x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Top two head English 2000 Guineas entries

Dream Ahead and Frankel have sights set on Newmarket where only three two-year-old colts like them have won since 1978.

Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, is one of the leading entries for the English 2000 Guineas. Steve Parsons / PA
Frankel, ridden by Tom Queally, is one of the leading entries for the English 2000 Guineas. Steve Parsons / PA

Frankel and Dream Ahead, last season's joint-champion two-year-old colts in Europe, yesterday topped the entries for the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on April 30.

There are 59 entries in all for the 203rd running of the mile contest, seven of which are Group 1-winning colts.

Frankel won the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on October, with Dream Ahead, owned by Epsom Derby-winning Khalifa Dasmal, an under-par fifth.

Only three champion two-year-old colts have gone on to win the 2000 Guineas since 1978, although David Simcock, the trainer of Dream Ahead, suggested his horse was on course to possibly improve that statistic.

"Physically, I couldn't be happier with the colt," Simcock said. "He has had a very good winter - he looks fantastic. He has matured, put a lot of weight on in the right places and he has started his training well."

Godolphin are well represented with eight horses, including Dubai Prince and Casamento, both trained by Mahmood al Zarooni, while Saeed bin Suroor's challenge is headlined by Saamidd. Intriguingly Splash Point, the UAE Derby winner, has also been entered.

The first British Classic of the season will form the opening leg of the inaugural British Champions' Series, an initiative set out in five racing categories which sees Dh75 million on offer throughout the season and which will culminate at Ascot on October 15.

The 1000 Guineas, contested the following day, is also included in the Champions Series and there were 79 entries for the fillies' Classic.

Godolphin have five entered in the race, with bin Suroor relying on the unbeaten White Moonstone and the UAE Oaks victor Khawlah, although the daughter of Cape Cross may miss the race due to her preparation for the English Oaks in June.

"White Moonstone is on course for the 1000 Guineas and she is in very good order at the moment," said bin Suroor. "She has developed well with a nice winter in Dubai and she looks in good condition.

"We have put her back into full training and she will do a gallop at the end of March before continuing with the serious work when she returns to Newmarket in early April. We will keep options open for Khawlah. We might start her off in the Musidora Stakes at York instead and take her season from there. She is another nice filly who is improving all the time."

sports@thenational.ae