City Of Troy Faces Ten In The 2000 Guineas

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Team Ballydoyle's crack colt City Of Troy (Justify) has 10 peers to overcome in Saturday's G1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in his quest to follow the hoofprints of the wonderhorse with which he has drawn early comparison. With the stable removing all of his understudies including the similarly-unbeaten Henry Longfellow (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) on Thursday morning, the assembled cast will be the smallest for the time-honoured Rowley Mile Classic since 2017 when Ryan Moore enjoyed his last winning ride on Churchill (Ire).

Three of the colts dispatched by Coolmore's TDN Rising Star in testing conditions in the track's signature juvenile contest, the G1 Dewhurst S., are set to re-oppose and they are Shadwell's Alyanaabi (Ire) (Too Darn Hot {GB}), Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah's subsequent G3 Craven S. winner Haatem (Ire) (Phoenix Of Spain {Ire}) and Teme Valley and Ballylinch Stud's Iberian (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}).

Key opponents to City Of Troy include Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum's G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Rosallion (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}), fellow unbeaten but unproven fellow TDN Rising Stars Notable Speech (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Night Raider (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Jeff Smith's G2 Royal Lodge S. scorer Ghostwriter (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). Juddmonte's G1 Middle Park S. runner-up Task Force (GB) (Frankel {GB}) is the fourth TDN Rising Star in the select and classy line-up.

With such a small field, the draw is rendered less relevant than in the years of bumper runners such as 2002, 2007 and 2019. It was in the latter year that Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) provided Aidan O'Brien with his 10th success before a relative drought for the operation, but as the year of Churchill proved facing only nine rivals with the cutaway rail experiment this is always tactical.

To that end, it is in all likelihood a relief to connections that City Of Troy is in stall two next to the similarly forward-going and generous Night Raider, who is on the wing. Both are expected to be ridden forward, while the stables of Ghostwriter and Rosallion will be buoyed by being in three and four respectively for that essential early cover and tow. The Charlie Hills-trained G2 Champagne S. winner Iberian is on the other flank, one out from the Ed Walker-trained seven-furlong course conditions scorer Ten Bob Tony (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) who bids to become the latest of many outsiders to fill the frame in this under Guineas debutante Saffie Osborne.

 

Endless Victory Features On Friday Card…

Unsurprisingly, Charlie Appleby is well-represented numerically on Newmarket's Friday card, with the stable's unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Endless Victory (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) a key runner in the Listed Newmarket S. This 10-furlong Derby sighter used to carry some weight before suffering a lengthy lull, but there are signs that it is coming back as a key staging post with Hawkbill (Kitten's Joy), Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) and Teofilo's Nations Pride (Ire) among the recent winners. One race that is seemingly on the decline is the G2 Jockey Club S., which has held on to its status despite only Hurricane Lane (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and Seventh Heaven (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) among the recent winners holding claims to being top-level standard. There is nothing of their calibre this time, although Juddmonte's filly Time Lock (GB) (Frankel {GB}) was impressive in the course-and-distance G3 Princess Royal S. in September.

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