City Of Troy Tops 21 Entries For The 2,000 Guineas; 27 In Fillies' Equivalent

City Of Troy |

Twenty-one colts have stood their ground at the latest forfeit stage for the G1 Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday, May 4. They include the outstanding juvenile of 2023, City Of Troy (Justify), last seen winning the G1 Dewhurst S. on the Rowley Mile by three and a half lengths.

City Of Troy is one of four entries left in the 2,000 Guineas for Aidan O'Brien, the most successful trainer in the history of the Classic with 10 wins. The potential challenge from Ballydoyle is completed by Diego Velazquez (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), Henry Longfellow (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and River Tiber (Ire) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), while the only other Irish-trained entry is Adrian Murray's Bucanero Fuerte (GB) (Wootton Bassett {GB}).

The home team is headed by Richard Hannon's G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Rosallion (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}), who could be joined in the line-up by stablemate Haatem (Ire) (Phoenix Of Spain {Ire}), the wide-margin winner of last week's G3 Craven S. at Newmarket.

Charlie Appleby, who saddled the first two in the 2,000 Guineas when Coroebus (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) beat Native Trail (GB) in 2022, could be double-handed again with the G1 Futurity Trophy hero Ancient Wisdom (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Notable Speech (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who is unbeaten in three starts on the all-weather.

Karl Burke's Night Raider (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) is another unexposed sort facing a hike in grade, while others who showed a high level of form at two still in the mix include Dewhurst runner-up Alyanaabi (Ire) (Too Darn Hot {GB) and G2 Royal Lodge S. winner Ghostwriter (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), plus G1 Middle Park S. runner-up Task Force (GB) (Frankel {GB}), who reportedly came through a racecourse gallop at Newbury on Monday with flying colours.

“The gallop went well and the horse did everything Ralph [Beckett, trainer] wanted him to do,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“He worked six furlongs and Ralph came away happy with the horse and it leaves him on track for the Guineas on Saturday week. He is bred to win a Classic as he's by a Guineas winner out of a Guineas winner [Special Duty] and there are not many horses who boast a pedigree like that. He's a nice horse and showed good form last year.

“He's done well from two to three and has changed shape a lot. We feel he definitely doesn't look a sprinter and last year he was a bit keen and a bit mentally immature, so we kept him to six furlongs and he had the talent to be able to perform over that distance. Now we're looking forward to seeing if he can be just as effective to win over a mile.”

The Juddmonte team will not be represented in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas after Mahon ruled out the promising pair of Indelible (Ire) (Shamardal) and Skellet (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), leaving 27 fillies still in contention for the fillies' Classic due to be run at Newmarket on Sunday, May 5.

They are headed by Fallen Angel (GB) (Too Darn Hot {GB}) and Ylang Ylang (GB) (Frankel {GB}), both of whom were Group 1-winning two-year-olds for Burke and O'Brien, respectively. Fallen Angel had Ylang Ylang down the field behind her when landing the Moyglare Stud S. at the Curragh, but the latter soon bounced back to form when winning the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket.

O'Brien could field up to five runners, with G3 Staffordstown Stud S. winner Content (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) featuring among his other contenders, while son Donnacha is set to be in opposition with his G1 Cheveley Park S. heroine Porta Fortuna (Ire) (Caravaggio).

Elsewhere, G1 Prix Morny runner-up Ramatuelle (Justify) is the sole French-trained entry for Christopher Head, while the form of the key trials in Britain could be represented by the likes of Dance Sequence (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), runner-up in the G3 Nell Gwyn S. at Newmarket, plus Regal Jubilee (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Elmalka (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who finished second and third, respectively, in the G3 Fred Darling S. at Newbury on Saturday.

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