The 2012 British Champions Series launches this weekend with the running of the QIPCO 2000 and 1000 Guineas to be run at Newmarket on Saturday and Sunday.
The Gr1 £350,000 QIPCO 2000 Guineas to be run over the straight mile on Saturday boasts a fascinating Irish contender in the John Oxx-trained Born To Sea. His claim to fame is the fact that he is a half-brother to the champion Sea The Stars who won this race in 2009, before going on to win the Derby and the Arc.
Aidan O’Brien’s red-hot favourite Camelot is among the 22 confirmations. The son of Montjeu was a brilliant winner of last year’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on just his second career start and he has headed the market for both the Guineas and the Investec Derby during the winter.The Ballydoyle team have two other possible runners in Power and Furner’s Green.
Jim Bolger’s Parish Hall has arguably the strongest form in the race having won the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October, beating the likes of Power, Most Improved, Bronterre and Trumpet Major. Richard Hannon has both Bronterre and Trumpet Major engaged in Saturday’s Classic.
Bronterre was beaten at odds-on in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury on his comeback, but Trumpet Major impressed in his trial, the Craven Stakes.
Roger Charlton is set to saddle his much talked about Newbury maiden winner Top Offer, while Abtaal, French Fifteen and Hermival are all contenders for France.
Other interesting possibles include the Alan McCabe-trained Caspar Netscher, an impressive winner of the Greenham Stakes.Shane Kelly will ride him and this is quite a step up.
The sole supplementary entry isThe Jeremy Noseda-trained Talwar, an easy winner of a Lingfield Listed race last time, is the only supplementary entry.
The Ladbrokes St Leger hero Masked Marvel heads 12 five-day entries for the Gr2 QIPCO Jockey Club Stakes to be run over 2400 metres. John Gosden’s four-year-old finished his campaign last season when bringing up the rear in the Arc at Longchamp but previously had his finest hour in the Town Moor Classic when slamming Brown Panther by three lengths.
Among his potential rivals are Dunaden and Red Cadeaux, who were involved in a thrilling outcome to the Melbourne Cup before the pair then met again in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
Andre Fabre has won the Group 2 contest twice since 2006 and he could let Meandre take his chance.
On Sunday the Gr1 £350,000 QIPCO 1000 Guineas will be run over a mile and ante-post favourite Maybe is among 21 fillies left. The daughter of Galileo is favourite after winning her five starts as a juvenile. This run culminated in the Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh at the end of August.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has two other possibles in Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial winner Homecoming Queen and Up and Wonderful.
Lightening Pearl, winner of the Cheveley Park Stakes, could try to give trainer Ger Lyons Classic glory while the other Irish-trained entries are Jim Bolger’s Alla Speranza, David Wachman’s Fire Lily and Kevin Prendergast’s La Collina.
Mashoora, winner of the Prix Imprudence at Maisons-Laffitte this spring and trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, is the sole remaining French filly.
Godolphin have a strong hand in the shape of Discourse and Lyric Of Light, who both have 100% records for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
Discourse won the Sweet Solera Stakes on the second of her two starts while Lyric Of Light’s three successes included the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster and the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.
Charlie Hills runs Gray Pearl and he feels she will enjoy the kinder ground and the mile trip.
The list is completed by Moonstone Magic, who has been supplemented by trainer Ralph Beckett. She will also enjoy the soft ground and looks perfectly suited to the mile.
A truly top-class weekend of British racing and all the action brought to us by GBI.