There is one big question hanging over the first classic of the season: do you believe the hype? All winter one horse has been backed and backed again for the UltimatePoker.com 2000 Guineas, Dubawi. The story is compelling. Dubawi is the best progeny of the ill-fated wonder horse Dubai Millennium and the hopes of Godolphin are invested in his son. This colt is bearing an enormous burden of expectation.
The best way to judge if he can live up to it is to study the form. On that basis the price looks cramped, but he wouldn’t need to improve much on his two-year old season to win on Saturday. Dubawi’s victory in the National Stakes at the Curragh last September is the key. Six of the last ten Guineas winners have run in this trial and there is nothing in the field he beat that day that looks like reversing the form.
Second favourite Rob Roy looks to have plenty to find to beat Dubawi. In the Craven Stakes Democratic Deficit beat Sir Michael Stoute’s runner and that horse was more than seven-lengths in arrears to Dubawi in Ireland last year. You have to go back to Zafonic in 1993 to find a horse that justified 2000 Guineas favouritism, but Dubawi can buck that trend. Diktatorial could be the best of the outsiders. He has plenty of speed in his pedigree and a nicely progressive profile.
The betting market for Sunday’s UltimatePoker.com 1000 Guineas has been thrown into some disarray by the defection of long-time favourite Damson on Wednesday. Tough and consistent Maids Causeway looks the horse to back, particularly at tempting each-way odds of 9/1.
She won the Rockfel Stakes last season and second home that day Penkenna Princess gave that form a nice boost when winning the Fred Darling at Newbury a fortnight ago. Maids Causeway’s trainer Barry Hills is in flying form, sending out six three year-old maiden winners since April 12 and won the 2000 Guineas on this weekend last year with Haafhd.
Saturday 3:15 Newmarket [2000 Guineas] Dubawi (win)
Sunday 3:25 Newmarket [1000 Guineas] Maids Causeway (each-way)