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Camelot tops Guineas field

Thu, 03 May 2012
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Camelot will face 17 rivals when he goes for Classic glory in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday, although Parish Hall is a notable absentee.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Camelot has headed the ante-post lists for both the Guineas and the Epsom Derby since his devastating performance in last season's Racing Post Trophy.

Connections have refused to fully confirm his Newmarket participation right up until the last possible moment, but he is set to line up on the Rowley Mile as a hot favourite, with the trainer's son Joseph taking the mount.

O'Brien has saddled five previous winners of this Classic and while Camelot is very much this year's major hope, he also saddles a fascinating second string in Group One winner Power, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore.

Parish Hall won last year's Dewhurst Stakes for Jim Bolger, but the County Carlow handler warned earlier this week that his charge would not line up on soft ground.

There is still another major challenger from the Emerald Isle, however, in the shape of John Oxx's Born To Sea. The son of Invincible Spirit is a half-brother to 2009 Guineas winner Sea The Stars, who went through his three-year-old campaign unbeaten before retiring as one of the all-time greats.

There is a strong contingent from France, with Abtaal, French Fifteen and Hermival all making the cross-Channel journey. The latter is trained by Mikel Delzangles, who saddled outsider Makfi to land this prize two years ago.

British champion trainer Richard Hannon has saddled three 2000 Guineas winners, although the last of those was Tirol back in 1990. Craven Stakes winner Trumpet Major is this year's leading hope and he is joined by Bronterre, Coupe De Ville and Redact.

One of the most talked about horses in the field is Roger Charlton's Top Offer. He has not been seen since winning a Newbury maiden last August, but has a massive reputation.

Greenham Stakes winner Caspar Netscher is an interesting outsider for Alan McCabe, while Boomerang Bob, Fencing, Ptolemaic, Red Duke, Saigon and the supplemented Talwar complete the final field.

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