2,000 Guineas Contenders Hold Interest
Tara Madgwick - Saturday, 6 May 2017
The Group I English 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket is run in the early hours of Sunday morning and the colts seen as the top four contenders all hold some interest for Australian breeding and racing fans with Dream Ahead (USA), Excelebration (IRE) and Frankel all seen as having winning hopes as well as the inevitable Galileo.

Aidan O'Brien is trying for his eighth win in the race and the Coolmore juggernaut will pin their hopes on last season's Champion 2YO Colt Churchill, who won five of six starts in 2016.

He's having his first run of the year and has a female pedigree steeped in speed being from stakes-winning juvenile Meow, a Storm Cat daughter of Champion 2YO and Champion 3YO Filly Sprinter Airwave.

The Richard Hannon trained Godolphin runner Barney Roy will seek to give Coolmore shuttler Excelebration his first Group I winner and comes into the race off a last start win in the Group III Greenham Stakes.

Unbeaten with two wins in as many starts, Barney Roy is from a daughter of Galileo from the family of globe-trotting sprinter Gordon Lord Byron, who won the Group I ATC George Ryder Stakes here in Australia.

Eminent - Racing FotosNew Zealand breeder, owner and businessman Sir Peter Vela is the owner of unbeaten Frankel colt Eminent, who is also two for two like Barney Roy and won the Group III Craven Stakes leading into this.

Trained by Martyn Meade, Eminent was bought by Dermot Farrington for just 150,000 guineas at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale making him one of the least expensive yearlings by his world famous sire.

Eminent does however come with a big pedigree as he is the second winner for Group I placed Kingmambo mare You'll Be Mine, a half-sister to Group I winner Diamondsandrubies and daughter of Group I winner and Champion 2YO Filly Quarter Moon.

Frankel has sired a Japanese Group I winner, but is still looking for his first in Europe.

Another young stallion with a shot at Group I glory is Emirates Park / Aquis Farm's Dream Ahead, who is the sire of unbeaten French entry Al Wukair.

He's three wins from as many starts and comes in off a last start victory in the Group III Prix Maisons-Laffitte Prix Djebel.

Trained by Andre Fabre for Al Shaqab racing, Al Wukair is from a Machavellian daughter of French Group I winner Caerlina.

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