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Who will win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket?

The Grand National signals that the National Hunt campaign is nearing an end, with all eyes of the horse racing world turning to the flat season. The first marquee event of the term comes at the beginning of May with the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse.

Churchill won the event last season, delivering on expectations, although the bay colt did not have the campaign that many predicted. A new crop of competitors will be aiming to etch their place in history, joining Churchill among greats of the past, including Frankel, to have won the meet.

Legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien leads the way with eight wins in the 2000 Guineas and he will be looking for a second win on the bounce, and third in four years with Saxon Warrior. However, it should be a wide-open race, therefore, it’s worth considering the rest of the field and picking your spot with free bets from Timeform as early-season form can be unpredictable.

We’ll now break down the leading candidates for the crown in the first major meet of the flat season.

Saxon Warrior

Source: Champions Series via Twitter

The Japanese horse is O’Brien’s leading charge for the event. He has known nothing other than victory in the competitive field, beginning his career at the end of the last campaign. Saxon Warrior made his bow at the Irish Times Irish EBF at Curragh, and although he was not considered the favourite, he delivered an outstanding performance to claim victory by three-and-a-quarter lengths. The bay colt followed up his display with his second win on the bounce at the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes.

On this occasion, O’Brien’s charge was the leading contender, and had no problems with the triumphing with a smooth run before cantering down the stretch to win by two-and-a-half lengths. Saxon Warrior’s season ended with a duel with Roaring Lion at the Racing Post Trophy Stakes. The three-year-old has just enough pace down the final furlong to edge out hisrival by a neck at Doncaster. He has the credentials to secure his first major win at Newmarket in the Guineas.


Mark Johnston’s charge does not have a great deal of experience behind him to challenge Saxon Warrior at the event. However, like his rival, he has not tasted defeat in his fledgling career, although he has only taken to the track two times – with both races coming in September of last year. Elarqam made his debut in the Judith Marshall Memorial British EBF Novice Stakes and he displayed his speed over the seven furlongs of the race, securing his first win by a margin of three-and-three-quarters lengths ahead of Ayutthaya.

Elarqam put forward another confident performance in his second outing at the Tattersalls Stakes. He was the favourite for the event at Newmarket, although, with Jim Crowley in the saddle, he started at the back of the field. However, the bay colt was able to surge through to take the lead before the straight, winning the race by two-and-a-quarter lengths. Johnston’s charge is one to watch ahead of the contest and his previous experience at Newmarket could be an important factor.

Roaring Lion

Source: Racing Post via Twitter 

The American horse has more experience than his rivals heading into the contest, although his last outing proved that he just lacked the pace to defeat Saxon Warrior. John Gosden’s charge made his bow last season, making his first appearance in the EBF Novice Stakes at Newmarket. With Harry Bentley in the saddle, the bay colt was in contention from the off, but he made his move with two furlongs remaining. Roaring Lions pulled away from Abandon Ship down the straight to win by one-and-three-quarter lengths.

He followed up his debut win with a brilliant performance at the EBF Novice Stakes, dominating the rest of the field, finishing ahead of his near rival Compliance by six lengths at Kempton Park. The standard of competition was raised at the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket. Roaring Lion had to be at his best to defeat O’Brien’s charge Nelson, and he just had enough down the stretch to record the victory by a neck. The three-year-old has a fascinating duel with Saxon Warrior at the Racing Post Trophy Stakes. Although he was narrowly beaten, Gosden’s charge has the quality to win the second showdown

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