2,000 GUINEAS CHAMPIONS: BUT IS THE BEST YET TO COME? It would be the 2,000 Guineas in any normal week and Daqman will be analysing the postponed race – and its sister, 1,000 Guineas – but first he checks out the stars of the first Classic in the 20 years of the 21st century. Is Pinatubo that good?
LOOK OUT FOR DAQMAN’S GUIDE TO THE MONDAY RESTART: With the lockdowns in England and Ireland likely to be eased only partly, Daqman is looking to racing resumptions in Germany (next Monday) and France (Thursday week) as the way back for his new betting campaign. Watch for his special euroguides.
‘STARS’ GETS MY VOTE OVER FRANKEL
The Guineas needs a new dawn. Only Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach gets into the 21st-century’s super seven winners of the first colts’ Classic from a fairly bleak nine years since Frankel.
Best of Aidan O’Brien’s hat-trick in 2017-19 was Churchill, two or three pounds short of the official ratings given to his earlier winners, Rock of Gibraltar and Henrythenavigator.
And his bid for a four-timer this year – and 11 in all – hangs on whether he can topple Pinatubo.
The market would normally pause today with declarations due for the big race on Saturday.
But there are no decs and no race until we are released from purgatory by Boris the Ataturk in his pose as a Great Dane.
The dogs are barking for a relaxation in the quarantine rules but it now seems certain that Germany (May 4) and France (May 7) will be first out of the restarting stalls.
Here are the leading 2,000 Guineas winners of the last 20 years on official ratings. The form in brackets starts with their Guineas win on the left.
You would have won 23 more races had you followed just those super seven alone, which seems to suggest another rule for you: back the 2,000 winners, lay the 1,000.
Rule 3: Stick with the Irish. Only one living English trainer gets into the top seven, though Sir Michael Stoute (Golan) is also close up with another one, Kings Best.
2,000 Guineas Champions 2000-2019 (1m, Newmarket)
140 Frankel (2011) Sir Henry Cecil, Tom Queally (form 111111111)
135 Sea The Stars (2009) John Oxx, Mick Kinane (form 111111)
127 Golan (2001) Sir Michael Stoute, Kieren Fallon (1231401200)
127 Makfi (2010) Mikel Delzangles, Christophe Lemaire (1010)
126 Rock Of Gibraltar (2002) Aidan O’Brien, Mick Kinane (form 11112)
125 Henrythenavigator (2008) Aidan O’Brien, Johnny Murtagh (form 1111422)
124 Dawn Approach (2013) Jim Bolger, Kevin Manning (form 101204)
ALSO WON: Haafhd 124, Kings Best 124, Churchill 123, Gleneagles 122, Refuse To Bend 121, Saxon Warrior 121, Cockney Rebel 120, Galileo Gold 120, George Washington 120, Magna Grecia 120, Night Of Thunder 119, Camelot 118, Footstepsinthesand 118
DAQMAN’S VERDICT: For me, Frankel was an enjoyable freak, sometimes a pleasure to back but progressively a punting pain as, in his odds-on 13 times in a row, he became unbackable at 1-10 (twice) and 1-20.
He never raced over the Derby distance and beat the same horses (Excelebration four times second) and Farrh (runner-up twice).
Excelebration hung on in Frankel’s tail-wind until the handicapper was forced to up his rating to 129 but his only Group-1 wins were in twice beating the six-year-old Cityscape (Group 3 winner only in Europe; final rating 121).
My superhorse of the century so far, after Enable (currently on a much-underrated 128), has to be Sea The Stars for fabulous consistency and versatility.
He was winner consecutively of the Beresford Stakes, Newmarket 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Coral-Eclipse, York International, Irish Champion Stakes and Arc de Triomphe.
And those he vanquished are a who’s-who of stars in their own right, not least some of his big-race runners-up, Fame And Glory (winner British Champions Gold Cup and Long-Distance Cup), Rip Van Winkle (Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes, York International), Mastercraftsman (Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes) and Youmzain (three times Arc second).
His 50 stakes winners as a stallion add up to 12 individual Group-1s, including the marathon star, Stradivarius. One of the Stars’ stars, Crystal Ocean, ran Enable to a neck in the King George. I rest my case.
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