2000 Guineas Preview 2018

By Samantha


saxon warrior
Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion fight out the finish to the Racing Post Trophy



This is the first Group One of the season and it kicks off a great bank holiday weekend for Flat racing fans with the 2000 Guineas today and the fillies’ version tomorrow along with some great racing around it.


Aidan O’Brien is looking to get his season off to a great start in this race. He has three in this renewal and he knows how to win it as he won last year with Churchill. His trio are Gustav Klimt, Murrillo and Saxon Warrior. With Ryan Moore over in America, it’s hard to see the preference between Gustav Klimt and Saxon Warrior, judging on jockey bookings. The market is suggesting that Gustav Klimt is the best of the two so I will begin with him. He is three from four and, last time out, he won the Listed 2000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. He won a Group Two before that but he is untried over a mile so that is an issue. SAXON WARRIOR is unbeaten and rated 7lbs higher than Gustav Klimt. He is a Deep Impact colt by Maybe, who was an unbeaten two year old for Aidan O’Brien. She won a Group One, Two and Three and a Listed race in her career. Saxon Warrior has an older full brother who hasn’t done nearly as well as the second foal, who finished his two year old season in great style by winning the Racing Post Trophy. He had Roaring Lion in second and that race has worked out to be a strong race. No horse has won from his draw since before 1994 but that is only a trivial kink in his armour. Murillo looks to be the likely pacemaker for the race. He has only ran over five and six furlongs so he will set a good pace. His sire is Scat Daddy and he won over a mile so he could stay the trip and actually have a good chance but it’s hard to know when you are trying to work out Aidan’s reasons for placing his horses in certain races.


Expert Eye and Roaring Lion were both expected to win on their reappearances but both failed to deliver. The former won his first two races including the Group Two Vintage Stakes. He concluded last season by coming last in the Dewhurst in which Cardsharp came fourth. On his reappearance, he came second behind James Garfield in the Greenham Stakes, disappointing lots of people. Roaring Lion’s first run this year was finishing third behind Masar in the Craven. Before that, he had won his first three races including the Royal lodge Stakes but he was then second in the Racing Post Trophy behind Saxon Warrior. The Craven is ran over course and distance and Masar won it in fine style, winning by nine lengths. Godolphin’s colt has won three of his four starts in the UK. Between his first three starts and his win in the Craven, he ran on three different continents without much luck. He has matured well and stamped his dominance over a possibly smart field of horses.


james garfield
James Garfield



James Garfield would be a fairytale winner for young trainer George Scott. This son of Exceed And Excel is a is three from seven in the UK one of those wins was in the Group Two Mill Reef, where he had Nebo in third. Then he went over to Del Mar but was unplaced behind Mendelssohn. He came back as a three year old and put up a great, gutsy display in the Greenham beating Expert Eye. He definitely isn’t without a shot.


Raid is very inexperienced compared to most of the other horse in the race. He won on debut at two and then was thrown into group company in behind James Garfield so connections obviously think he is a good horse. Nebo has finished behind Gustav Klimt and Rajasinghe as well as James Garfield as was mentioned earlier. This makes his chances seem very small.


Mark Johnston has the top two on the race card in this in the form of Cardsharp and Elarquam. Cardsharp will be partnered by James Doyle, who has been in great form of late. He seems to be more of a sprinter as he has only won over five or six furlongs and is yet to run over a mile. He is the current outsider of the field at about 100/1. It is surprising that Doyle is on him as he won on Headway earlier in the season and regularly rides for Headway’s trainer William Haggas. Johnston’s other runner, Elarquam, looks to have a better chance than the aforementioned one. He is two from two and is a Group Two winner on his latest start which came at the end of last year. Tip Two Win was second that day. He is yet to win over a mile and is looking to give Frankel his first Classic winner. Similarly, Headway hasn’t ran over a mile yet either but he did win well over seven furlongs last time out and seemed to have lots left in the tank after that win so he will probably appreciate the trip. He was second in the Coventry stakes behind Rajasinghe and there was only a head that split them last season. It looks like he will be able to reverse the form with Rajasinghe as the latter hasn’t shown much good form since. It looks like he is best in sprints as he was third in the July Stakes but he hasn’t really been tested properly over a mile so there is a chance he performs best over a mile.


Tip Two Win is an extremely consistent horse as he has never been worse than third in all his five starts. He is a winner over six and seven furlongs but it seems like he is more of a sprinting type as he is by Dark Angel and out of Freddie’s Girl, a decent sprinter. He hasn’t been seen since finishing behind Elarquam in a Group Three.    


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