Classically Bred Colts Contest British Classic

Is there sire potential in the 2015 Qipco 2000 Guineas?

Two Thousand Guineas Samuel Henry Alken

The finish of the Two Thousand Guineas by Samuel Henry Alken

Saturday, 2 May sees the running of the first British classic of 2015 in the form of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Not only is the race the first leg of the English Triple Crown, it has also been the stepping stone for careers of numerous champions over the past years.  Sarah Whitelaw looks at the likely contenders.

Won four years ago by legendary champion Frankel, other past winners of the 2000 Guineas include the likes of Brigadier Gerard (Queen’s Hussar), Sea The Stars (Cape Cross), Sir Ivor (Sir Gaylord), Nashwan (Blushing Groom), Nijinsky II (Northern Dancer), Dancing Brave (Lyphard) and Djebel (Tourbillon).

While the list of champions to have won the 2000 Guineas includes some of the turf’s greatest thoroughbreds, in recent years the Guineas has perhaps not produced as many subsequent champion sires as one might have imagined. The best sire to have landed the Newmarket classic in the recent past was Sea The Stars in 2009, while the highly consistent Rock Of Gibraltar won the Guineas seven years earlier. The last official champion sire to land the race was King’s Best, victorious in 2000, and, somewhat surprisingly, the last British Champion Sire to win the 2000 Guineas was 1970 winner Nijinsky II.

With Northern Dancer’s male line continuing to dominate major European races, it comes as no surprise that seven of the last ten Guineas are by Northern Dancer line stallions. And, while last year’s winner Night Of Thunder is by a Mr Prospector line stallion in Dubawi (himself sire of two 2000 Guineas winners in the past five years), he has no fewer than four lines of “The Dancer” in his five generation pedigree.

Looking at some of the pedigrees for the fancied runners for Saturday’s race, it is clear that there are a number of extremely exciting potential stallions amongst the early entries.

Gleneagles: c Galileo – You’resothrilling, by Storm Cat

Arguably the leading contender for the 2015 Guineas, last year’s Gr1 National Stakes winner and Cartier Champion Gleneagles is already well established as a highly exciting stud prospect. A son of the world’s finest sire Galileo (sire of Frankel and damsire of 2014 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder), Gleneagles is bred on the same Galileo/Storm Cat cross as former Irish 1000 Guineas winner Misty For Me. He is out of Gr2 Cherry Hinton Stakes winner You’resothrilling (an own sister to Horse Of The Year and champion sire Giant’s Causeway) and numbers Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Marvellous as a full sister.

Muhaarar: c Oasis Dream – Tahrir by Linamix

Winner of the Gr2 Gimcrack Stakes last year, this year’s Gr3 Greenham Stakes hero Muhaarar is a son of former champion sprinter Oasis Dream. While an outstanding sprinting son of another top speedster in Green Desert, Oasis Dream has shown the ability to sire offspring which stay further than he did, with such Gr1 winners including the likes of Aqlaam, Midday, Querari and Tuscan Evening. Muhaarar is out of a winning daughter of French 2000 Guineas winner Linamix called Tahrir. The latter is closely related to the dam of triple classic winner Blue Bunting, a daughter of Dynaformer whose wins included the 2011 1000 Guineas and Irish Oaks.

Highland Reel: c Galileo –Hveger, by Danehill

Another superbly bred son of Galileo from Ballydoyle, Highland Reel won two of three starts in 2014, with his wins including a facile score in the Gr2 Lanson Vintage Champagne Stakes at Goodwood. While betting suggests that Gleneagles is the stable elect, Highland Reel is still lightly raced and clearly has the scope to be any kind. Bred on the same Galileo/Danehill cross responsible for such classic winning stars as Frankel, Golden Lilac and Roderic O’Connor, Highland Reel’s dam, Hveger, was a smart racemare, who was placed in the Gr1 Australasian Oaks.

She is out of former Gr1 Australian Oaks winner Circles Of Gold, which makes Hveger an own sister to former Gr1 Dubai Duty Free hero Elvstroem, and a half-sister to multiple Gr1 winner Haradasun (sire of South African champion Harry’s Son). This is also the family of former sprint champion and exceptional young sire Starspangledbanner (Choisir).

Moheet: 3 c High Chaparral – Abunai, by Pivotal

The well bred Moheet has made just two outings thus far, finishing third in the Gr3 Craven Stakes after breaking his maiden by seven lengths on his sole outing as a two-year-old. He is by the ill-fated six time Gr1 winner High Chaparral, whose sire Sadler’s Wells sired three winners of the 2000 Guineas (Entrepreneur, King Of Kings, Refuse To Bend).

Out of a mare by outstanding sire Pivotal (already broodmare sire of champion Main Sequence and July Cup winner Maysoon), Moheet’s second dam is the stakes winning Warning mare Ingozi – dam of Gr2 winner Miss Keller (by Montjeu),

This is also the family of highly successful sire Inchinor, the sire of such Gr1 winners as Latice (French Oaks), Summoner (QE II Stakes), and Notnowcato (Eclipse Stakes). High Chaparral, best known as a source of mile and a half classic horses, has 14 Gr1 winners to his credit at the time of writing.

Ol’Man River: 3 c Montjeu – Finsceal Beo, by Mr. Greeley

While it is unclear at the time of writing which of the Ballydoyle runners will compete in Saturday’s classic, there will no doubt be plenty of interest in the thus far unbeaten Ol’ Man River’s unfolding career. A €2.85 million yearling buy, Ol’Man River is a son of two champions in Montjeu and Finsceal Beo respectively. The late, great Montjeu (a close second to Galileo as Sadler’s Wells’ very best sire son) already has one 2000 Guineas winner to his credit as well as four Epsom Derby winners and a trio of St Leger winners. Dam Finsceal Beo was also a classic winner, with her victories including both the 1000 Guineas and Irish 1000 Guineas. The daughter of Mr Greeley also ranks as a half sister to another classic winner, in the form of German 2000 Guineas hero Frozen Power.

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