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Will blue be the colour in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas?

11 Mar 2016

There are just 50 days to go until the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, the first race of the QIPCO British Champions Series. To celebrate, here’s six to keep in mind between now and the big race.

Air Force Blue is a striking winner of the group one Goffs Vincent O’Brien Stakes in Ireland. Image courtesy of Racingfotos.com.

There are just 50 days to go until the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, the first race of the QIPCO British Champions Series. To celebrate, here’s six to keep in mind between now and the big race.

 

AIR FORCE BLUE

Form: 12111-

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

General odds: 11-10 favourite

Last season’s champion two-year-old sets an extremely high standard, having won his final three races – all group one contests – by an aggregate of more than eight lengths. Proved his effectiveness at Newmarket, too, when storming clear in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes in October.  His only defeat came when runner-up to Buratino in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, when his trainer said the late foal was betrayed by a lack of maturity. Stepping up to a mile should be no problem but soft conditions would probably not be ideal for the son of War Front.

 

FOUNDATION

Form: 1113-

Trainer: John Gosden

Odds: 16-1

All four of his juvenile races were over a mile with give in the ground. Upped his game when beating Deauville with something to spare in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge at Newmarket in September and should be forgiven his odds-on defeat behind Marcel in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster as he finished full of running after getting boxed in behind rivals. Has shown a knee action and possible that fast ground would not play to his strengths.

 

BLUE DE VEGA

Form: 311-

Trainer: Michael O’Callaghan

Odds: 20-1

Eyecatcher when beaten on all-weather debut (slow away after being in the stalls a long time) and confirmed that initial promise when winning impressively over 7f on his next two starts, including in group three company at Leopardstown in October. Extra furlong will not be an issue and there should be plenty more to come.

 

MARCEL

Form: 511-

Trainer: Peter Chapple-Hyam

Odds: 25-1

Sprung a 33-1 surprise when coming from off the pace to win the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster but that looked no fluke, albeit Foundation, the favourite, met lots of trouble in running. Had previously lost his maiden tag in good style at Newcastle and type to do better again this year. Likely to reappear in the Craven Stakes or, alternatively, head straight for the Guineas.

 

ROYAL ARTILLERY

Form: 1-

Trainer: John Gosden

Odds: 25-1

Imposing son of War Front who justified short-priced favouritism in smooth style on his debut at Doncaster (7f) in late October. Probably did not achieve much in terms of form that day but could not have won easier and in excellent hands. In the same ownership as Air Force Blue.

 

RIBCHESTER

Form: 221-

Trainer: Richard Fahey

Odds: 33-1

Still did not look the finished article when landing the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury (6f) in August, having previously been second in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes. Plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree and, open to plenty more improvement, should not be discounted.