Ten Sovereigns are expected to lead his charge for the crown, although there will be competition from the field.
We’ll now break down the leading contenders for the 2000 Guineas Stakes, using the latest betting odds.
In the absence of Too Darn Hot, Ten Sovereigns has been established as the favourite for the 2000 Guineas. All three of his races came last season as a two-year-old and it remains to be seen whether he will be able to dominate the rest of the field as he takes the next step in his career.
Ten Sovereigns made his bow in August 2018 at the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden in Curragh. He dominated with a fine performance as Donnacha O’Brien rode the bay colt to a triumph by seven lengths in the event. A week later Aidan O’Brien sent his charge out again in a six-furlong race in the John Sisk & Son Round Tower Stakes.
He was the odds-on favourite for the victory and did not disappoint, utilising his speed down the stretch to pull away from Bruce Wayne to record the win by three-and-three-quarter lengths. Ten Sovereigns ended his campaign with another brilliant outing at the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes – importantly at Newmarket.
On this occasion he was put under pressure by his compatriot Jash. However, he was able to close out the victory by half-a-length. At odds of 4/1 5.00 +400 4.00 4.00 -0.25 with Bet365, there is some value, although the risk of having not seen Ten Sovereigns compete as a three-year-old could be a slight concern despite his pedigree.
O’Brien’s other hope for the race is Magna Grecia, who also arrives at Newmarket with a strong record, although not the perfect one of his stable-mate. The bay colt has also not competed as a three-year-old that could have a bearing on his performance in the event. Magna Grecia made his bow last September in Naas in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over seven furlongs.
Ryan Moore in the saddle delivered a fine display as he guided his charge through the field before making a surge down the stretch to clinch the win by three-and-a-half lengths. Aidan O’Brien next put his charge out in the Godolphin Autumn Stakes in Newmarket in October. The standard of competition was elevated against Andre Fabre’s Persian King.
The two horses enjoyed a tense duel down the straight in a battle for the victory, but Magna Grecia was beaten out by a neck on the line. However, the Irish-bred horse bounced back to end the 2018 campaign.
He was the favourite for the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes, although he was slightly off the pace heading down the final furlong. Donnacha O’Brien found a late kick from his charge and was able to pull off the victory by a head. Magna Grecia has not been as dominant as his stable-mate so it would be wise to approach his 4/1 5.00 +400 4.00 4.00 -0.25 odds with Bet365 with caution.
Martyn Meade sends one of the most experienced horses into the race with five events under his belt. Advertise has a strong record, winning three of his five meets. However, it will take a strong performance for the three-year-old to triumph. The bay colt made his first appearance last May in the Maiden Stakes at Newbury and he rose to the occasion to deliver the victory by three-quarters of a length.
Meade put forward his charge at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes where he was solid on the track as a 10/1 outsider, but was ultimately beaten by Calyx by a length, placing in second. Advertise bounced back with a clean run at the July Stakes at Newmarket. Frankie Dettori in the saddle guided his charge to the victory by two lengths ahead of Koncek.
He maintained the standard of his form at the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, displaying excellent closing speed to claim the win by half-a-length. Only Too Darn Hot stopped his winning run at the Darley Stakes at the end of the campaign, although Advertise was best of the rest at Newmarket. He could be worth the punt at 8/1 9.00 +800 8.00 8.00 -0.13 with 888Sport to win the event.
Skardu is one of the unknowns heading into the event, although he could spring a surprise to defeat the leading contenders. He only has two races under his belt, but he has shown plenty of promise in his career to date under the charge of William Haggas. Skardu made the first appearance of his career at the Derrinstown British EBF Maiden Stakes at Newmarket at the end of last term. He was a rank outsider at 33/1, but he stunned the rest of the field with an outstanding performance. Wayne Lordan in the saddle was able to guide the horse into the lead and he did not relinquish pole position, claiming the win by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
He returned to the track for the new campaign in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket. Skardu laid down a fine display once again, using his pace with James Doyle in the saddle. Haggas’ charge took the lead down the stretch and just had enough to see off the threat of Momkin to clinch the victory by a neck. He has the form and the results at Newmarket to make a charge for the 2000 Guineas. Whether Skardu can defeat the elite charges of O’Brien remains to be seen at odds of 7/1 8.00 +700 7.00 7.00 -0.14 with Bet365.
Ten Sovereigns To Win 2000 Guineas Stakes
Saturday 4th May 2019 15:35 BST
Odds: 4/1 5.00 +400 4.00 4.00 -0.25