Racing: Xaar sharp enough to confirm status

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The Independent Online
Simon Holt of the Channel 4 Racing team gives a runner- by runner analysis of today's 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Almutawakel: Won his first two races well but had his limitations exposed when fifth in the Royal Lodge Stakes.

Arkadian Hero: Despite winning Mill Reef Stakes on good to soft going, might have preferred a faster surface when fourth on his return. Stamina over a mile unproven.

Border Arrow: Relished stiff finish in two course victories, including Feilden Stakes last month. May prove best at middle distances but can pick a few off in the final furlong.

Central Park: Looked smart last season but flopped behind Xaar in the Dewhurst. That run is probably best forgotten and he is no forlorn hope.

Daggers Drawn: Justified a tall reputation at Goodwood and Doncaster last season but has twice been well beaten by Xaar subsequently.

Duck Row: Made a deep impression when winning at Newbury (1m, soft) only to disappoint inexplicably in the Horris Hill Stakes. Better than that and could be an outsider with each-way claims.

Evening Chorus: Works well for Rod Simpson but makes an ambitious course debut.

Greenlander: Nine lengths behind Xaar in the Prix de la Salamandre. Lots to find but goes well in the soft.

Haami: Made it three wins from four in Somerville Tattersalls Stakes here in October, but that form is some way below Group One standard.

Jimmy Too: Twice a scorer on soft and made Arkadian Hero fight in Mill Reef Stakes.

King Of Kings: Hugely touted two-year-old who repaired reputation in winning last two starts. A colt of great talent.

Lend A Hand: Never stopped improving as a juvenile, winning competitive nursery at Doncaster and Group One Gran Criterium at San Siro (by eight lengths). Subject of rave reviews from the gallops.

Little Indian: Gutsy winner of Solario Stakes (Haami third) last August. Last to Xaar in the Craven on reappearance.

Pegnitz: From a stable which specialises in big-race upsets. Had no answer to Border Arrow a fortnight ago and held by Xaar on Dewhurst form.

Soviet Bureau: Modest fourth in Newbury mud last time.

Speedfit Too: Only fifth in Free Handicap.

Tamarisk: Met his first defeat in the Dewhurst. Likeable colt who is sure to win more races.

Xaar: Seven-length winner of Dewhurst Stakes and again produced formidable speed in Craven Stakes after taking time to find top gear. Should be sharper for that run.

Conclusion: It is impossible to oppose XAAR who put up one of the most sensational displays by a two-year-old in the Dewhurst Stakes last October.