Air Force Blue heads field of 13 for 2000 Guineas

Aidan O’Brien’s colt odds-on to take the season’s first classic at Newmarket

Air Force Blue heads a field of 13 for the 2000 Guineas. Photograph: Getty

Air Force Blue heads a field of 13 for the 2000 Guineas. Photograph: Getty

 

Air Force Blue heads a field of 13 declared for the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien’s star colt is odds-on to take the first Classic of the season following an impressive juvenile campaign that saw him win three Group One races - the Phoenix Stakes, the National Stakes and the Dewhurst.

O’Brien also saddles Air Vice Marshal, as he seeks to take the Classic for a record eighth time.

The Ballydoyle trainer withdrew his two other five-day entries — Bravery and Shogun.

Godolphin suffered a blow when their main hope Emotionless was ruled out of the race, but they can still mount a decent challenge, being represented by the Mark Johnston-trained Buratino, Jim Bolger’s Herald The Dawn and Ribchester, trained by Richard Fahey.

Massaat, runner-up to Air Force Blue in the Dewhurst, will be Owen Burrows’ first Classic runner after he took over from Barry Hills.

Peter Chapple-Hyam relies upon his Racing Post Trophy victor Marcel, while Ed Walker looks to Stormy Antarctic following his convincing victory in the Craven Stakes over the course and distance earlier this month.

The list of possibles is completed by First Selection, Galileo Gold, Kentuckyconnection, Zhui Feng and Zonderland.

The other two horses scratched at the 48-hour final declaration stage were Michael O’Callaghan’s Blue De Vega and the John Gosden-trained Taqdeer.

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