It’s a month later than planned, there’ll be no international presence and none of the runners have had any sort of prep-run, but at long last the 2000 Guineas is finally upon us.
The first classic of the season is always one to look forward to, and after a diet of Will Rogers Downs and Remington Park over the last two months, we can’t wait for post time at 15:35 on Saturday.
You can follow the action live on ITV, and we’ve marked your card with a runner-by-runner guide.
The odds-on favourite and the odds-on favourite for a reason. Not since Frankel has a juvenile produced so much excitement, now the only question is whether the Godolphin inmate has trained on.
If he has, then it could be another wide margin success to add to his 5l win in the Vintage Stakes and 9l victory in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes. Should he remain unbeaten, then it’s all eyes on the Derby.
Aidan O’Brien has won this race in each of the last three years and he’ll fancy his chances of making it four-in-a-row with Arizona. The No Nay Never colt looks a big imposing sort who will have enjoyed the winter.
His sole black-type success last season came in the Coventry at Royal Ascot, and after finishing twice behind Pinatubo at The Curragh and Newmarket, the Ballydoyle runner has ground to make up.
However, if he’s trained on better than the favourite, then it should be a close-run thing.
Andrew Balding’s hopeful has already run twice over 1m, although quite how useful the form of his Royal Lodge runner-up berth and Vertem Futurity Trophy victory on the tapeta are, remains to be seen.
Likewise, Positive, who finished a neck-second to Kameko in the Solario at Sandown, was twice beaten handily by Pinatubo last season, which suggests to us he could have significant ground to make up.
Nevertheless, he looks progressive and is hard to discount lightly.
Kinross may have been well-beaten after being backed into favouritism for the Vertem Futurity but taking into account the surface and a significant knock in-running, it’s possible to make excuses for the Kingman colt.
Add in that he’s returning to the scene of his 8l win on debut here, and after a nice long break he could well be one to keep an eye on at what is likely to be a fair price.
Al Suhail (Appleby/Doyle)
After finishing behind market rivals Military March and Kemeko, Al Suhail has ground to make up.
The Dubawi colt’s only victory so far came in a four-runner event at Yarmouth, and while he went close in both the Solario and the Autumn Stakes, we think his pedigree is more suited to the trip posed by The Derby.
Military March (Bin Suroor/Crouch)
If you’re looking for a dark horse at a nice price, then Military March is probably it. Saeed bin Suroor’s inmate has run twice at Newmarket and won twice at Newmarket, beating Al Suhail by ½l last time out.
Connections are reporting that the unbeaten son of 2000 Guineas winner New Approach looks more physical than last season, and if he does well over the Rowley Mile, then expect his price to shorten for The Derby.
Beware the O’Brien second string. Magna Grecia got up to usurp Ten Sovereigns 12 months ago and Wichita shouldn’t be discounted completely here after finishing 4¾l behind Pinatubo in the Dewhurst.
Like all of them, he has ground to make up. Another one out of No Nay Never, he’s probably better judged by the 7l annihilation of Persuasion on quicker ground in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes.
He should get similar conditions again here, and with Frankie Dettori likely to get the ride, he could be a tad overpriced in the market.
Kenzai Warrior (Teal/Watson)
The third unbeaten horse in the field but unlike his counterparts the form is considerably weaker.
That said, the Karakontie colt is a Group 3 winner, while his debut victory over Max Vega could be franked if the runner-up can put in a strong performance in the Classic Trial on Wednesday.
Teal upset the odds when 50/1 poke Tip Two Win finished second in the Guineas 24 months ago, and based on that, Kenzai Warrior isn’t without a chance.
Mums Tipple (Hannon/Levey)
Blew the field away to win a York seller by 11l in August and wasn’t disgraced when 4¾l behind Earthlight in the Middle Park a month later.
He’s reportedly been working well at Kempton and if he can get back to that York form and stay over 1m, then he’s in with a shout of a frame finish.
Royal Dornoch (O’Brien/Marquand)
Has produced a mixed bag of form but did win the Group 2 Royal Lodge over 1m ahead of Kameko in September. More will be required here and he’s unlikely to be on the premises.
Juan Elcano (Ryan/Atzeni)
Frankel colt who won on heavy ground on debut but hasn’t been back in the winner’s enclosure since. It’s difficult to see him making great strides in this field.
Beat odds-on shot Volkan Star to spring a 25/1 shock on debut in what remains his only run to date. The runner-up won next time out, too, but with only one run under Cepheus’ belt, this should be too soon.
Another who won first time out but in less impressive circumstances on the all-weather. Like Cepheus, his odds tell the story of his chances here.
Won on debut and soundly beaten both times since. Will probably need all the other runners to pull out to stand any chance of an upset.
New World Order (O’Brien/Kirby)
Right out the back of the betting and may be used as the O’Brien pacemaker.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.