The first of the British Classic races take place on the first weekend in May, as the 2,000 Guineas is competed at Newmarket.
The prestigious race is always one that captured the imagination, as the finest three-year-old fillies and colts compete for the first leg of the English Triple Crown.
Last year’s winner of the race was Kameko, but could the heavy favourite in the betting join the illustrious roll of honour of horses that have won in the past?
One Ruler Leading The Betting
One Ruler will be making his season debut in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, as he looks to continue the strong form that he showed in 2020. The three-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby, and owned by Godolphin.
One Ruler was in excellent form in 2020, with his biggest win of the season coming in the Group 3 Emirates Autumn Stakes.
He outlasted the field on that occasion to win by a length and three quarters, but that remains the only win that he has achieved in three starts. He reappeared on the track just a month after that success at Newmarket in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy, but was beaten by Mac Swiney.
Newmarket is a big plus when it comes to One Ruler’s chances, but there are still a number of questions hanging over this talented horse before the 2,000 Guineas.
The top of the betting is dominated by classy three-year-olds, which includes Joseph O’Brien-trained Thunder Moon. Like One Ruler, the 2,000 Guineas will be his first start of the season, but he does hold a very respectable win over another of the contenders in the field.
Thunder Moon claimed the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at Curragh in September last year, as he held on to beat Wembley by a length and a half. His follow up run didn’t go exactly to plan at Newmarket, as he finished over two lengths behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
St Mark’s Basilica could be the horse that has been going under the radar for the 2,000 Guineas this year. He has won two of his five races, with the victory over Thunder Moon on his most recent start proving his potential.
Again, the Newmarket form would be a huge plus ahead of the opening Triple Crown race this year, but the fact that he is trained by Aidan O’Brien is also crucial.
O’Brien has dominated this race in recent seasons, as he has claimed four winners from the past five. The trainer has won the 2,000 Guineas ten times during his career, which is a record.
Outsiders With A Chance
It’s hard to rule out many horses in the field, because the talent set to line up for the 2,000 Guineas this year is exceptional. One at a bigger prize that could be worth a look is Van Gogh. O’Brien trains this three-year-old, and he has a string of positive performances under his belt. He has lined up on seven occasions in his career so far and has won on two occasions.
However, both of those wins have come in his last two starts. His maiden win came at Curragh in September last year, as he beat Colour Sergeant by half a length, but he achieved Graded success on his last start.
That victory came in France, as he won the Group 1 Criterium International. Van Gogh was a dominant winner in that race, as he won by a commanding four lengths from Normandy Bridge. He could be one to keep an eye on.
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