This Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas is the first Classic of the season so, with a view to highlighting potential winners of the race, we’ve had a look at some of the strongest trends from the last 10-years.
The sire Galileo has had a strong influence in the 2,000 Guineas in recent years, as he was the sire of 2015 winner Gleneagles and the 2011 winner Frankel, whilst he was also the sire of the dams of 2016 winner Galileo Gold and 2014 winner Night Of Thunder. His bloodline also looks likely to play a significant role in this year’s renewal, as he is the sire of likely favourite Gleneagles, whilst he sired the dam of Barney Roy. Of course, there is also the chance that his bloodline will now extend through his most famous of sons Frankel, whose first-season crop of foals included both Eminent and Dream Castle.
With only 10 possible runners, this will be a smaller 2,000 Guineas field than any in the last decade, when field-sizes ranged from 13 to 24 runners, and it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the draw. Their have been 15-runners or less on 6 occasions in the last 10 renewals, and the winner came from stalls 1 to 6 on 5 occasions, with the other coming from stall-10. In the 4 years when the field was bigger, all the winners were drawn 12 to 16.
5 of the last 10 winners had won last time out, but that means 5 of them hadn’t. Meanwhile, 7 of the last 10 winners came into the race without having a prep-race. The two English runners that did have a prep-race both ran in the Greenham, which Barney Roy won this season, and Dream Castle was second in.
Irish trained runners have won 5 of the last 10 renewals, with English trained runners 4, and there has been one French-trained winner. Aidan O’Brien is the only trainer to have won more than one renewal in the last 10-years, winning in 2008, 2012 and 2015. The only other winning stable with runners is the Hannon Stable.
Winners in the last decade have been sent-off at odds ranging from 1/2 to 40/1, though there have been 4 winning favourites.
It’s easy to make a case for Churchill, Barney Roy, Eminent and Al Wukair but, in an attempt to use the stats to narrow down the short-list, I’ll pass on Al Wukair as he is drawn just wider than ideal in stall-7, and his sire Dream Ahead wasn’t really a miler. Eminent also fails on the fact that he’s had a prep-race, and that was in the Craven Stakes which hasn’t proved a good-pointer in recent seasons. Barney Roy is harder to exclude on the grounds of having a prep-race, as the Greenham has twice produced the winner in the last 6 years. However, no winner has been unraced as a two-year-old in the last 10-years. Therefore, as unoriginal as it might be, Churchill has to be the pick. He hails from the Aidan O’Brien yard, and is sired by Galileo. Meanwhile, O’Brien’s 3 winners in the last decade all made a winning seasonal appearance here, and he looks reasonably drawn in stall-3.