The 2000 Guineas has been pencilled in for Saturday 6 June, but it could look a very different race by then if, as is being suggested, overseas trainers decide not to take up their engagements due to the strict quarantine process of entering racecourses from outside the UK.

However, can you really imagine a Guineas without an Aidan O’Brien horse going to post? I certainly can’t. He’s not short of stable staff and you’d think that he’d be able find a few riders who would be willing to take a short period in quarantine in return for riding in a Classic.

Time to take on Pinatubo?


Pinatubo has been the favourite for the opening Classic of the Flat season since the start of last summer – a position that was only strengthened after being crowned champion two-year-old in January.

Yet, to my eye, he wasn’t the biggest for his age, and didn’t look as though he’ll improve much or grow as a three-year-old.

That has to be a worry when you look at the other late developers who have had time to catch up with him, especially after a delayed start to the campaign.

We’ve also been lucky to have had some nice weather since the back end of March, which certainly helps horses come into their coats and develop.

With that in mind, I’m taking on the short-priced favourite with a couple of bigger-priced horses in my 2000 Guineas betting tips. 


The first horse I think is worth backing is almost certain to run in the shape of Kameko , trained by Betway ambassador, Andrew Balding.

The son of Kitten’s Joy started his career with a good victory in a competitive maiden at Sandown Park in July last year and, while the form of that race wasn’t spectacular, then returned to the same track a month later in the Betway Solario Stakes to finished a slightly unlucky second, running on too late up the hill to be beaten a nose.

He stepped up a to a mile on his next start when, again, his greenness showed, hitting the front way too soon to be collared by a neck by Royal Dornoch.

He then claimed an explosive victory in his fourth and final run of the season in the rescheduled Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Newcastle, beating three Aidan O’Brien horses and Kinross, the short-priced Ralph Beckett favourite. He could have been named the winner a long way out that day, sprinted away for an impressive 3¼ length success.

It’s been no secret that his connections felt he’d be better as a three-year-old and there have been murmurs during the spring that his work is leaving them very satisfied and excited for a crack at the 2000 Guineas.


The O’Brien contender

The next horse I really like – probably more so than Kameko – is Royal Lytham from the Aidan O’Brien yard but, with all the uncertainty around overseas runners, he’s not guaranteed to race.

The son of Gleneagles has had four career starts to date and has caught my eye in each run.

He managed to win on debut at Navan in June, which is something not all Ballydoyle newcomers achieve.

His second run was in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot when, after going right as the stalls opened and losing a few lengths, he came down the near side of the track, which ended up being the wrong to be on. However, he stayed on strongly to finish seventh, only being beaten by under four lengths.

He followed up that run with a Group 2 success in the July Stakes, showing good stamina to stay on past a very classy field, before heading to the Group 1 Railway Stakes at The Curragh. Despite leading from the off, he was caught by Siskin and Monarch Of Egypt as they entered the final furlong, but ran on again at the finish and was ultimately only beaten by one length.

He looks sure to appreciate a step up in trip with his half-brother winning over 1m2f and, if he does run in the first English Classic of the season, then I think he’ll go exceptionally well.

The outsider


One other horse to keep an eye on is the Richard Hannon-trained Al Madhar , who was successful on his only start as a two-year-old in one of the better maidens at Newmarket last season.

His trainer is very excited by him but, in a normal season, a prep run would have been his first port of call and having that under his belt would have given me more confidence.

However, I still think he’ll run well and is one to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Visit Betway's horse racing betting page.