Newmarket 2,000 Guineas preview

10 min read

by Tom Frary

Blighted by injuries to what would have been its leading lights, Newmarket’s G1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas looks up for grabs this year with no stand-out colt and that is reflected in the fact that 19 line up, the biggest field since 2010. (Cover image:

When there are this many runners and it is this open, it is almost inevitable that there will be a split as there was on five of the seven occasions there were at least 18 in attendance since the 2002 edition. That was marred by the way the race panned out tactically, with Rock of Gibraltar (Ire) (Danehill {USA}) in the right place against the far rail and Hawk Wing (USA) (Woodman {USA}) on his own down the centre.

With Quorto (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), Too Darn Hot (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Mohaather (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) meeting with setbacks and Persian King (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) and Calyx (GB) (Kingman {GB}) pointed elsewhere, the draw may be even more vital than in previous years.

Where the early pace is coming from is a mystery, with possibles for making the running being Emaraaty Ana (GB) (Shamardal {USA}) in stall two, Kick On (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}) in nine, Shine So Bright (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) in 18 and Sporting Chance (GB) (Kodiac {GB}) in 14.

Ballydoyle’s potential favourite Ten Sovereigns (Ire) (No Nay Never {USA}) has to prove he stays, but he was always on the front foot at two and so perhaps Ryan Moore will look to do it naturally from stall five. A fascinating tactical conundrum awaits. Here is the lowdown on each of the runners:

ADVERTISE (GB) (Showcasing {GB})

By the sprinter and speed influence Showcasing who used to shuttle to New Zealand’s Haunui Farm, he took the six-furlong G1 Phoenix S. at The Curragh and the G2 July S. on the July Course here. A bargain £60,000 Goffs UK Doncaster Premier Yearling, he was second over seven in the G1 Dewhurst S. and he has Frankie Dettori on board, but his dam’s side is too fast for any confidence about this stiff mile.

Advertise is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, who have made a big international impact over recent seasons.


AL HILALEE (GB) (Dubawi {Ire})

Supplemented by Charlie Appleby, whose Quorto would have had stronger claims, the 300,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 graduate is the sole representative of Dubawi (Ire) in the line-up and bids to provide that sire with a third edition.

Unbeaten and successful in the Listed Criterium du FEE over a mile at Deauville, the Godolphin homebred looks more of a middle-distance prospect and his trainer pointed that out this week. His dam Ambivalent (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) had the class to win a Group 1, but was also a quirky customer and ended up finishing 17th in the 2014 G1 Melbourne Cup.

Al Hilalee (Image:

AZANO (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB})

One of two trained by Too Darn Hot and Calyx’s trainer John Gosden, the son of Oasis Dream (GB) is one of the race’s “dark horses” after looking in need of further than seven furlongs when third in the Listed European Free H. here last time. His dam is by the stamina influence Hurricane Run (Ire) from an Aga Khan family and he could be in the shake-up.

DARK VISION (IRE) (Dream Ahead {USA})

A son of Dream Ahead (USA), he had promised so much when winning Goodwood’s G2 Vintage S. last year but has been disappointing since. Bought by Godolphin in the summer having cost just 15,000gns at Tattersalls October Book 2 as a yearling, there may be a slight stamina doubt and James Doyle rode him last time, but has opted to ride Skardu.

EMARAATY ANA (GB) (Shamardal {USA})

By the class-infuser Shamardal (USA), he is a fascinating contender as a winner of York’s six-furlong G2 Gimcrack S. with a pedigree that says he should stay at least this mile without issue. He’s a May foal too so there could be lots more to come.

GREAT SCOT (GB) (Requinto {Ire})

The race’s revelation, a £2,500 buy-back at the Ascot November Mixed Sale as a yearling who was up there with the best of his generation at two. Effective on all types of ground, the Listed Ascendant S. winner was also only beaten a head when a possibly unlucky third to Al Hilalee at Deauville.

Trained by one of Britain’s up-and-coming trainers in Tom Dascombe, he shaped with lots of promise when fifth in the G1 Vertem Futurity at Doncaster in October and when second on his return in the G3 Greenham S. By Coolmore’s sprinter Requinto, he hails from the family of the 1997 1000 Guineas heroine Sleepytime (Ire) (Royal Academy) and will be hard to keep out of the frame.

KICK ON (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire})

Qatar Racing’s 135,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 graduate by Charm Spirit (Ire), who shuttles to Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand, is the other Gosden runner and he is stepping back in trip after winning the nine-furlong Listed Fielden S. at the Craven meeting here.

Two-for-two on the track, the half-brother to Australian Listed winner Raw Impulse (GB) (Makfi {GB}) should be ridden forward from his middle draw and is one of the very few pace angles.


One of two Richard Hannon representatives and an outsider, the son of Farhh (GB) won a Nottingham maiden over slightly further last month so is under the radar. He is a half-brother to last year’s G3 Diomed S. winner and G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. third Century Dream (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) so he may need more time.

MADHMOON (Ire) (Dawn Approach {Ire})

Interestingly, he is the sole runner to have the influence of Coolmore breedshaper Galileo (Ire) in his sireline in this year’s renewal, being by Dawn Approach (Ire) who also won this in 2013. Successful in the G2 Golden Fleece S. last year, Shadwell’s homebred beat Ballydoyle’s classy Broome (Ire) (Australia {GB}) there but may not want the ground too quick. Trained by Kevin Prendergast, he is related to the stable’s G1 Irish 2000 Guineas hero Awtaad (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) so has the pedigree to make a big impact.


