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Al Wukair storms into 2000 Guineas reckoning

11 Apr 2017

Unbeaten Andre-Fabre colt impresses on his return while Fair Eva will head straight to 1000 Guineas

Fair Eva heads Roger Charlton's Guineas team

Frankel filly Fair Eva will head straight to the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Andre Fabre has confirmed that the QIPCO 2000 Guineas will be the target for Al Wukair after the exciting colt preserved his unbeaten record with a striking success in the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte on Monday.

Impressive on his only two starts as a juvenile, the Dream Ahead colt was the odds-on favourite for his return to action in the seven-furlong Group Three contest.

Al Wukair initially trailed the field under Gregory Benoist but once switched wide the Al Shaqab Racing-owned youngster showed great acceleration to master Group One scorer National Defense.

Al Wukair was cut to a best priced 8-1 second-favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6, the opening race of the QIPCO British Champions Series. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Churchill heads the market at around 6-4.

Fabre, who has won the 2000 Guineas twice before with Zafonic (1993) and Pennekamp (1995), said: “I’m very pleased and he will now go to Newmarket.

“He is a very different horse to Zafonic. He was like a powerful bull. This is a more laid-back horse, but he has a beautiful action and a lot of class.

“I wouldn’t say he was green, he was just a little bit flat-footed over the seven furlongs. I think stepping up to a mile will help him.”

Harry Herbert, racing manager for the owners, added: “He is still a little bit green and there was some ring-rustiness there, but the acceleration he has is so exciting.”

Meanwhile, Fair Eva is set to head straight to the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 7.

The Roger Charlton-trained daughter of Frankel impressed in her first two starts in June and July last year, before finishing third in the Lowther Stakes at York and second in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

Harry Charlton, assistant to his father, said: “She won’t have a prep run. She will go straight to the Guineas. She went to Kempton last week and worked well. She has grown and put on a lot of weight. Mentally she is good.”

Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, Fair Eva is a general 12-1 chance for the fillies’ Classic behind Rhododendron and Wuheida.