Two Thousand Guineas Contenders as 2yos
Whilst I am kicking my heels waiting for the 2yo season to kick off properly I thought it would be interesting to look at the confirmation of some of the leading fancies for the Guineas, writes Hugh Fowler.
The format is a picture where I have one, and any comments I made at the time plus in italics my current thoughts.
I don’t have pictures of either Gleneagles or Faydhan, though each has their claims on the form book.
This photo was from his Sandown debut. Ivawood – Fine big strong colt, very well proportioned.
Dam won over 12f but I wonder if he will be better over shorter than the mile, only raced over 5f and 6f like his dad. Must have gd or gd firm. Wonderful athletic beast but is that more of a sprinters build?
Richard Pankhurst – Best model in the paddock but very green and constantly spinning around away from his handler in the pre-parade. Big, strong athletic and fairly fit. I heard one of Gosden’s owners (not this colt’s owner’, saying to him that ‘it had better win, I’ve got my shirt on it’. Gosden was notably non-committal and diverted the conversation away. I think he shared my view that the race was left behind by then.
This photo on his debut led me to follow him into The Chesham which he duly won in great style. I have a feeling that Chesham winners have a terrible record in the Guineas but he was one of the most impressive colts I saw all season.
Highland Reel was a good size bigger than the rest of these but on the debit side he was behaving like The Great War in the pre-parade. He was in there for at least 30 minutes sweating profusely and propping, despite this he ran without a bother on him. Very impressive.
Highland Reel – Group class performer. Big, strong and athletic. If he can do this after behaving like this he should be a serious performer when he grows up a bit mentally.
I overheard Richard Hannon on the subject of the 2nd Tupi saying watch him go ‘whoosh’. He never had a chance and the one who did go whoosh was Highland Reel. I did not think he could possibly win after his parade behaviour and the fact that he did but then never ran again last season makes one worry about his temperament and fragility. If he gets there in one piece and copes with the preliminaries I think he will be hard to beat.
Belardo – Maybe not quite medium sized, I kept referring to him as her, has a somewhat feminine air. Rear on picture flatters.
It may be risky to say so given that he ended up so highly rated but I could not quite see the quality needed in him.
Elm Park – Nicely made individual, good proportions and athleticism, green and should improve nto
Comments from debut, but photo from his win at Salisbury. Most people seem to think he will be better for The Derby. He is one I missed last year and there is something about him which does not click with me. Purely personal and probably wrong.
Estidhkaar – Not the best looking in the paddock but quite athletic. Improve a lot nto but not convinced he is a Hannon/Goodwood special one. (Goodwood debut)
Estidhkaar – powerful without being overly impressive, I under estimated him at Goodwood and again here, the way he uses himself seems very efficient. Can go on from here. (Newmarket 3rd time out)
Not the most flattering picture and he is an impressive individual in the unflashy way he gets things done. He does not look quite classy enough to me to be a guineas winner though should pick up some Gp2 and 3’s.
Latharnach – A real bruiser, very powerfully built, great barrel of a chest, despite his heftiness he seemed to be able to use his power efficiently. Possibly high class.
The picture here was from an early run when he was still a bit up behind. As he grew up through the season he became more impressive. When I saw him at Sandown in September he was formidable. The fact that he is available around 100/1 suggests he is unlikely to run.
A bit of a puzzling race for a paddock reviewer as Consort was by no means a standout in the paddock. Perhaps not helped by being a patchy roan grey. Hard even in retrospect to see an awful lot of appeal in him despite appearing to win so easily.
Consort – No more than medium, bit slouchy in the paddock. Appeared to show something better in the race.
Was put up by Pricewise the other day at 33/1. Just the one run and certainly shot clear of his rivals who included Mubtaahij, winner of the UAE Derby.
Kodi Bear – Looked strong and athletic but still up behind and not really looking absolutely tuned for the day as I was expecting, more to come.
A bit like Estidhkaar, perhaps not quite Group 1 standard but still a fierce competitor.
Algaith – Strapping sort, calling and snorting constantly carrying plenty of condition. Should improve massively for the run.
Just a wild card – currently 90’s on Bf so presumably will not be running. Still one to follow this season.
If either of the current top two live up to market expectations then I am sunk. I fell in love with Ivawood from day one and he is clearly the Hannon’s pick. I shall hope for good ground. Highland Reel and Richard Pankhurst are my next two that I have antepost slips on at 20 and 23 respectively.
I also have fivers on Kodi Bear, Algaith and Latharnach at long odds.
They are all handsome beasts and it will be very exciting to see which of them comes out on top. Ivawood, Richard P and Latharnach are the three that I gave a rating of 90+ on debut.
My rating is to my own scale as my estimate of what OR they might reach based primarily upon physical attributes with a secondary boost for how they ran. The rating is lower than the OR. The reason it is lower than OR is that the handicapper tends to give maiden winners about 75 no matter what. This leads to a lot of over rated lower grade horses whereas I would tend to have an average maiden winner between 65 and 72. So when I rate a horse in the 90’s it is probably 100+OR and the lbs difference between the OR 100 horse and the OR75 horse is probably similar to my own 90s rated and maiden winner. Hope that makes sense, it does to me.
– Hugh Fowler