Four of the last six runnings of the 2000 Guineas have gone the way of the favourite, but that shouldn’t put punters off backing an outsider this year.
Of the aforementioned quartet of jollies, only the peerless Frankel, was sent of shorter than this year’s market leader Air Force Blue is expected to be.
Aidan O’Brien’s son of War Front was the pre-eminent two-year-old of his generation and is 4/6 to land the year’s first Classic at the time of writing.
But, while Guineas winners have often been well found in renewals, the long-shot lovers have had their coups too, making a second glance at those the wrong side of the ‘bar’ essential.
With Ladbrokes offering Money Back if your selection 2nd or 3rd to Air Force Blue* it’d be rude not to…
Night Of Thunder did the business at 40/1 on the Rowley Mile just two years ago, when the betting saw him as Richard Hannon’s second string.
His stablemate Shifting Power was fourth in the same edition at an even more eye-watering 50/1, just as Bossy Guest was for Mick Channon last year.
While neither of the latter pair rewarded their cup-half-full each-way backers, each came within three lengths of activating sizeable place payouts.
Back in 2013, anyone bold enough to have backed 150/1 outsider Glory Awaits would have been licking their lips as he surged to an unexpected second behind Dawn Approach.
Frankel blew his opposition away in 2011, but first of his distant pursuers was 33/1 Dubawi Gold, while 200/1 shot Slim Shadey came fourth.
A year earlier French raider Makfi had landed odds of 33/1 to claim victory.
It’s only to be expected that those available at such a price and north this time around – Herald The Dawn (33/1), Zonderland (40/1), Air Vice Marshal (40/1), Ribchester (40/1), First Selection (66/1), Zhui Feng (100/1) and Kentucky Connection (200/1) – are tough to love on bare form.
However, Jim Bolger’s decision to run the first mentioned, a three-length second to Air Force Blue last term, at Newmarket is interesting given the trainer’s exemplary, yet selective record in the race over the last decade.
From four runners in the last ten years, the Irishman has a winner and two placed horses to his credit.
His fellow Godolphin-owned entrant Ribchester could also be worth a second glance, having been second (subsequently disqualified and placed fifth) in traditional Guineas prep the Prix Djebel on unsuitably heavy going last time out.
Makfi won the same race en route to Rowley Mile immortality in 2010, while French Fifteen was a neck behind Camelot when trying to complete the same double in 2012 and Style Vendome used it as his French Guineas springboard in 2013.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.