2019 Qipco 2000 Guineas Odds and Betting Preview
Following the recent culmination of the National Hunt season, our equine focus now fully points towards the flat campaign, with Newmarket hosting its two-day Guineas meeting at the weekend.
Saturday’s highlight is the 2000 Guineas with some of Europe’s top three-year-old colts battling up the Rowley Mile straight course to claim the opening classic of the season on the level.
Event Date: May 4-5, 2019
The 2000 Guineas dates back to the very early 1800’s and by the mid-19th century, the race – as it is to this day – was regarded as the most prestigious flat race for three-year-olds in Britain over the mile distance.
Fillies are also allowed to take part in the 2000 Guineas, with a three-pound weight allowance, but rarely take advantage of this concession and stick to their own sex category of the 1000 Guineas race instead.
Bringing things more up-to-date, Irish super-trainer, Aidan O’Brien holds the leading trainers’ record by saddling nine previous winners of the 2000 Guineas – with eight of those in the last 17 seasons. O’Brien, once again, has another strong hand this year – with four potential runners – but will face some stiff opposition with other leading trainers also having fancied runners in the big race.
Here we will look at some of the leading contenders to try and point our readers in the direction of the winner on Saturday afternoon.
For anyone who wishes to place their bets before the final declaration stage on Thursday lunchtime, please be aware that only Betfred and Tote Sport are currently offering Non-Runner No Bet on this race. Therefore, if you back any horse without choosing these bookmakers before the final declarations are announced, you will lose your wager if the horse does not run in the race on Saturday afternoon.
This year’s renewal is tricky to base strong opinions on several of the leading contenders in the race due to most not having any preparations on the track, however, the bookmakers have to price one horse up as their favourite, and that animal is Magna Grecia – trained by Aidan O’Brien – at the best industry odds of 7/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
A winner of two of his three starts as a two-year-old, Magna Grecia won at Group One level in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster over a mile on his last start, which is one of the key trial races for two-year-olds for the 2000 Guineas. The son of Invincible Spirit will have no issues regarding stamina, and is one who is likely to be thereabouts at the business end of the race.
The strength of the O’Brien yard his highlighted with the second favourite in the ante-post market for the 2000 Guineas, also hailing from Ballydoyle, step forward, Ten Sovereigns. Following an unbeaten campaign last year, with three victories, Ten Sovereigns was installed as the ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas following the news of Too Darn Hot’s defection due to injury.
However, a recent drift in the market has seen the son of No Nay Never out to the best industry odds of 11/2 with Black Type – and that could appeal here. One note of caution is the fact that Ten Sovereigns was campaigned over six furlongs only last season, and his progeny hardly suggests stamina. However, he deserves to take his chance, and could have the necessary speed to scoot clear.
Yorkshire trainer, William Haggas has never saddled-up the winner of the 2000 Guineas, but the Northern handler has a decent chance in 2019 with Skardu – who already boasts course and distance form this season.
Ladbrokes offer the best price on Skardu of 15/2, who won the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Racing’s HQ by holding off Roger Charlton’s Momkin last month. The likely mount of James Doyle has a few pounds to find in the form book, but Skardu has race fitness on his side, and could well be an each-way contender.
Legendary jockey, Lanfranco Dettori has opted to take the ride on Martyn Meade’s Advertise, with this horse having arguably the strongest form in the field.
After finishing less than three lengths behind Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October, and a narrow defeat to Calyx – who has franked that form in impressive fashion at Ascot this week – at Royal Ascot last year, Advertise is likely to be very popular with punters, especially on the day of the race, with such an esteemed jockey onboard. The 8/1 that is generally available right now is worth taking.
Others to Consider
No Classic horse race around the world wouldn’t be the same without a Godolphin presence, and the Dubai operation are potentially double-handed with Royal Marine, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, and Charlie Appleby’s Al Hilalee, who has been recently supplemented for the race after impressing on the gallops.
Royal Marine has already had two outings in 2019 – at Meydan and Newmarket and has suffered defeat both times as favourite, which hardly offers enthusiasm at the current odds of 10/1 with Black Type.
Al Hilalee is an interesting contender though. A winner of both starts last season, albeit at a lower level, he could be a real improver and Godolphin would surely not bother in entering a horse who they believe does not have any chance of success. Ladbrokes offer the top price of 16/1, and that is worthy of interest.
Irish interest in the 2000 Guineas is not just surrounding the Aidan O’Brien yard, as fellow Emerald Isle trainer, Kevin Prendergast has Madhmoon in the five-day declarations.
Owned by Hamdan Al Makhtoum and the son of Dawn Approach, Madhmoon has had three races in his career – all at Leopardstown – with two victories. He was last seen out in early April, finishing second behind Never No More. Ladbrokes once again are top price of 15/2.
As already stated in this preview, there is not a massive amount of recent form to consider in this race, which makes it tougher to predict the winner. Firstly, I would advise smaller stakes in the race, due to the many intangibles.
However, Magna Grecia could well be the one to be on this time around. He has some very solid Group 1 winning form from last season and although his wellbeing has to be taken on trust, he looks to be more bombproof than some of the others.
An each-way dart is thrown in the direction of the Godolphin-owned Al Hilalee. For the reasons already mentioned, he could well outrun his currently generous ante-post odds.
- Magna Grecia to Win the 2000 Guineas at 7/2 with Coral
- Al Hilalee (each-way) at 16/1 with Ladbrokes