Rain eases Newmarket ground
Conditions at Newmarket have eased slightly ahead of the two-day QIPCO 2000 Guineas Festival this weekend with the going described as good to firm, good in places after two millimetres of rain fell during Thursday.
However, hardly any more rain is forecast but with light winds, clerk of the course Michael Prosser expects the course to hold up well and he has no plans to water.
"There is a chance of a shower this evening and maybe tomorrow morning. Once that possibility of a light shower has gone we are dry right from Friday afternoon through to the end of play on Sunday," said Prosser.
"There hasn't really been any breeze for a few days, but there's a cooler stronger breeze coming in from the north on Friday and then they dip and then we are forecast a grass frost on Saturday and Sunday morning.
"Daytime temperatures will rise to 13C on the Saturday and to 15C on the Sunday. Because there is no real breeze on those two days it will feel pleasantly warm in the sunny spells.
"The course walks well and on the better side of good to firm after that rain so we are very happy where we are so we do not need to do any irrigation. The key thing to me is because the winds are light on Saturday and Sunday the course should hold well."
John Gosden, trainer of Kingman, will have welcomed the rain for the the ante-post favourite as he does not want lightning-fast going for the colt who made an impressive reappearance in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
The Khalid Abdullah-owned three-year-old is around a 6-4 shot to take his unbeaten record to four over the Rowley Mile. His main market rival is Australia, who will be having his first start of the year at Headquarters, having won two of his three juvenile outings, culminating in a comfortable Group Three win at Leopardstown last September.
He will be ridden by Joseph O'Brien while fellow Aidan O'Brien inmate War Command, who won both the Coventry and Dewhurst Stakes last term, will be partnered by Ryan Moore.
Toormore was champion juvenile last season, counting the National Stakes among his four victories, and maintained his unbeaten record with a workmanlike display in the Craven Stakes on his return in April.
He is one of three Richard Hannon-trained runners in his first season as the licence holder. Greenham runner-up Night Of Thunder, the mount of Kieren Fallon, and the unbeaten Shifting Power, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, give him three legitimate challengers.
Another strong contender is Roger Varian's Kingston Hill, last year's Racing Post Trophy hero.
Noozhoh Canarias, who finished second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day, is the first Spanish-trained runner in a British Classic. He arrived in Newmarket at midnight on Wednesday, accompanied by his 33-year-old trainer, Enrique Leon.
Leon said: "I travelled with him on the plane and everything went smoothly. Door to door the journey from Madrid, via Heathrow, took eight hours and nothing bad happened. He is a horse who usually travels very well and he has eaten up this morning."
Freddy Head's Charm Spirit claimed third place in the Lagardere and he reopposes after making a triumphant return when winning the Prix Djebel at the beginning of April.
Makfi won that race in 2010 before going on to Guineas glory and his trainer Mikel Delzangles sends over Bookrunner, who was just behind Charm Spirit in the Djebel.