2000 Guineas 2010 Newmarket Preview

2000 Guineas 2010 Preview

After the last hoorah of the Punchestown Festival on Saturday, dear reader, and also the traditional British curtain call for the National Hunt at Sandown, it's now all systems go for the Flat season.

This week, I’ll be taking a look forward to the first two of the British Classics, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas this weekend.

Both races are run over a straight mile at Newmarket and, over the years, it has proven to be an interesting and less than straightforward challenge to find the winner.

Successful selection has demanded one to assimilate two year old form from UK, Ireland and France; to project which horses were more likely to improve from their juvenile year to the classic season; and to interpret whether a fitness edge from a Guineas trial was material or otherwise.

The Newmarket meeting is spread over both days this coming weekend, and the first of the features is the 2000 Guineas on Saturday.

It is a rarity indeed for one of the lesser stables to lift this high class prize and, to that end, there are some strong trainer trends in recent years.

Aidan O’Brien’s mighty battalion has won a staggering five of the last dozen renewals; and Saeed bin Suroor and Sir Michael Stoute have each chipped in with two of the last fourteen. Anything this trio runs must make the shortlist.

Aside from O’Brien, this is a fantastic event for the Irish, with Dermot Weld and John Oxx also on the roll of honour since 2003 (the latter last year with the incredible Sea The Stars).

Eleven of the last fourteen winners had won last time out and all of them were in the first three last time. Being such a top race, that does little to whittle down the serious contenders in the field.

Perhaps a more interesting stat is that only three winners in the last eleven years had won a Group 1 race as a juvenile. Trying to find some logic to support this seemingly perverse observation, I suspect it has to do with the most mature two year olds winning the Group 1 races but, thereafter, having less scope for improvement than others. So it may follow that those weaker or less forward can improve at three, beyond the level of form demonstrated in juvenile Group 1 races.

Assuming that rationale holds water, which I shall, this counts against a number at the top of the market, including St Nicholas Abbey, the ante-post hot favourite. Awzaan, the third favourite, is in the same boat having looked a thoroughly complete juvenile when racking up a four timer including wins in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes and Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.

Although Sea The Stars famously did not, nine of the last eleven 2000 Guineas winners made a winning start in their juvenile season. Beethoven and Hearts of Fire look to have it to do on that count.

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In recent years, the market has been an excellent guide to the first Classic, with only 25/1 Cockney Rebel causing a shock. All other winners in the last decade paid 11/1 or less for your wager. Conversely, and perhaps another chink in the St Nicholas Abbey armour, only one favourite has won since Zafonic way back in 1993.

From a profiling perspective then, I would be looking for a horse that was fancied in the market; had won first time out last season; also won last time out, and had won a Group race though not a Group 1; and ideally from an Irish stable, or bin Suroor or Stoute’s yard.

Fencing Master, a neck second in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes on just his second start, looks capable of significant improvement and ticks all the boxes, except the price element (I’d expect him to truncate in the market between now and next Saturday). Although he was beaten by stable mate Beethoven that day, the winner was having the tenth run of his juvenile season!

I’d be confident of Fencing Master reversing the places if both line up and, at 16/1 at the time of writing (as short as 12’s with Coral), he looks good value. [Stop press: Beethoven is not now running, meaning I'm even more confident of FM reversing the places!]

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The other thing I wanted to touch on today were two fantastic days at the end of last week, where I sat down at a private meeting with some of my Platinum Programme students for the first time.

The sessions were excellent: full of really enthusiastic and knowledgeable horse racing systemites looking to build their own businesses in this great area.

There were a number of things about the two days which I found uplifting:

1. The verve and vibe in the room was totally energising. I know that sounds a bit 'kooky', but you have to realise that whilst I love what I do and wouldn't trade it for anything, it can be quite lonely sometimes. So, to sit in a room and share ideas with ten plus people who are passionate about the same things that I am was incredible.

2. The universal belief that we have to put more good betting systems and services out there to make it so much harder for the scumbags and rip-off merchants to make money. All of the people at those two meetings were totally dedicated to providing the best quality they possibly can, and to raising the bar in our community. As you might know, that's something of an aspiration of mine, so I'm very excited to help these guys get on!

3. Almost everyone already had a great system or service that they'd been trialing or using for themselves, and a number of them will be commercially scalable (in other words, lots of people can use them without removing the profitability). This means that soon enough, I'd hope to see some of these guys making a name for themselves.

As uplifting and inspiring as those two days were, they were also quite 'knackering', as I had to do a LOT of speaking to get all the info across. My voice has packed up on me for now (Mrs Matt is thrilled!), and I'm on the 'easy list' for a couple of days.

But I've got much more for you this week, including a 1000 Guineas preview probably tomorrow, and a revisit of a cracking fun system that landing some tidy bets last year (including The Last Derby at 25/1).

So stay tuned!

That's all for today. I've backed Fencing Master as a value alternative to St Nicholas Abbey. Who do you like in the boys' Classic? Leave a comment below...

