Daryl Carter Tips

2,000 Guineas Runner-by-Runner Guide: O'Brien's City of Troy will stand tall

Newmarket runners.
Daryl Carter looks at each runner in the 2024 2,000 Guineas field.

The first classic of the British Flat season, the English 2,000 Guineas, takes centre stage at Newmarket on Saturday, and Daryl Carter offers a runner-by-runner guide...


Ryan Moore Superboost (City Of Troy)

He's been labelled a potential super star, and today City Of Troy is 4/61.67 favourite to win the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket under the hands of Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore at 3:35pm.

And if you fancy last season's champion 2yo to win the first Classic of the season then click the 'Bet here' tab below to back him at the super-boosted price of 1/12.00.

Back City Of Troy to Win 15:35 Newmarket at the super-boosted price of 1/12.00

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City Of Troy 4/61.67

Trainer Aidan O'Brien bids to win his fifth 2,000 Guineas in the last ten years, and in the unbeaten City Of Troy, he has a potential superstar in waiting if picking up where he left off last season. The son of Justify won all three outings as a juvenile, including the Group 2 Superlative Stakes on Newmarket's July course before a noteworthy trial for today's race when demolishing a strong field of rivals in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs on the Rowley Mile.

Described by O'Brien as the "best two-year-old I've ever trained" and by owner Michael Tabor as "Our Frankel" may not be wide of the mark.

The move up to 1m for the first time will almost certainly see him in an even better light, and his recorded RPR of 124 in the Dewhurst Stakes would have been good enough to win this race for the last eight years and joint-top best with the other two winners, Gleneagles and Night Of Thunder.

The negatives are almost impossible to find with what could be a horse of a generation, although many will point to some of Justify progeny not improving from two to three years.

Still, this doesn't look like a vintage renewal of the race and it is impossible to oppose him with any confidence.


Hear Ryan Moore's thoughts on City Of Troy at 9.00 minutes in his Season Preview with Kevin Blake.


Rosallion 11/26.50

Trainer Richard Hannon is no stranger to success in this race, and his representative, Rosallion, did some excellent work as a Juvenile, winning three of his four outings. His only disappointment was on soft ground at Doncaster, when he finished third in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes.

He ended his two-year-old campaign with a French Group 1 victory in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and is open to further improvement, moving up to 1m for the first time. He is from a good family that has seen progeny progress with age, and his trainer holds him in very high regard, suggesting he has an "exceptional chance" when questioned about this race.

He will have a stiff task reeling in this favourite, but he could be the one to pick up the pieces should he disappoint, providing the ground is not on the softer side. Player.


Notable Speech 10/111.00

Charlie Appleby has only saddled one winner of this contest in the last ten years, and his Notable Speech is unbeaten and entirely unexposed. He visually looked smart in three victories on the AW surface at Kempton, showing a bright turn of foot, and is more of a speedier miler.

However, this is deep water to make your turf debut, and his rating of 109 leaves plenty for him to find with many in this field, even with a race fitness edge. Still, it's interesting that he is the yard's choice over Ancient Wisdom, who looked to hold excellent claims.

He is highly regarded, and his action suggests that he should respond well to this track's demands. While he will likely be ridden to be delivered late, that may not enhance his chances of winning by giving the favourite first run - it may see him run into the frame.


Ghostwriter 11/112.00

Clive Cox's Ghostwriter is unbeaten in three outings as a two-year-old, including landing the 1m Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes on the final outing of his two-year-old season over course and distance. The runner-up from that contest, Al Musmak, was a similar distance behind Rosallion at Ascot in the Pat Eddery Stakes, and that form looks solid despite a handful facing defeat since.

He seems more of a Derby horse rather than a 2,000 Guineas winner, and he might lack the speed of one or two of his rivals, but he won't lack stamina, and with his form lines and official rating, he is tough to write off for place possibilities.


Night Raider 16/117.00

Once raced as a two-year-old in December for Karl Burke when an effortless nine-length win at Southwell in a Class 5 Novice contest reappeared at the same venue/grade to score in March by a manageable five lengths over one rated 93 under a penalty. The son of Dark Angel is bred for speed, and he showed a bright turn of foot in two outings thus far, but whether a 1m will suit him is up for debate.

Still, this is a steep rise in class, but he is worth his place based on his two runs to date and could improve further. The percentage call is to look elsewhere.


Task Forc 18/119.00

Ralph Beckett's Task Force represents last year's winning owner outfit, Juddmonte, and could improve significantly for the move up to 1m. He has raced exclusively over sprint trips of six furlongs to date but has done his best work at the finish, and he is bred to get this new trip.

Still, in recent years, it has yet to be profitable for punters to back horses unraced over a minimum of seven furlongs, so he is passed over. However, he has the ability and could be a horse for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.


Iberian 20/121.00

Charles Hills' Iberian fell short of the level required when well beaten by City Of Troy in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, finishing only sixth of eight at 5/16.00. Perhaps that was not his true running, having been well below his Group 2 Champagne Stakes victory at Doncaster when scalping Rosallion. However, questions are asked about his defeat to Haatem at Goodwood in the Vintage Stakes, and he now looks to have an unreliable profile.

He needs a big step up.


Alyanaabi 16/117.00

Owen Burrows' Alyanaabi finished fourth to Rosallion at Ascot in the Pat Eddery Stakes before getting off the mark narrowly in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes and confirmed that form with Eben Shaddad when an excellent second to City Of Troy in the Dewhurst Stakes.

Still, he was no match for the Aiden O'Brien winner when the taps were turned on, and he lacked the pace to keep up with the 2,000 Guineas favourite. He comes here fresh but needs to find a big jolt of improvement to reverse the form with City Of Troy.


Haatem 25/126.00

Richard Hannon clarified that Rosallion is the stable number one. Still, he has done little wrong himself, landing the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood over seven furlongs and reappearing with a brilliant victory in the Group 3 Craven Stakes, reversing Dewhurst's form with Eben Shaddad.

Still, he has plenty to find with the favourite City Of Troy for win purposes.


Inisherin 50/151.00

Narrowly defeated on debut by the subsequent Blue Riband Trial winner Bellum Justum at Newmarket before a ready winner at Newcastle's AW track in a minor Novice event, recording an RPR of 86. He has a mountain to climb.


Ten Bob Tony 50/151.00

Ed Walker's runner was a surprise winner at Newmarket on seasonal return, turning over one rated 107, but there seemed no fluke about that performance, and he is improving. Still, having taken three starts to get off the mark in Novice company last year, one suspects this will be a monstrous ask.


Verdict

This race revolves entirely around City Of Troy and his progression from two to three years. If he can continue to improve, it will take an enormous effort from anything to peg him back. He looked sensational last season, and I am hoping that Ryan Moore will keep things simple, pop out and make his own running before kicking away from the field. Sometimes, you see something special, and he could be just that.

For those wanting a bigger price, it could pay to look in the W/O favourite market on the Betfair Sportsbook. Notable Speech has done nothing but improve, and his dominant victories on the AW have left the ceiling of his ability unknown. He is a risky proposition switched to turf, but he will be ridden for speed, covered up and delivered late, which makes him a place opportunist. It would be a shock if he would be good enough to win this over City Of Troy, but his speed could fend off a few other rivals.

1. City Of Troy

2. Notable Speech

3. Rosallion


Now Read: Ryan Moore 2024 Flat Season Preview: City Of Troy a superstar in waiting


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