Despite two of the last five 2,000 Guineas winners coming in at 33/1 or over, it’s not easy to pick a high-value outsider from the current crop of three-year-old colts heading for the first Classic weekend of the season at Newmarket next month.
After all, the other three winners since 2010, namely Dawn Approach, Camelot and Frankel, have all gone off between 1/2 and 15/8, but Ballydoyle favourite Gleneagles is a backable price at 3/1, which suggests this will be an open renewal.
Two-time winning trainer Barry Hills’ Algaith would be of interest at 66/1, after the son of 2005 Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Dubawi’s eye-catching wins on the All-Weather last October, having finished a couple of lengths off subsequent UAE Derby winner Mubtaahij in an autumn Newmarket maiden.
Hills will retire for the second time at the end of this campaign, so Algaith would be a sentimental victor for a trainer who took the prize with Tap On Wood in 1979 and Haafd 25 years later, but the 78-year-old has already indicated he sees his charge going further towards the 1m4f Epsom Derby trip than the Newmarket mile.
Closer to the head of the market, John Quinn’s The Wow Signal and Wesley Ward’s Hootenanny both merit mentions at 25/1 and 33/1 (top price with Ladbrokes) respectively.
Ward’s runner has only gone down to The Wow Signal, and at that by half a length at Deauville in August, since taking Royal Ascot’s Windsor Castle Stakes by 3½l last summer, and hoovered up the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Mile last time out under Frankie Dettori at Santa Anita.
When Ward’s runners fly into a lead they tend to be hard to reel in, as the likes of Jealous Again, No Nay Never and Hootenanny himself have shown at Royal Ascot in recent years.
However, the best current alternative to Aidan O’Brien’s favourite has to be Richard Hannon’s Ivawood, at the not-so-fancy-but-backable price of 6/1.
The Zebedee colt has done little wrong since scoring on debut at Sandown last June, and boasts a Newmarket win in his back catalogue already after battling to victory at the Suffolk track a month later.
Ivawood’s only loss has come on the soft stuff, after three wins in a row over the kind of decent ground the 2,000 Guineas will, in all likelihood, be run on (good-to-firm in four of the last five seasons).
Hannon junior won this race in his first season after taking over training duties from his father, the winning handler in 1973 and 1990, with 40/1 shot Night Of Thunder in 2014.
There’ll be no such fancy price about Ivawood next month, but that might not be a bad thing.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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