We eye up the hopefuls for the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket

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The first two Classics of the season take place over the weekend with the 2000 and 1000 Guineas from Newmarket.

Gustav Klimt looks set to go off as favourite for the former, while Happily heads the market for the latter.

Can Aidan O’Brien make it a Guineas double for a second year in a row? He’s 11/4 to land both contests.

We’ve run the rule over the main contenders for both races…

2000 Guineas

O’Brien saddles two of the three main hopefuls for this one, but it’s with Gustav Klimt (15/8) that his main hope lies.

The son of Galileo finished last season with an excellent Group 2 success in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

He re-emerged in April to claim the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown from Imaging. The colt appears primed to make the step up to 1m and is the worthy favourite ahead of the race.

In his way stands Masar (5/1).

Charlie Appleby is a trainer in form and he’ll fancy his chances of landing the Guineas after his raider blitzed the field by 9l in the Craven Stakes last month.

No horse has won both races since Haafhd since 2004. Lightning quick Masar may have something to say about that.

Saxon Warrior (9/2), too, cannot be disregarded.

The Japanese-bred star is unbeaten in three starts for O’Brien and was the long-time market leader for this contest before being usurped by stablemate Gustav Klimt.

The son of Deep Impact already has Group 1 and Group 2 victories to his name and won’t mind the ground on his first run at Newmarket.

His inclusion provides the Irish trainer with a strong hand as he bids for a ninth Guineas triumph.

Elarqam (11/2) should put in a bold bid for Mark Johnston after bolting up on his first two starts. Expert Eye (12/1), Roaring Lion (16/1) and US Navy Flag (16/1) have plenty to find based on their respective last runs.

1000 Guineas

Put a line through Happily’s (5/2) Breeders’ Cup run and her form is something to behold.

One Group 3 victory and two Group 1 successes – including in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagarde last October – is some going.

She’s the one to beat on Sunday at Newmarket. And it’s hard to see her missing her cue with only her fellow fillies to beat.

Even if she does slip up, Ballydoyle maestro O’Brien could still be sitting pretty with I Can Fly (7/1).

The daughter of Fastnet Rock has yet to pick up a black-type victory but has gone close in successive Group 3 contests.

She’ll make the step up to 1m on Sunday. After coming on strong at Leopardstown last time out, she could appreciate the extra distance afforded to her at Newmarket.

A better bet could be Soliloquy (6/1) for Charlie Appleby.

The British-trained charge landed the Nell Gwyn Stakes on her reappearance last month and looked to have plenty left in the tank.

She made most that day and certainly has the ability to challenge the jolly for Godolphin.

Wild Illusion (7/1) also looks set to run for the partnership after landing a Group 1 contest at Chantilly towards the back end of last season.

Laurens (9/1), who saw off the O’Brien-trained September in the Fillies’ Mile last October, rounds out the sub10/1 hopefuls for Karl Burke.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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