MAGNA GRECIA (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire})

Passed over by Ryan Moore, Ballydoyle’s son of the former shuttle sire Invincible Spirit (Ire) showed genuine Guineas class as a juvenile, winning the G1 Vertem Futurity only four weeks after making his debut. Also second to Persian King in the course-and-distance G3 Autumn S.

Coolmore and the Niarchos Family’s 340,000gns Tattersalls December Foal Sale purchase is out of the precocious former Ballydoyle runner Cabaret (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) who failed to build on a G3 Silver Flash S. success at two. He is such an obvious contender that it speaks volumes that Moore has gone for his stablemate.

MOMKIN (IRE) (Bated Breath {GB})

He is another to represent the famous Danzig sire line, being by Bated Breath (GB) who was a sprinter but he is out of a mare that stayed 10 furlongs and he saw out this mile well when second in the G3 Craven S. The form of that prep may not be strong and before that he was beaten in a modest race at Ffos Las in August and that is not what happens to Guineas winners.

NAME THE WIND (GB) (Toronado {Ire})

A son of the Swettenham Stud shuttler Toronado (Ire), who was fourth behind Dawn Approach in this in 2013, was a relative bargain as a 62,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 graduate. Unbeaten in two Kempton Polytrack starts for the James Tate stable, he beat a useful rival in the most recent of them which used to be a Guineas trial on turf called the Easter S. A real “dark horse” in an open year, he is also related to the aforementioned Sleepytime and could surprise a few people.

ROYAL MARINE (Ire) (Raven’s Pass {USA})

Godolphin’s main contender, the son of Raven’s Pass (USA) is a homebred G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner who would not want fast ground. Sporting a hood for the first time as Saeed bin Suroor looks for something more than he produced when fourth in the Craven. His dam Inner Secret (USA) (Singspiel {Ire}) is a half to bin Suroor’s high-class Group 1-winning milers Librettist (USA) (Danzig {USA}) and Dubai Destination (USA) (Kingmambo {USA}).

Royal Marine

SET PIECE (GB) (Dansili {GB})

Graced with a beautiful Juddmonte pedigree, the son of Dansili (GB) from the family of the G1 Epsom Oaks heroine Reams of Verse (USA) was third in the Craven with no obvious excuses and it would be a surprise if he could find the required improvement to win a Guineas.

SHINE SO BRIGHT (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB})

Another son of Oasis Dream who represents the red-hot Andrew Balding stable as he bids to become the first colt to win the Listed European Free H. and the Guineas since Mystiko in 1991. Owned by the big-spending King Power Racing, the £375,000 Goffs London purchase looked a force to be reckoned with in that seven-furlong prep and his dam’s side is particularly stout so there is hope he will stay. He has Silvestre de Sousa in the saddle too and he could be left alone on the front end which would be dangerous.

SKARDU (GB) (Shamardal {USA})

Another son of Shamardal and the unbeaten G3 Craven S. winner who currently knows no other place that Newmarket, his home town and the track at which he has appeared twice. Trainer William Haggas has yet to win this Classic, but he could deliver and avenge the drubbing his dam Diala (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) received in the G1 1000 Guineas a few years ago. Even if the Craven is not the greatest form, he is a frighteningly progressive profile and nobody knows where his limit is at the moment.


By the sprinting sire Kodiac (GB), Simon Crisford’s great hope has been in Dubai this winter and rounded off his spell at the carnival with a win in the Listed Meydan Classic over a mile. Admirably tough, the £88,000 Ascot breezer is out of a half to the top miler Poet’s Voice (GB) and has a similar profile to last year’s surprise runner-up Tip Two Win (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}).


In a way, Ten Sovereigns was a surprise choice for Ryan Moore as he is uncertain to stay unlike Magna Grecia, but he has obviously been giving all the right signals at Ballydoyle. Bidding to become the first winner of the G1 Middle Park S. to follow up here since Rodrigo de Triano (USA) in 1992, the son of Coolmore’s No Nay Never (USA) who shuttles to Coolmore Australia again this year is unbeaten in three and as-yet unexposed.

Purchased at Tattersalls October Book 2 for 200,000gns as a yearling, he has inherited his sire’s potent speed but he also has plenty of stamina in his pedigree with his dam Seeking Solace (GB) (Exceed and Excel) winning at 10 furlongs and finishing second in the Listed Prix de la Seine over 11 furlongs for Godolphin. After the Middle Park, Donnacha O’Brien opined that he would love to see him go sprinting at three but Aidan O’Brien has seen enough to chance him at the mile. His family features the G1 Oakleigh Plate heroine Shamal Wind (Dubawi {Ire}).

URBAN ICON (GB) (Cityscape {GB})

The second Hannon runner, the son of Cityscape (GB) was third behind Mohaather and Great Scot in the Greenham and is another bargain, having been bought from Willie Carson’s Minster Stud for only £23,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Yearling Sale. Untried at this trip, stamina is a concern but he does have some classy middle-distance performers in his pedigree including the dual G1 Coronation Cup hero Warrsan (Ire).