One of the better 2000 Guineas fields New Zealand has seen in some time – the 11 entrants all have a legitimate chance of winning the $400,000 1600m feature which crowns New Zealand’s best colt or gelding.
In Summary: Every runner coming into the race has finished in the first four at their last start which has made for a great form race, but we have picked out one runner which will be the hardest to beat on Saturday. MONGOLIAN FALCON is owned by the Inner Mongolian Rider Horse Industry, which famously raced 2015 Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan, and they’re back with another top-liner. The three-year-old colt was labelled by co-trainer Donna Logan as a natural middle-distance horse which will love stepping up over more ground and the mile looks ideal. Hall Of Fame looks the second best in here while Ugo Foscolo could go well if the track is running to suit his style.
1 Heroic Valour – Has won four from six starts, but he finished 5.5 lengths behind Mongolian Falcon at Hastings and wasn’t able to defeat a lesser-fancied runner at Ashburton last start. Looked good earlier in his preparation, but hasn’t improved as much as some of his rivals.
2 Ugo Foscolo – Quality gelding who has tasted defeat in only one of five starts. His only defeat came behind Mongolian Falcon when running a disappointing sixth, but he quickly rebounded and got revenge on the favourite last time out. He benefited from a horrible front-running track bias last start, but he has class and could go close if the pace up front slackens.
3 Mongolian Falcon – Won at Hastings two starts back by five lengths in a dominant display against many who reoppose. He then ran second behind Ugo Foscolo at Te Rapa last start, but was only one of a few runners that day which made ground from the back. It was an incredible effort to run Ugo Foscolo to within a neck and the wide open track at Riccarton is going to suit it perfectly. The son of Fastnet Rock will likely be heading over to Australia in the autumn for The Championships and this looks a great chance to use the 2000 Guineas as an important stepping stone to bigger targets.
4 Hall of Fame – This Te Akau colt has been running on this track and performing with distinction. In his two starts at Riccarton he has won by 3.3 and five lengths, but the opposition was lacking in quality and he has been presented with a much harder task here. He could be the underrated runner in this however and we’re expecting a nice run.
5 Wyndspelle – Has won only one from eight starts, but was flying home on a front-runners bias last start which caught the eye of many punters. He has been supported at odds in this, but considering the strength of the field, we’ll have to overlook his chances.
6 Cha Siu Bao – Enigmatic type, but is starting to put it all together now. Last two wins have come by big margins and if he doesn’t run erratically, could finish over the top of them. Currently on the same line as Wyndspelle.
7 Savasava – One of the outsiders in the field following a narrow win on a heavy track. Form prior was only moderate and a win looks unlikely.
8 Jon Snow – From the powerful Baker/Forsman stables and he comes into this having run second behind Mongolian Falcon last start. He would need to improve at least three lengths to contend.
9 O’Reilly’s Choice – Has been finishing off his races well and the step up to the mile looks ideal. Hasn’t shown us enough to suggest he as a winning chance, but could be one to watch over the longer distances.
10 Savile Row – Has battled well in three career starts, winning one and placing in another. He would need to produce something special to win.
11 Cobblertothestars – Triple figures on offer for the maiden runner who has little chance of winning.