Tips from 2,000 Guineas: Rider’s guide, odds and race map for Saturday’s big race at Newmarket
Racing fans tune in to ITV on Saturday to watch Newmarket where the Classic of the Flat season premiere kicks off at 3.40am. Aidan O’Brien has an excellent record in the mile feature
Native Trail puts its unbeaten record on the line at the Qipco 2,000 Guineas in Newmarket.
The juvenile champion faces 14 opponents in the first Classic of the season. Trained by Charlie Appleby, Will Buick takes over as he chases a first jockeys championship.
Outpost favorite Native Trail earns its sixth trotting victory at the flat racing headquarters. Stablemate Coroebus, James Doyle’s mount, also holds a perfect record.
“We’re going there with two live chances and we’re looking forward to it,” Appleby said.
Aidan O’Brien is doubly represented with Luxembourg and Point Lonsdale. He is bidding for an 11th triumph in the mile’s flagship event, with Magna Grecia the latest winner in 2019. Hugo Palmer recently took over the Manor House stables from Michael Owen and is looking to add to his 2016 triumph with Galileo Gold.
Dubawi Legend are tasked with overturning Dewhurst’s form with the market leader, while recent winner Perfect Power is among the home side’s managers.
“That’s why you get up in the morning on days like this,” his coach Richard Fahey said. “As a little coach up north, we go up against the big boys and I just hope we can beat him (Native Trail).”
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Runner’s Guide to 2,000 Guineas and Latest Odds
1. 11274- Berkshire Shadow (Andrew Balding/Jason Watson) 50-1
Winner of the 2021 Coventry Stakes. Just over four lengths behind Native Trail at Dewhurst when last seen so need to work on form and missing a recent race. Stable won it in 2020 but hard to see this colt following suit.
2. 245-21 Limitless Ocean (Jim Bolger/Kevin Manning) 50-1
Account opened in a girl from Leopardstown. Form nowhere near good enough to win a race like this as it is.
3. 1-1 Checkandchallenge (William Knight/Daniel Tudhope) 25-1
Impressive winner of the Newcastle (AW) Listed contest from the second start and probably has a lot more to offer. No reason why he shouldn’t be as effective on grass and a keen underdog.
4. 121- Coroebus (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) 5-1
Impressive Group 3 Autumn Stakes winner at this course and distance in October. Has a smart toe turn and looks like a colt that could take a high three-year-old this term. Great player despite the lack of preparation.
5. 1320- Legend of Dubawi (Hugo Palmer/Tom Marquand) 22-1
Didn’t settle for the front but held on well to finish just a few lengths behind Native Trail in the Dewhurst Stakes. Tab attached for the first start of the season and should stay within a mile with no problem. Claims defined each way.
6. 3-21 Eydon (Roger Varian/David Egan) 33-1
Huge jolt of improvement on the reappearance of an impressive Fielden Stakes winner (1m1f) and could easily be a lot more to come. Bred to be most effective on 10-12f. The stamina to go further will become an asset if they go fast and he is a fascinating competitor.
7. 11- Light Infantry (David Simcock/Jamie Spencer) 33-1
Came a long way off the pace to win last season’s Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury (7f) on soft ground. Not seen since; clearly an exciting and impossible-to-dismiss colt despite it being the fastest ground he has raced on so far.
8. 1114-2 Lusail (Richard Hannon/Pat Dobbs) 66-1
The two-year-old’s best run came at York where he won the Gimcrack Stakes in an orderly fashion. Not at this level either since, including behind Perfect Power in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury on the return. Mile could stretch it and others have stronger claims.
9. 111- Luxembourg (Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore) 5-1
Highly rated Ballydoyle colt who made it 3-3 in winning the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes Group 1 at Doncaster in October. The future is further away (ante-post favorite for the Derby) and the fast pitch is a slight unknown. Yard’s record means he deserves the utmost respect.
10. 1111-1 Native Trail (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) evenings
A top class juvenile who won the National Stakes at Curragh and Dewhurst with something to spare. Proved he trained while running away with the Craven Stakes on the return and set a clear standard of form. Easily the most likely winner.
11. 1511-1 Perfect Power (Richard Fahey/Christophe Soumillon) 10-1
Won five of his seven starts, including the Greenham Stakes on the return – his first try on 7f. Should stay but may be keen to post so can’t afford pre-race antics if he’s going to see this new trip.
12. 1112- Point Lonsdale (Aidan O’Brien/Frankie Dettori) 14-1
Progressive colt last year, winning the first four starts. Firmly put in his place by Native Trail in the National Stakes, so he must take another step forward at the age of three.
13. 21118- Royal Patronage (Charlie & Mark Johnston/Jason Hart) 33-1
Rallyed late to nail Coroebus in the Royal Lodge Stakes and easy enough to forgive his disappointing run in the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes given the grueling nature of the terrain. Proven on course and distance; could easily play a role.
14. 13-2 Tacarib Bay (Richard Hannon/Sean Levey) 100-1
Promising second in Free Handicap at the Craven meeting. Must take a marked step forward if it is to feature here.
15. 355-75 The Eye Magician (Stan Moore/John Egan) 250-1
Beaten in six of his seven starts, most recently by three lengths from Perfect Power at Newbury. Stepping back a mile unlikely to provide the required improvement it needs to feature.
Native Trail sets the bar pretty high and the others all need to improve, to varying degrees, to reach that level. However, several have the potential to do just that.
Stablemate Coroebus is an obvious alternative. At higher odds the likes of Dubawi Legend, who doesn’t have much to match Native Trail on their Dewhurst form and EYDON are also of interest. The Roger Varian-trained colt didn’t pull up any trees at two, but he looked like a completely different horse when he got off the pace to win the Fielden Stakes fairly easily. It is a very interesting alternative at a very high price.