HOT ROD TOPS GUINEAS LIST

Hot Rod Tops Guineas List
Hot Rod Tops Guineas List
By David John

David John picks out his five favourite recent renewals of the Qipco 2000 Guineas:

(1) Rodrigo’De Triano – 1992

Robert Sangster’s colt went through his juvenile season unbeaten culminating in a victory in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. He returned to action in the spring of his Classic year in the Greenham Stakes but could only manage fourth place behind Lion Cavern, who he had beaten in the aforementioned Middle Park. Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam admitted after the Greenham he had sent him to Newbury a touch underdone and promised he would be a “caged lion” come 2000 day. And how the lion roared, as he swept past Pursuit Of Love with a furlong to run to give Lester Piggott a 30th Classic success.

(2) Nashwan – 1989

Major Dick Hern had a whole host of top-class performers pass through his hands in the 1970s and 1980s and the twice-raced Nashwan was expected to be right up with them heading into his three-year-old campaign. Reports of some sparkling work in the spring prior to the Guineas from the twice-raced son of Blushing Groom started to filter out from West Ilsley and come the big day, racing’s worst kept secret was out. The weight of money ensured he was sent off the 3-1 market leader and he powered up the Rowley Mile to beat Exbourne and Danehill.

(3) Frankel – 2011

No list of favourite recent 2000 Guineas winners would be complete without Sir Henry Cecil’s mighty performer. It comes down to personal opinion whether he is your favourite or not but his display was little short of breathtaking as he scorched across the heath under Tom Queally. Despite a starting price of 1/2, there was still a slight element of doubt over his temperament and whether all his undoubted ability could be channelled in the right direction. Any lingering questions were answered after roughly four strides as he blew apart a Group 1 field in a manner that is witnessed once in a lifetime – perhaps even two or three lifetimes.

(4) George Washington – 2006

This race was personally more about the runner-up Sir Percy, who was the subject of an ante-post voucher in my clutches throughout the previous winter following his success in the Dewhurst Stakes. I tried to convince myself “Gorgeous George” was over-hyped but after winning two Group 1s and a Group 2 in Ireland as a juvenile all at odds-on, I should have realised he was something a bit special. Sir Percy was too good for the rest but never for a moment inside the final three furlongs did he look like matching the winner’s electrifying turn of pace which saw him surge clear under Kieren Fallon. A magnificent performance/setback which I recovered from quickly – honestly.

(5) Mister Baileys – 1994

The one very close finish in the list as Mark Johnston’s colt clung on in the closing stages as Grand Lodge and Frankie Dettori threw down a thrilling late challenge. The winner failed to win another race in three more career outings but there was no denying he showed tremendous tenacity this day to give his handler a first Classic success of his career. And what a great commentary too as we hark back to an era where Raleigh Gilbert still handed over after four furlongs to Graham Goode. Happy days!

View the original article over at Sporting Life

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