We all know about the remarkable, unbeaten Pinatubo and what he achieved at two, but what stands in the way of Godolphin's star in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket?
Matt Brocklebank runs through the key performances from his likely rivals on the Rowley Mile via our FREE video replay archive - the video library goes back to 2009 so don't forget you can always look back before looking ahead to the resumption of Flat racing this year.
Simply log-in, click on the links, scroll to the bottom of the results and and press play to watch the videos of red-hot favourite Pinatubo's main 2000 Guineas challengers.
Arizona was beaten four times after narrowly winning the Coventry Stakes from Threat at Royal Ascot last June but put up some fantastic performances in defeat, including when far from disgraced from a wide draw at the Breeders' Cup when last seen. In the Dewhurst, the son of No Nay Never improved on all previous form to push Guineas favourite Pinatubo to within two lengths after making much of the running under Seamie Heffernan over seven furlongs of the Rowley Mile. He looked a very smart miler in the making last term and his price has contracted in the past couple of weeks.
Kameko followed up his debut maiden win with close seconds at Sandown and Newmarket before really exploding onto the scene with a pretty resounding win at Newcastle after the race was rescheduled from Doncaster. There could be an element of the American-bred Kitten's Joy colt simply handling the artificial Tapeta surface better than most (Kinross well held, among others) on the day but, nevertheless, the way he powered through the line in the typically informative Group One clearly bodes extremely well for his return to turf over a mile and beyond as a three-year-old.
Son of a Derby Winner (New Approach) out of Yorkshire Oaks heroine in Punctilious, Military March should really be only coming into his own over middle-distances at three, so the fact he was 2-2 as a juvenile, over 7f on debut then a mile in the Autumn Stakes, is a positive indicator to his inherent class. At Newmarket when last seen he looked briefly in trouble when tackled by Al Suhail heading into the dip before finding extra on the rise to the line. He looks to have an excellent attitude to go along with sizeable raw ability.
Ralph Beckett clearly holds Kinross in very high regard and the manner in which he was backed into 13/8 favourite for the Vertem Futurity Trophy gives the strong impression better was expected. It didn't pan out for the son of Kingman at Newcastle, beaten over six lengths into fifth, but he was looked after late on when all chance had gone and he's well worth another chance based on his astonishing debut success over seven furlongs at Newmarket in October. He looks a 'sleeping giant' of the current Classic crop and should be perfectly suited by the mile, whereas some of Pinatubo's other rivals are bred for a bit further.
Threat did connections proud through 2019 and it could be dangerous to assume he won't develop into a top-class animal at three. He had quite a tough campaign, running four times through August and September, and may have just been slightly over the top when fifth in the Middle Park last time out. He ducked a possible clash with Pinatubo in the Dewhurst to drop back to six furlongs there but should appreciate the return to further based on his Group Two victory at Doncaster in the Champagne Stakes.
Jean-Pierre Carvalho, a Frenchman based in Germany, clearly did the leg-work with Alson having trained him last term but the winter switch to Andre Fabre's yard can only be deemed a positive. The colt won four times at two, including at Group One level (albeit only two runners), and finished a close second to Victor Ludorum on Arc weekend. He looks a very interesting potential challenger and could well be the mount of Frankie Dettori, who rode him on his final two starts last season. The colt is versatile in terms of tactics while his new handler is on record stating he feels Newmarket and its undulations should play to the horse's strengths.
Charlie Appleby tends not to ask too many questions of his two-year-old colts by Dubawi, safe in the knowledge the great sire's progeny generally improve with time and distance at three and four. So while Al Suhail only won a novice event from four starts as a juvenile, it looks interesting he contested a couple of Group Three events towards the end of the season and he ran a good third behind Positive in the Solario Stakes at Sandown - a race used by Appleby for Masar en route to Epsom glory the following summer. Al Suhail didn't look the most resolute in the finish, compared to Military March at least, when second in the Autumn Stakes but the soft ground evidently wasn't in his favour and better can be expected on a sounder surface with another winter on his back this time around.
Arizona's stablemate Wichita signed off for 2019 with a well-held third in the Dewhurst but won two of his three previous starts including a pretty taking success over seven furlongs at Newmarket in the Tattersalls Stakes. The ground was good on that occasion and the son of No Nay Never seemed much happier really stretching out on a decent surface rather than the much softer ground he encountered at the end of the season. He's achieved almost as much as Arizona already and it could be argued possesses the greater scope for improvement, not only physically but also in terms of form given he's so lightly raced and was "late to get started" according to his trainer.
Roger Teal's Kenzai Warrior didn't win by far at two but had enough in hand to score a shade cosily first time out at Salisbury before following up in the seven-furlong Group Three Horris Hill at Newmarket. Aidan O'Brien's favourite San Pedro was a big disappointment which may just cast some doubt over the value of the bare form, but Kenzai Warrior overcame a tricky run when having to switch slightly as he mounted his challenge. He knuckled down really well to win by half a length on heavy ground that probably didn't help him. He's from an unfashionable yard but looks capable of holding his own in decent company this year if he's progressed as hoped over the winter (and spring) months.
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