I have already done a preview for both the colts, and the fillies Guineas preview shall focus on the other racing at HQ, and whilst not of the same prestige, there is still the same amount of quality on display.
The opening handicap looks a classy renewal, but two horses immediately catch the eye, the first being CIRCUMVENT for Paul Cole and Cristophe Soumillion, who have a good strike rate when combining, most notably when winning a similar race last season with Rimth. Circumvent returned with a good third in the Winter Derby at Lingfield, and is on a reasonable mark for solid pattern performer. PROPONENT is another at a career high mark of 100, but his showing in the Cambridgeshire last year showed he is getting better with age. Trainer Roger Charlton and jockey Jack Doyle are in good form, and he has a decent record fresh.
The Jockey Club Stakes is a Group Two, but judging by the calibre of horses that turn out for this race, it soon will be of a Group One level, with the field consisting of a French Derby, Melbourne Cup, St Leger winners to say the least. It is them three that head the market in the form of Meandre, Dunaden and Masked Marvel, but the value may seemingly lay with the progressive four year olds, who have yet to taste Group one or two glory. FIORENTE has been held in the highest regard by Sir Michael Stoute since winning a Newbury maiden, and has followed that up with two decent efforts. Second to King George winner Nathaniel at Ascot, and second to Namibian at Goodwood. He is very unexposed and could have bags of improvement to come. Similarly QUEST FOR PEACE who resembles an equally light profile, previously with Aidan O’ Brien before going to Luca Cumani. On his first outing, he won the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, beating 2010 Leger winner Arctic Cosmos, before a strong fifth in the Woodbine Invitational in Canada. Both look to have few miles on the clock
Aidan O’ Brien’s Camelot set tongues wagging when hacking up in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on only his second outing last season. A son of Montjeu, he looks more suited to the Derby trip on stamina grounds, so it looks a bit of a head scratcher running him the Guineas, especially when one recalls St Nicholas Abbey, who took a similar path and took an age to recover. The soft ground should aid his chances, but at the prices, he has to be overlooked.
His stable mate Power looks to have a live chance, given his form from last year when he was a model of consistency at Group level. He won the National Stakes at The Curragh and the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, but his win over Dragon Pulse on soft at The Curragh is the best piece of form. He has a chance at bigger prices.
Richard Hannon has four runners in Trumpet Major, Bronterre, Coupe De Ville and Redact but I think they have a bit to find on various form-lines, and the trainer has yet to win this race since 1990. Top Offer has only run once, in a maiden, and cannot be backed from a form perspective in my opinion, let alone the ground.
ABTAAL won impressively over a mile against French Fifteen last year, running his prep very much as a trial and he should come along a lot for the race. Another horse from respected connections is BORN TO SEA for the John Oxx yard; a trainer that rarely has a runner in the UK if not feeling the horse has an excellent chance. A half brother to Galileo and Sea The Stars, this horse just oozes class. He won a listed race on his debut, highlighting his promise, before running second to O’Brien’s Nephrite when apparently wrong. By Invincible Spirit, this should be his ideal trip and, given the trainers 29% strike rate with runners in this country in the last decade, carries maximum respect.
2.00 Newmarket – Circumvent & Proponent 2.35 Newmarket – Quest For Peace & Fiorente 3.10 Newmarket – Born to Sea & Abtaal
The Yorkshireman – Jack Milner