Luxembourg surged to the head of the Cazoo Derby market following his impressive success in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday, but he could also be a big player for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, argues Timeform's Irish handicapper Billy Nash.
Luxembourg had created a good impression when making a winning debut at Killarney in July and he took a big step forward to follow up in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes, putting up one of the best performances seen in the division this season.
Nash said: "Luxembourg put up a performance on Saturday which suggests he is right up there with the very best recent winners of the Beresford Stakes, a race with a rich history of producing future classic/Group 1 winners.
"There is no denying that it wasn’t a particularly deep renewal but I think it is well worth taking a positive view of the winner’s performance - a rating of 118p places him behind only National Stakes winner Native Trail in the two-year-old standings."
Luxembourg is no bigger than 9/1 for the Derby but he can be backed at 14/1 for the 2000 Guineas. That 14/1 appeals to Nash based on the speed Luxembourg showed at the end of a steadily-run mile on Saturday.
Nash added: "Luxembourg covered the final three furlongs in an explosive 34.03 seconds (0.4 of a second faster than Art Power in the Renaissance Stakes – the only other horse on the card to dip below 35 seconds for that sectional) which would suggest to me that connections won’t be in any hurry to step him up in trip.
"It is bizarre to think that none of Aidan O’Brien’s 20 previous Beresford winners has gone on to Epsom glory but Saxon Warrior did win the 2000 Guineas. The 14/1 available about Luxembourg for that particular race looks very appealing to me."
The Vertem Futurity, won by Saxon Warrior in 2017 and by Luxembourg's sire, Camelot, in 2011 has been identified as the likely next target.
Luxembourg's win capped an excellent five minutes for his connections following the win of Tenebrism in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. Tenebrism, who also carried the Westerberg silks, produced a remarkable display to win at Group 1 level on just her second outing and her first since winning on the opening day of the Irish Flat season. Tenebrism had plenty on her plate a couple of furlongs from home but finished with a flourish under the stand rail (which may have been an advantage) to overhaul Flotus. Tenebrism's length defeat of Flotus, with the pair three lengths clear of third-placed Sandrine, was the best performance by a two-year-old filly this season and earned her a rating of 115p. She is an exciting prospect.
Prix Morny winner Perfect Power (114 from 113) followed up in the Middle Park, the other Group 1 on the Newmarket card, coming out on top in a blanket finish. Royal Patronage (109 from 107) landed a dramatic renewal of the Royal Lodge but the one to take from the race could be runner-up Coroebus (108p from 99p), who looked to have matters under control when hitting the front two furlongs out but he tied up markedly close home. There was a lot to like about how Coroebus went through much of the race and he remains an excellent long-term prospect for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin, who are also responsible for leading juvenile Native Trail (122p).