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Headway set for 2000 Guineas after Newmarket workout

25 Apr 2018

A total of 26 horses remain in contention for the first Classic of the year with 20 left in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

HEADWAY ridden by James Doyle

Headway and Doyle after combining to win at Lingfield. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Headway is on course for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday week

after coming through a gallop at the track with flying colours on Wednesday.

The William Haggas-trained colt is among the 26 acceptors for the £500,000 mile showpiece, which heralds the start of this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series.

Headway made a deep impression when winning a the Listed race on his return at Lingfield last month and took part in a seven furlong gallop on the Rowley Mile this morning, ridden by James Doyle.

“His gallop this morning was exactly how I hoped it would be,” Haggas said. “He’s in pretty good shape and just needed a nice blow out. I wanted him to work with two other decent horses to encourage him to relax.

“He handled the dip well and he’s on top of his game. He needs fast ground so it suited us to bring him here for a gallop rather than race him on soft. We wouldn’t run him in the Guineas on soft ground.

“On pedigree he should stay, he just needs to relax. We hope that he can improve and he has a turn of speed that gives him a chance in an open year.”

Aidan O’Brien’s team is led by the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy hero, Saxon Warrior, and Gustav Klimt, winner of the Group 2 bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last July.

Runaway bet365 Craven Stakes winner Masar and the unbeaten Elarqam also stand their ground.

Twenty fillies remain in the £500,000 QIPCO 1000 Guineas, run at Newmarket on Sunday week, with Roger Varian keen to run Altyn Orda and Madeline.

He said: “I was delighted with Altyn Orda’s second place in the Nell Gwyn Stakes (at Newmarket last week). I liked the way our filly stuck to her task and she hit the line strongly, shaping like she will be well suited by the step up to a mile.

“Madeline is training very well and she will head straight to the 1000 Guineas. I am very pleased with her progress and I look forward to running her too.”

Aidan O’Brien will be bidding to win the feature for a third straight year and has a powerful six-strong entry, headed by the dual Group 1 scorer, Happily, and September, who flew home to get within a nose of victory in the Group 1 bet365 Fillies’ Mile over the full Guineas course and distance last October.

Other notable entries are Wild Illusion, successful in France’s top race for juvenile fillies, the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, and the filly that denied September in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile, Laurens.

The 26 acceptors for the Group 1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas run over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday May 5 are as follows:
Barraquero (IRE), Cardsharp (GB), Chilean (GB), Corrosive (USA), Elarqam (GB), Expert Eye (GB), Ghaiyyath (IRE), Gustav Klimt (IRE), Headway (GB), Hey Gaman (GB), James Garfield (IRE), Just Brilliant (IRE), Masar (IRE), Murillo (USA), Nebo (IRE), Raid (IRE), Rajasinghe (IRE), Roaring Lion (USA), Romanised (IRE), Saxon Warrior (JPN), Seahenge (USA), Threeandfourpence (USA), Tip Two Win (GB), U S Navy Flag (USA), Without Parole (GB), Wootton (FR) (26).

The 20 acceptors for the Group 1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas run over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday, 6th May, are as follows:
Altyn Orda (IRE), Anna Nerium (GB), Beshaayir (GB), Billesdon Brook (GB), Bye Bye Baby (IRE), Dark Rose Angel (IRE), Eirene (GB), Happily (IRE), I Can Fly (GB), Laurens (FR), Liquid Amber (USA), Madeline (IRE), Orsera (IRE), Sarrocchi (IRE), September (IRE), Sizzling (IRE), Teppal (FR), Vitamin (IRE), Wild Illusion (GB), Worship (IRE) (20).