Galileo Gold takes 2,000 Guineas as Air Force Blue fails to take off

Frankie Dettori takes another Classic victory at Newmarket

Galileo Gold ran out an emphatic winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas for Frankie Dettori and Hugo Palmer at Newmarket.

Prominent throughout, the Al Shaqab-owned colt streaked clear going into the dip and beat Massaat by a length and a half at odds of 14-1.

Ribchester defied his price of 33-1 to finish third, beaten two lengths.

Aidan O’Brien’s hot favourite Air Force Blue was in trouble early and finished in the rear.


It was a third win in the Classic for Dettori, a mere 20 years on from his first success on Mark Of Esteem.

The rider crossed over from the centre of the track to bag the rail once clear and he never looked like being caught.

Massaat, second to Air Force Blue in the Dewhurst, ran a blinder for first-season trainer Owen Burrows with Ribchester flying the flag for Richard Fahey and the north in third.

The race was supposed to revolve around last year’s champion juvenile Air Force Blue, but Ryan Moore never looked particularly happy while another major disappointment was Racing Post Trophy winner Marcel.

Dettori paid tribute to Palmer and expressed his delight at a big-race success for Al Shaqab.

He said: “I had a lot of faith in him and I knew we’d be in the first three. We had a bad draw but he’s a great horse. My main forte is that he stays, he galloped out really strong.

“Well done to Hugo Palmer and his team and everyone at Al Shaqab – we’ve done it.”

Palmer said: “Frankie was so alert, he said nothing had been coming from behind and that if nothing took us on, he would do it himself and he did.

“There were no hard luck stories, for us anyway. It was a masterful ride.

“He had a very willing partner and I feel so lucky to have him.

“When you come to a race like this you have to have confidence, if not you may as well go somewhere else. If I was going to come here, I was going to believe in it.

“I’ve never believed in a horse quite like I believe in this one.

“I don’t know what makes him different, he just keeps getting better. He’s quirky, we have to work with him, not against him, but he’s rewarded us.

“We think he’ll stay a mile and a quarter.”

Michael Stoute’s good start to the season continued apace as Exosphere ran out a ready winner in the Dunaden At Overbury Jockey Club Stakes as favourite Jack Hobbs was pulled up.

Jack Hobbs, winner of last year’s Irish Derby, was sent off an odds-on shot to make a winning return but was the first horse beaten and William Buick soon pulled him up and dismounted.

Big Orange took the field along but looked a sitting duck and was soon passed by St Leger winner Simple Verse.

For a few strides she looked capable of beating the boys again, but Ryan Moore had yet to ask Exosphere for everything and the 17-2 chance kicked clear to win by four lengths.

Moore said: “We’ve always liked him, but I thought it was a big step up against a Leger winner and an Irish Derby winner. Obviously something is not right with Jack (Hobbs).

“He’s an impressive horse but I’m a bit surprised he was able to win today, he’s obviously improving.”

Of Jack Hobbs, trainer John Gosden said: "It's a bit of a mystery, we'll get him checked over."

Stoute said: “We didn’t think he’d win, we thought Jack Hobbs would win, but I did say this morning I’d thought he’d be second.

“We liked him last year, but things didn’t go right for him after he ran in the Doonside Cup.

“Ryan looked at me as if I was being a bit optimistic but he’s done it so well.

“He started off and kept surprising me last year. He’s worked better this year than last, so you’ve got to be happy with that. It was a good performance, we’ve a nice horse on our hands.

“He’s in the Hardwicke (Stakes at Royal Ascot) but I don’t know where we’ll go as he’s only just pulled up, but that’s the race he’s entered in.”