2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) Cl1 (3yo) 1m – Preview, FSF Ratings and Tip from Graham Richards
FSF ratings represent a unique combination of form and speed.
The average RPR achieved by 2000 Guineas winners since 2007 is 124. The lowest being 121 and the highest Frankel’s 133. The favourite for this year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket is Churchill who enters the fray with an RPR of 121. 2016 Dewhurst Stakes form has been franked by the three that followed him home. Lancaster Bomber finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Blue Point returned at Ascot with a Group Three win a course record time, Thunder Snow went on to Group Three and Two successes in Dubai, while Rivet took the Racing Post Trophy.
Churchill is a grinder rather than a flashy type with a turn of foot. His trainer considers him a similar type to Rock Of Gibraltar and Giant’s Causeway. The expectation is there will be run a strong gallop. Connections will be looking to see him sent to the front a furlong from home and hold off his pursuers. 3lb and upwards clear of his field on FSFs, it should be remembered those below him have already run and registered an FSF for this season. Second top on FSFs, Lancaster Bomber has finished behind Churchill three times. Each time he has helped force the pace. With his ability, he will make it a true gallop if resuming those duties.
Godolphin have a possible pacemaker in Top Score. Barney Boy ran out an impressive winner of the Greenham Stakes. Travelling well, he found his stride in the final furlong, clocking the best time of any of the trials. He will stay a mile and should be in the frame at least. A slight concern for me would be the fast time on seasonal debut costing him at the business end, in the heat of the battle.
Eminent clocked a good time when taking the Craven Stakes. He handled the track and was never stronger than at the finish. He looks certain to stay and appreciate further.
Rivet will come on for his run in the Craven Stakes. More exposed than Eminent, he may struggle to turn the tables.
Al Wukair came from well off the pace to land the Group Three Prix Djebel from National Defense. The latter is a good guide to French juvenile form. Whilst Al Wukair quickened smartly to run out a cosy winner, he will not be able to give as much ground away in this company, on the prevailing ground underhoof. The UK and Irish horses discussed, all handle good and good to firm. Al Wukair’s breeding suggests he will handle good to firm.
At the top of FSFs, Churchill is comfortably the best horse in the field on form shown. All the more impressive as he recorded his FSF as a juvenile. He is a solid colt that has a powerful engine without being flashy suggesting he is the type to train on. Interestingly, the silence from Ballydoyle has been deafening compared to last year’s hype surrounding Air Force Blue. I have been on Churchill’s side since he won the National Stakes in Ireland and do not intend to jump ship now. Those interested in his Derby prospects should note while he is by Galileo his dam was a five-furlong Listed sprinter. On the plus side, her siblings stayed a mile and nine-furlongs.
Churchill – WIN at Best Odds Guaranteed
Graham’s excellent 2017 Flat Guide is out now and can be purchased for £15 from grahamrichardsonline.co.uk.