As the Cheltenham Festival disappears behind Cleeve Hill for another year and with the number of short priced favourites turned over fresh in the memory, my attentions swerved towards the spring classics, notably the 2000 Guineas.
Camelot, a very impressive winner of the Racing Post Trophy is a best priced 5/2 favourite. I cannot get involved at that price; Racing Post Trophy winners do not win Guineas. His sire Montjeu’s top class progeny are all middle distance types and though there is speed in his dam’s side, one and a half miles will no doubt be his trip. We have been spoiled in recent years with the likes of Sea the Stars and Frankel so the tendency to be carried off on the crest of a media hype wave professing another superstar is difficult to fight.
Following Camelot in the market is Top Offer. He has the pedigree for a Guineas but he is yet to be tested at group level, so 8/1 for a horse we know little about is not for me.
Next up are Nephrite and Harbour Watch who both fit a similar profile in that they have the look of sprinters. Harbour Watch is by Acclamation who is not renowned for producing top class milers, added to that he has had an injury so I would be reluctant to get involved. Injury also worries me about Born To Sea. The extremely well-bred son of Invincible Spirit looked the real deal when winning first time out in a listed contest, but afterwards John Oxx mentioned he had picked up a sore shin earlier in the year. Following his defeat at Leopardstown in October he was also reported lame which just worries me and although he should love it, possible fast ground at Newmarket may not help him. Back to his victor in the Killavullan Stakes, Nephrite. By Pivotal and related to sprinters, as with Harbour Watch, I fear the stamina demands of the Rowley Mile may find him out.
That leaves my selection for this year’s renewal, Power. Described by his trainer as a big, powerful, strong horse, precocious three-year-olds are just what are required to win a Guineas. The likes of Rock Of Gibraltar, George Washington and Henrythenavigator all had similar profiles to Power and are types Aiden O’Brien excels with. His sire Oasis Dream produces horses that stay a wide range of trips and his dam has produced horses that stayed middle distances. Both Ryan Moore and Seamie Heffernan were quoted as saying he’ll stay the mile. Possibly unlucky in the Dewhurst he has Group 1, going and course form so for me the 14/1 available is very tempting.
Article contributed by Reuben Ewart