The 2,000 Guineas Verdict
May 11th, 2017 | Marten's Current Racing Diary
I suppose a victory for Churchill, advised at 8/1, with Barney Roy second, advised each-way at 5/1, was the perfect result for the Weekend Card ante-post feature even though the race left me feeling a little underwhelmed.
As you are aware I had written beforehand that I hoped the race would stand comparison with some of the great 2,000 Guineas fields, notably the 1984 running when El Gran Senor beat Chief Singer, Lear Fan and Rainbow Quest.
It may indeed turn out that the first three home are high-class performers, but they were separated by just one and a quarter lengths with Lancaster Bomber a head behind in fourth. It is unlikely that they are all stars.
Having said that, Churchill was never going to do more than necessary to win the race because he ran in that way at two.
Barney Roy was still green, and having raced keen early on took a stumble entering the Dip, while as I anticipated Al Wukair was left too far out of his ground.
In fact, to my eyes the most promising run was from Lancaster Bomber, who has now run seven times but might have finished closer under a stronger ride.
I have to add that I was not hugely impressed with Churchill in the paddock. He is a fine strong colt but nothing like as imposing as I was encouraged to believe by those that had seen him last season. Barney Roy looked very well but nothing really went right for him at any stage of the race, with his chance seriously compromised by that stumble entering the Dip.
Al Wukair is a slim athletic colt while Eminent was the biggest in the field. Dream Castle is finely made and has less scope than a few of the others.
It was a shame that the race was not run at a stronger pace, especially in the early stages. It was dominated by Coolmore and the suggestion that team tactics may have been employed, with Lancaster Bomber coming off the rails and drifting right into the path of Barney Roy thereby allowing space for Churchill to power through on the rails, possibly having some truth in it.