Matt

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21 replies
  1. Graham Kendall says:

    Hi Matt
    Although as you say Favourites have not a good record in the 2000, St.Nicholas Abbey does not know this.
    I truly beleive that this will be the year that he will restore more confidence in the fav stat.
    To that end i have him installed as my number 1 in mt Ten 2 follow list.
    Graham

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi guys

      I’m certainly not saying St Nick can’t win. Indeed, he has the best form in the book.

      But… he looked a pretty complete 2yo, so it is far from inconceivable that others have ‘wintered’ better and improved past him. Allied to the slowish start some of O’Brien’s horses have had, and I wouldn’t be piling in at 6/4 or thereabouts.

      Like I say, I’m not saying he can’t or won’t win. I’m saying he shouldn’t be 6/4, and I couldn’t possibly back him at that price when there is so much value on seriously unexposed horses elsewhere.

      Finally, regarding horses doubling up in the Guineas and Derby… sorry Ray, but I do think this is a classic ‘bookies bet’. The fact is that almost every year the Guineas winner is then installed at less than 3/1 for the Derby.

      History tells us that prior to Sea The Stars winning both last season, we had to go back two full decades to the mighty Nashwan in 1989. St Nick might be another Sea The Stars, or Nashwan.

      But I wouldn’t be taking short odds that he is, whatever he does in the Guineas.

      Matt

  2. Ray says:

    Hi Matt
    I hope your wrong as I have a large bet on Elusive Dream at 6/1 with a “saver” on St Nicholas Abbey which I have as a double with him “doing a Sea the Stars” and winning the Derby as well.
    Regards
    Ray

  3. Johnny says:

    Inler. Although i’d be a bit more confident if anybody other than Tony Culhane was on board.

  4. Man says:

    Hi Matt. Remember me? I agree with you re Fencing Master. Backed it this morning. Expecting a big run from Rumoush in the 1000 guineas as ive backed it for the Oaks. Hope to be there Sunday.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Man

      From NatWest? Yes, of course – Nijjar right? How are you?

      I’ll have my 1000 Guineas thoughts tomorrow. Bit of a crap shoot if truth be told.

      Time will tell though, as ever!

      Best,
      Matt

  5. Man says:

    Yep. thats me. I’m good thanks.

    I came across this site completely by accident and saw your name. Come ere offen?? lol

  6. Man says:

    by the way apologies for the repeated posts. i was using a mobile earlier tosubmit messages which can be a nightmare!

  7. Peter Hodges says:

    Hi Matt, I watched Inler beat his two galloping companions with ease on the Racing Post website last night, and I was quite impressed. To me, he is the most unexposed horse in the race, and I know John Best rates him as the best he’s had for ages. I am also keen on Fencing Master and Xtension, but Inler is my main bet.

  8. Alan says:

    Al Zir and Kingsfort are the choices. For me the winner will be one of them and I will only back one.
    SNA and EP will for me be the horses to watch, with the Derby in mind.

    All the best to all, enjoy.

  9. michael says:

    hi matt i am taking your advice about FENCING MASTER and will be having a decent bet (£200) ew.sometimes blind faith pays dividends!!!!

  10. Jay says:

    Awzaan has all the right attributes. Won four races, goes away, not stopping when finishing. The breeding indicates he should handle a mile. My couple of farthings will be on him.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Interesting Jay. I watched his race against Arcano and Radiohead again this morning. Although he’s bred for a mile, I wonder whether he’ll get it fully.
      Radiohead looked an out and out sprinter to me, and he was closing hand over fist in that six furlong contest.
      The fact that Awzaan looked so complete as a 2yo, and that he’s not raced beyond 6f, leaves a number of questions unanswered for me at least.

      That said, he’s four from four, including a Group 1 and a Group 2 win, so it’s not difficult to imagine him in the shake up.

      On balance, not for me though.

      Best,
      Matt

  11. Paul Whelan says:

    Awzaan, Elusive Pimpernel, and St Nicholas Abbey tick nearly all the trends boxes. The fly in the ointment with the first two is that in fields of 18 or more, of which there have been 7 in recent years, all 7 have been won by horses drawn middle to high. Awzaan and EP are coming from the 2 lowest stalls, so SNA has the upper-hand from the drop of the flag. Wouldn’t want to have it large at 6/4 though.

  12. Man says:

    St Nicholas Abbey is shortening now that Aidan O Brien has spoken on him thriving. Hopefully this means Fencing Master has thrived too!!

  13. Phil says:

    Hi Matt
    Hope your feeling better.
    The guinees it has to be remembered is not a race about form, it is all about breeding and future stud value. The difficulty in selecting the winner is seeing through all the hype. No breeder is going to admit their charge is anything less than 100% going in.
    All but the winner will have “excuses” on the day to protect the stud value. The trend is therfore for the top studs to win these showcase races.
    That said, I will take a chance on INLER.

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