Potential Royal Runner in Guineas on Coronation Day

The royal colours, which will now be carried by horses under the joint ownership of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen Consort, could be seen in Classic action on the day of the King’s Coronation. 

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Slipofthepen (GB),  a son of Night Of Thunder (Ire) who was bred by the late Queen, has been given an entry for the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas. Out of the 95-rated Free Verse (GB) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), the colt is a fifth-generation homebred and won his sole start with ease at Kempton in November and also holds an entry for the Derby.

Furthering her links to the turf, The Queen Consort is due to visit the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket on March 9.

The first two British Classics of the season, the QIPCO-sponsored 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas on May 6 and 7, have attracted 62 and 64 entries respectively. 

The quintet of Group/Grade 1 winners Auguste Rodin (Ire), Al Riffa (Ire), Chaldean (GB), Little Big Bear (Ire) and Victoria Road (Ire) heads a strong cast for the colts’ Classic. Little Big Bear, a son of No Nay Never, was beaten only once in a five-start juvenile campaign culmination in his victory in the G1 Keeenland Phoenix S., and he is currently holding favouritism to give his trainer Aidan O’Brien a potential eleventh victory in the race. Of the British-trained entries, Chaldean is currently third favourite to emulate his sire Frankel (GB) by winning the 2,000 Guineas.

Those with an interest in sporting art will be pleased to see an entry for the equine Alfred Munnings (Ire), a Dubawi (Ire) half-brother to the Oaks winner Snowfall (Jpn). The great painter Munnings was himself a regular visitor to Newmarket Heath and spent much time down at the start observing and sketching horses as they were called in to line up. The old rubbing house he used as a makeshift studio is still in existence on the gallops behind the Rowley Mile. 

The retirement of the G1 Fillies’ Mile winner Commissioning (GB) (Kingman {GB}) means that there is one notable omission from the entries for the 1,000 Guineas, with the betting market currently co-headed by Coolmore’s Meditate (Ire) (No Nay Never) and the Aga Khan’s Tahiyra (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}). Another from the O’Brien stable, Statuette, is third in the list to give her young sire Justify a first Classic winner.

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