Now that Royal Ascot is over and the Flat Racing Season in England is well and truly under way, I thought it might be a good idea to take a very early look at the English Flat Racing Classics. I will start with the 2000 Guineas which is to be the first of the Classics to be run, and will be run on 7th May 2016 at Newmarket. The major UK bookmakers are already posting ante-post prices, so I will go through the possible runners as the bookmakers have pretty much agreed they are likely to be.
For each possible runner, I will give a brief resume of the horse's profile, including such aspects as breeding, date foaled, the trainer, and what I consider to be the horse's most significant run to date. I will also give an indication of the ante-post prices available in the market (bearing in mind of course that these are subject to fluctuation throughout the season for any number of reasons).
Most of the major bookmakers have the Mark Johnston trained Buratino as the current ante-post favourite at around 16/1. A son of Exceed And Excel out of the mare Bergamask Buratino made light work of the 6 furlongs of the Coventry Stakes on 16th June 2015. Buratino was foaled on 01/03/2013. And it is to Coventry Stakes form that we turn for the next three horse profiles.
Air Force Blue (by War Front out of Chatham) trained by Aiden O'Brien was beaten for pace by Buratino on going on the fast side of good; perhaps indicating that he would prefer a slower surface or a greater distance - or both. O'Brien's horse was foaled 02/05/2013.
Chasing home the first two was the Richard Hannon horse Eltezam, a colt by Kodiac out of the mare Tymora. This 19/01/2013 colt strikes me as a 6 to 7 furlong horse and I could not see him getting the better of his Coventry Stakes victors over the mile of the Guineas.
The next horse I want to focus on from the Coventry Stakes is indeed the horse that came last in the race. So why should we be interested in a horse that came 17th out of 17 in the "Coventry"? Well, War Department, a 16/02/2013 colt by Frozen Power out of On My Knees, was truly "in the wars" in the "Coventry" and almost on HIS knees, stumbling, having been so badly hampered, that William Haggas's horse stood no chance of getting a good run. But the horse had previously won his Maiden impressively and at around 40/1 should not be dismissed out of hand.
Yet another horse well beaten in the Coventry Stakes was the Jim Bolger trained Round Two. This 27/03/2013 colt by Teofilio out of Khazina is quoted at around 25/1 and, like Air Force Blue strikes me as a horse who will prefer give in the ground, judging by his win in a listed race at the Curragh on 23/05/2015.