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Guide to the ten runners in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas

4 May 2017

First race in this year's QIPCO British Champions Series promises to be a cracker

Eminent wins his maiden on the rowley mile

Eminent has already recorded two wins over the Guineas course and distance. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Ten runners have been declared for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday – the first race in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

It promises to be a thriller with Churchill, the top two-year-old of last season, taken on by the unbeaten trio of Al Wukair, Barney Roy and Eminent. Here’s a guide to all the contenders.

AL WUKAIR
Trainer
: Andre Fabre
Form: 11-1
General odds: 9-2
French raider won both his starts as a two-year-old, in the autumn, and impressed when coming from off the pace to master the Group 1-winning National Defense on his return in the Group 3 Prix Djebel at Maisons-Lafitte. Proven over a mile and high-class prospect.

BARNEY ROY
Trainer
: Richard Hannon
Form: 1-1
General odds: 7-2
Strong at the finish when beating Dream Castle two lengths in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes on his return at Newbury, having been a taking winner over a mile at Haydock on his only juvenile start. Has plenty more to offer and very exciting contender.

CHURCHILL
Trainer
: Aidan O’Brien
Form: 211111-
General odds: 6-4
Champion two-year-old last season, when he signed off with successive Group 1 wins in the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes. Proved his effectiveness on the Rowley Mile with the latter victory and seems certain to stay at least a mile. Trainer’s principal hope in his quest for a record-breaking eighth win in the race.

DREAM CASTLE
Trainer
: Saeed Bin Suroor
Form: -12
General odds: 16-1
Unraced as a two-year-old but quickly making up for lost time. Emphatic odds-on winner of a 7f maiden at Doncaster and then stepped up on that when a two-length runner-up to Barney Roy in the Greenham, when a bit too keen. Open to improvement if learning to settle better.

EMINENT
Trainer
: Martyn Meade
Form: 1-1
General odds: 5-1
Plenty to like about the way he put Group 1 winner Rivet in his place in the Craven Stakes over the Guineas course and distance on his reappearance, having also at Newmarket on his debut in September. Latest win backed up by the clock and seeks to his emulate his sire, Frankel, who was the brilliant Guineas winner in 2011.

LANCASTER BOMBER
Trainer
: Aidan O’Brien
Form: 14522-4
General odds: 33-1
Finished behind stablemate Churchill on three occasions last year, including when beaten just over a length behind him in the Dewhurst. Runner-up at the Breeders’ Cup after that and caught the eye when fourth in the UAE Derby at Meydan on return. Will not fail through lack of experience.

LARCHMONT LAD
Trainer
: Richard Hannon
Form: 131-5
General odds: 40-1
Pick of his juvenile efforts was when beating Whitecliffsofdover in the Group 3 Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket in autumn. Probably not seen to best advantage when about four lengths fifth to Eminent in the Craven – first of three home on far side and possibly in need of the run.

LAW AND ORDER
Trainer
: James Tate
Form: 31583-13
General odds: 66-1
Useful two-year-old who won Listed race at Lingfield on reappearance before finishing third in the Feilden Stakes over an extended 9f at Newmarket latest. Looked stretched by trip latest and return to a mile will suit, but uphill task.

SPIRIT OF VALOR
Trainer
: Aidan O’Brien
Form: 312-8
General odds: 50-1
Ran well when runner-up in Group 3 company at Leopardstown in autumn, having had little to spare when landing a 6f maiden in the mud at Naas a week earlier. Never figured on his return in the UAE Derby at Meydan and looks the trainer’s third string.

TOP SCORE
Trainer
: Saeed Bin Suroor
Form: 3193232-3110
General odds: 66-1
Kept busy at the Dubai Carnival at the start of the year – showing improved form to win Group 3 penultimate start but no impact in the UAE Derby last time.