Superstar Saxon Slays Guineas Field
Reportedly carrying a bit of condition, and deemed likely to improve for the run, in addition to this trip being thought to be a minimum requirement, there were a few question marks against Saxon Warrior ahead of this year’s 2000 Guineas, but in the end none of them mattered a jot as this son of Deep Impact pretty comprehensively outclassed his rivals on the day.
Travelling well throughout, the mid race pace he showed to cruise to the head of affairs was seriously impressive, as was the manner in which he quickly put daylight between himself and the rest to record a 1 ½l success from gallant 50/1 shot Tip Two Win.
A ninth win in the race for Aidan O’Brien, and a remarkable 300th career Group 1 success as the master of Ballydoyle continues to rewrite the record books. This was however a first Classic success for the man in the saddle; Aidan O’Brien’s son, Donnacha.
Apparently surprising even his trainer with the extent of his development over the winter, the sky looks to be the limit for Saxon Warrior, with a tilt at the Triple Crown being mentioned. The compilers certainly like his chances of landing the second leg of the British Classic treble,’s 11/10 being the biggest price available about the colt for next month’s Epsom Derby.
Overlooked Brook Shocks Them All
To say that the result of this year’s 1000 Guineas was a surprise is something of an understatement. It was in fact the biggest shock in the 200+ year history of the race as 66/1 rank outsider of the field, Billesdon Brook, stormed to victory.
Officially rated 14lbs+ inferior to the second third and fourth on the day, she wasn’t particularly unexposed having already raced nine times coming into the race, but this daughter of Champs Elysees found the improvement from somewhere to record a deserved 1¾l success under Sean Levy. With the previous Group 1 winners filling the next three positions, this may have been a shock when looking at the SP, but the form does have a solid look to it.
It will likely be the Irish Guineas or the Coronation Stakes which is the next assignment for Billesdon Brook, and in this sort of form she will likely take some beating. One things for sure, Richard Hannon’s latest Classic winner won’t be a 66/1 shot next time she takes to the track.
Baffert Star Justifies The Hype
One man not at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day was the trainer of the winner; the great Aidan O’Brien. O’Brien did have a passable excuse though. Saturday evening saw the latest running of the world-famous Kentucky Derby, and this year team Ballydoyle had one of the leading contenders in the form of runaway UAE Derby winner, Mendelssohn. In the end nothing went quite right for Mendelssohn. Badly bumped not once, but twice, early in the race, he was simply never in contention and eventually trailed home last.
As with so many of these top American contests, the pot was landed by the legendary trainer Bob Baffert, and Justify was the horse to do it. Sent off clear favourite for the race, his supporters barely had a moments concern. Bounced out of the gates by Mike Smith, this son of Scat Daddy tracked the leader before asserting on the home turn to pull clear for a 2 ½l success.
The quotes from Baffert in the aftermath were ominous for anything looking to take on Justify in the coming months. When the man who has trained the brilliant duo of American Pharaoh and Arrogate says, “ I rank him up there with my top horses. We saw something really great. That’s greatness right there.”, it pays to take notice. We certainly won’t be in a rush to oppose this one anytime soon.
Classic Clues At Chester
Looking ahead to this week’s action, Wednesday sees the start of this year’s excellent Chester Cup meeting. Keep your eyes peeled for any potential Classic pointers on the Roodee. Wings Of Eagles ran third in the Chester Vase here last year, before going on to land the Derby at 40/1!
Friday sees the running of the big staying handicap of the Chester Cup itself. Ian Williams’ Magic Circle and Philip Kirby’s Stargazer are currently vying for favouritism, but as ever at Chester, much will depend upon the draw.