Godolphin double-edged in Guineas bid

With just five days left in the countdown to the 200th 2,000 Guineas, the presence of an unbeaten hot-shot has not proved a deterrent to potential rivals, with 19 colts left in the first Classic at yesterday's penultimate stage. Three of them are from the Godolphin stable, three from arch-rival operation Ballydoyle. The old adage about multiple entries, paraphrased as "if you think you've got several, you probably haven't got one" is becoming increasingly redundant in this scattergun age.

The Dubai-based blues have Ibn Khaldun, Fast Company and Rio de La Plata still engaged in the quest for a third Guineas (after the outstanding Mark Of Esteem and the ordinary Island Sands), but only the first two will run. "Rio De la Plata will more than likely be going to France," confirmed the team's racing manager, Simon Crisford, yesterday.

The colts arrived at summer camp in Newmarket on Saturday and have settled in without a hitch. And the rain that started sprinkling Suffolk late yesterday afternoon was good news for Crisford, for Fast Company does not favour fast ground, and further precipitation is forecast today and tomorrow.

Ibn Khaldun, winner of the Racing Post Trophy last term, is third favourite for the Rowley Mile showpiece, behind New Approach and Raven's Pass, and will be the mount of Frankie Dettori. "It's good to go to war with a Group One winner," added Crisford, "but he will have to improve on that Doncaster form to win. I'm pleased to say we think he has, but it looks a highly competitive race."

The colt, by former Godolphin colourbearer Dubai Destination, was home-bred by Sheikh Mohammed. Fast Company, a son of Coolmore resident Danehill Dancer, was headhunted after winning the Acomb Stakes at York and proved that judgement sound by running New Approach to half a length in the Dewhurst Stakes.

The pair will have one more pipe-opener before Saturday. "Most of the work has been done in Dubai," said Crisford. "They shipped fine, they're in good form and it's all systems go."

Aidan O'Brien is going for his fifth Guineas, and third in four years, with Jupiter Pluvius perceived as his first string ahead of Henrythenavigator and outsider Plan. When King Of Kings won 10 years ago he was the only Ballydoyle runner, but Rock Of Gibraltar was one of four, Footstepsinthesand two and George Washington three.

Most yards, though, would be happy to field just a single runner in a Classic. And despite the enforced withdrawal of former leading fancy Winker Watson, Peter Chapple-Hyam has rustled up another, Fireside. The colt, winner of his maiden over seven furlongs of Saturday's course last October, missed his intended trial in the Greenham Stakes because of a minor infection, but has been burning up the gallops since.

The son of Dr Fong carries the colours of Highclere Thoroughbreds, whose racing manager, Harry Herbert, is more worried about lack of trackcraft than lack of ability. "We know he's a very good horse," he said, "but a prep race would have put him spot-on experience-wise. It looks like being a hell of a Guineas."

Victory would have a certain irony; the Guineas is sponsored by Stan James and the syndicate that owns Fireside comprises mostly rival bookmaker Victor Chandler and friends. "We have a pretty strict rule at Highclere that if you don't see yourself finishing in the first four then you shouldn't be running," Herbert said. "I put that to Peter and he said that he'd definitely run him on that basis. That was good enough for me."

In Sunday's 1,000 Guineas, 18 fillies stood their ground yesterday. The best as far as the betting is concerned are Infallible, Muthabara and Spacious for the home side, and French raider Natagora. No filly from France has won the youngest Classic since Hatoof in 1992, but Natagora was nominated yesterday by Jamie Spencer, rider of Spacious, as a big threat. "She'll be very difficult to beat," he said.

Stan James 2,000 Guineas (sponsor's ante-post odds): 2-1 New Approach, 4-1 Raven's Pass, 6-1 Ibn Khaldun, 8-1 Jupiter Pluvius, 12-1 Fast Company, 16-1 Henrythenavigator, Fireside, 20-1 Perfect Stride, Rio De La Plata, Stimulation, 25-1 Plan, 40-1 Moynahan, One Great Cat, 66-1 others

1,000 Guineas: 7-2 Infallible, 4-1 Muthabara, Natagora, 11-2 Spacious, 14-1 Kitty Matcham, Savethisdanceforme, 16-1 Laureldean Gale, Psalm, 20-1 Nahoodh, 25-1 Lush Lashes, 33-1 Halfway To Heaven, Saoirse Abu, Max One Two Three, 40-1 Lady Deauville, 50-1 others

Chris McGrath

Nap: Kahrayn(Wincanton 3.20)

NB: Font (Wincanton 4.20)

Suggested Topics
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing & Commnunications Executive, London

£30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...

C# .NET Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript HTML, CSS) Finance

£60000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...

MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh-£260/day

£230 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh...

Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal rep

£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment