Get the view from connections, our team's tips and the Man On The Spot verdict for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Sporting Life tips:
Lot went wrong for him in the Craven but he's a proven Group One performer who can bounce back and go close here.
Made a big impression when winning the Craven on his reappearance and can take the step up to Group One company in his stride. His potent turn of foot may prove decisive in the first Classic of the season.
Simon Holt: Brings the best form over a mile to the table and while he'll need look in running from stall 17, he looks sure to run a huge race for the Aidan O'Brien team.
Striking winner of the Craven and can be there or thereabouts given we know this is his trip and he handles the track and ground.
Needed the run and hated the testing ground on his reappearance but very talented and looks tailormade for this.
Seems straightforward and settles without any fuss and stamina on dam's side suggests he'll get the mile. If he does he'll be hard to beat.
His Group One win in France when a 2YO has worked out well and his trainer has a superb record when applying a first-time hood.
What the trainers say:
Aidan O'Brien admits he is as much in the dark as anyone as to whether the unbeaten Ten Sovereigns has the requisite stamina for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
It seems an annual event that the Ballydoyle trainer is responsible for the favourite in the first Classic of the season at Newmarket - and this year he provides the first two in the betting, with Magna Grecia strongly fancied too.
However, that dominant position has come about partly by default, as one by one other leading ante-post fancies dropped out.
The headline horse was John Gosden's Champion juvenile Too Darn Hot, who met with a late setback. His stablemate Calyx, Charlie Appleby's Group One winner Quorto, Andre Fabre's Persian King and Marcus Tregoning's Greenham scorer Mohaather also all miss the race through one reason or another.
That will not matter to O'Brien, though, who is in the business of making stallions - and in the shape of Ten Sovereigns, so impressive over six furlongs in the Middle Park Stakes, he will have a ready-made one if he can land a Classic.
"He's done very well (over the winter). We were delighted with him last year - and he's a fine, big colt now," said O'Brien. "You can't be sure about the mile until he goes and does it, but we've been happy with him so far."
Magna Grecia already has a win over a mile to his name at Doncaster in the Futurity Trophy - but Ryan Moore has chosen the speed of his stablemate over the guaranteed stamina, meaning Donnacha O'Brien rides instead.
"We couldn't have dreamed of him doing any more (as a juvenile)," added O'Brien, who is seeking a record 10th win in the race. The Guineas was always a possibility for him - that's why we went to Newmarket for his second run. He's very straightforward and seems to get the mile well."
Saeed Bin Suroor has not won the race since 1999, with Island Sands. In Royal Marine, another Group One winner, he has a lively candidate - despite defeat on his return in the Craven Stakes.
"Royal Marine is better than what he showed in the Craven Stakes," said Bin Suroor. "He was too keen that day, then was stuck in behind horses and couldn't find any room. He has come back from the run very well, did his last piece of work on Monday, and will run equipped with a hood for the first time - which should help him relax. I am sure that there will be a strong pace, which will suit him, and any rain that we happen to get over the next couple of days should also be in his favour."
Fellow Godolphin trainer Appleby advised Sheikh Mohammed to supplement the unbeaten Al Hilalee earlier in the week.
"Al Hilalee took part in a racecourse gallop at Meydan nine days ago, and we were very pleased with him," said the Newmarket trainer. "I spoke with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and we decided that he would not be out of place in the 2000 Guineas. He flew into England on Sunday and travelled well. Having benefited from the winter sun, he looks very forward - in fact, he looks in rude health.
"We have always thought of him as a Derby prospect, and the plan has long been to run him at the Guineas Festival. So the decision to supplement was not a difficult one, now that we no longer have Quorto in the race, because the Guineas is one of the best Derby trials."
Richard Hannon is well represented with two runners, and Urban Icon is possibly the pick.
"Urban Icon came out of the Greenham absolutely fine - and if he gets the fast ground that he needs I can see him running a really big race in the Guineas," said Hannon. "King Of Change really impressed us at Nottingham and has always been held in high regard, although running in the Guineas will be a big step up for him."
Simon Crisford's Sporting Chance booked his place after a gallop on Wednesday, having won in Dubai when last seen.
"He was very impressive when he won the Meydan Classic, which (Derby winner) Masar got beat in last year - but I don't think we can compare him to Masar yet," said Crisford. "He is a very tough, willing and tenacious type of colt. He is going to have to run better than before to be a contender, but he is in a good spot."
Mark Johnston's Dark Vision won the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood before running no race on his next outing after being bought by Godolphin - but he showed up well on his comeback at Chelmsford.
Assistant Charlie Johnston said: "We are very pleased with him. A lot went wrong at Chelmsford, because the horses either side of him both gunned forward and took his ground. He met trouble up the straight but he only just got beat. It was good to get him back on the front foot after a really disappointing run at Doncaster. We were pretty certain that was not a true reflection of his form and ability, and I think that showed at Chelmsford. We would be hopeful of finishing in the first six."
Man On The Spot verdict:
Three of the last four renewals have gone to a Ballydoyle runner and Aidan O’Brien’s duo lead the ante-post betting. Ryan Moore plumbs for the unbeaten Ten Sovereigns, who ended last season with victory in the Middle Park over 6f here, while Magna Grecia signed off last year by landing the Group 1 Futurity over a mile at Doncaster. Madhmoon also represents Ireland having won a Group 2 over today’s trip on fast ground at Leopardstown but ADVERTISE recorded a Group One double when winning the Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh on the back of victory in the July Stakes - partnered on both occasions by Frankie Dettori.
He wasn’t stopping at the end of the 7f here when runner-up in the Dewhurst in October but ran into a better horse on the day in the high-class Too Darn Hot - Martyn Meade’s colt is fancied to make a bold bid in the season’s first Classic. Skardu beat Momkin a neck in the Craven Stakes trial over track and trip last month with Set Piece and Royal Marine further behind and that looks strong form. The latter would prefer some cut but the other Godolphin runner Al Hilalee is a supplementary entry having won a Listed contest in France in August and he could be anything. Great Scot won the Greenham at Newbury with Urban Icon back in third while Kick On landed the Fielden Stakes here on the same day that Shine So Bright won the Listed Free Handicap.