Sunday 18 March 2018

Churchill the headline act as 12 stand ground for 2000 Guineas at Newmarket


Ante-post favourite Churchill is one of 12 colts left in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

Aidan O'Brien is looking for an eighth win in the Classic, which would make him the most successful trainer in the race's history.

"He seems fine at the moment. Everything has went well and it's so far so good with him," the Ballydoyle handler said.

When asked what could join Churchill in the field, O'Brien said: "I'll probably talk to Ryan (Moore) and go through the make-up of the field and see what he thinks."

O'Brien, who was last successful with Gleneagles in 2015, could also run Lancaster Bomber, Peace Envoy and Spirit Of Valor, but there is no Caravaggio amongst the confirmations.

Master French trainer Andre Fabre is expecting a very bold show from Al Wukair in the Guineas.

Unbeaten at two, he reappeared this season in the notable French trial, the Prix Djebel, where he easily disposed of a Group One winner in National Defense.

Fabre has not won the opening Classic of the season since Pennekamp struck gold in 1995, but feels Al Wukair has the qualities needed to secure him a third Guineas.

"Al Wukair did his final piece of work before the 2000 Guineas this morning and I was happy with everything," said Fabre.

"I am quite confident that he will be in the first three on Saturday, but I am a bit concerned that he was not a Group One winner as a two-year-old, something that most Guineas winners have already achieved, including both of mine (Zafonic and Pennekamp).

"I gave Al Wukair quite a light two-year-old campaign on purpose as my horses had a little problem with a virus last season, so I did not want to force them."

Richard Hannon's impressive Greenham winner Barney Roy is one of three possibles for Godolphin along with Saeed bin Suroor's Dream Castle, second in the Greenham, and Top Score.

Hannon may also run Larchmont Lad.

Martyn Meade has a live chance of claiming his first Classic success with Craven Stakes winner Eminent

William Haggas has left in Rivet, but he still has the option of running in the French Guineas, while James Tate's Law And Order makes up the dozen.

Press Association

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