Can trial winners buck recent trends in 2000 Guineas?
3 May 2017
Fifteen of the last 21 winners of the first Classic of the season have been making their seasonal reappearance
Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori take the honours in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. Picture: Racingfotos.com
There have been some compelling QIPCO 2000 Guineas trials this spring but will they count for anything in the eagerly awaited first race of the QIPCO British Champions Series at Newmarket on Saturday?
Recent history suggests not, with nine of the past 12 winners of the 2000 Guineas making their seasonal reappearances. You can take that further, too, with 15 of the last 21 victors reappearing on the Rowley Mile.
Galileo Gold and Massaat, the first two home, were both making their respective comebacks last year. Twelve months before that, Gleneagles was returning.
You have to go back to Frankel, in 2011, to find the last 2000 Guineas victor who had chalked up a success in the trials.
All of Aidan O’Brien’s seven previous winners had been having their first runs of the campaign and he will attempt to repeat the trick with Churchill.
Last season’s champion two-year-old also fits a number of other key trends, including winning a Group race as a juvenile. That is something seven of the past ten victors achieved.
The unbeaten trio of Eminent, Barney Roy and Al Wukair are the biggest threats to Churchill, according to the betting, but none of them managed a pattern success as a juvenile.
Eminent, a son of Series legend Frankel, created a stir when landing the Craven Stakes on his return but winners of that mile contest in the past decade have struggled.
Frankel has a Classic contender as Eminent (8-1) wins the Craven Stakes for Martyn Meade and Jim Crowley pic.twitter.com/mpjANPcNNX
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 20, 2017
They have gone on to finish 025344700 but perhaps Eminent will be able to turn back the clock: between 1985 and 1990 five of the 2000 Guineas winners contested the Craven beforehand.
Five Greenham winners have gone on to run in the Guineas in the past decade and have finished 62192. The winner among them was the mighty Frankel but, before him, the last to contest the Newbury race before winning at Newmarket was Rodrigo De Triano in 1992.
That does not augur well for Barney Roy, although he looked an a classy winner of the race this year.
The race which has been most instructive in identifying the 2000 Guineas winner has been the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, run at Newmarket in October.
Dawn Approach (2013) and Rock Of Gibraltar (2002) won it on their final juvenile starts. Churchill treads the same path this year.