French 2000 Guineas: Favorite Modern Games gets a nice draw, but Claymore and Bayside Boy face a tough task | racing news
Jane Chapple-Hyam admitted she had been left with a sinking feeling after Britain’s leading hopeful Claymore was given the biggest draw of all in Sunday’s Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp, live on Sky Sports Racing.
The son of New Bay owned by Mary Slack was three and a half lengths behind Native Trail in the Group Three Craven Stakes in his season debut.
That form was later broken by the winner, who chased Godolphin’s stablemate Coroebus in the 2000 English Guineas.
However, the twice run Old housewho landed a rookie on soft ground over seven furlongs on his debut at Newmarket in October, has received no favors by being the widest of them all in 16th for Group One, which is also known as the French 2000 Guineas.
“I was having a wonderful day until I saw the draw,” Chapple-Hyam said. “It’s so disappointing. You spend the whole winter with the dream and then you see 16 of 16 and you just sink.
“The horse is fine and I have a brilliant rider in Adam Kirby on board, so it’s up to him. It’s unfortunate for a small yard. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles.”
Chapple-Hyam, who rides Heat Of The Moment in the equivalent filly race 40 minutes earlier, sent his team out a day earlier than scheduled in a bid to give them some experience of their surroundings.
She added: “The horses arrived safely and settled in. I went a day early because I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic on Friday. They are going to have a smooth gallop and they will be able to see the track and the grandstand.
“Claymore is a fast learner so I guess it’s a plus that he gets to see the track instead of just seeing it on race day.”
“He’s in the French and English Derby and we’ll make a plan after he runs, but I have to get over the bad news about the draw first!”
Roger Varian was also left to lament a 14th-place finish for bay boymaking his first start of the season, having bowed out last season with a close third place finish against Luxembourg in the Group One Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.
Olivier Peslier is coming to ride for the first time and Varian said: “It’s not a big draw. It is what it is, we can’t do anything about it. The horse is in good shape and we will have to do our best to overcome the tie.
“The ground is going to be fast, it’s dry and warm in Paris, but we have no worries on the ground.
“You want a low number draw in the mile at Longchamp, so of course you have to be disappointed with the draw, but what can we do about it? It’s out of our control, but the horse is in good shape.” .
Charlie Appleby, who saddled the 2000 Guineas one-two with Coroebus and Native Trail, expected a low draw for modern games. And his wish was granted as last season’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, who will again be joined by William Buick, is set to run from position four.
The ante-post favorite owned by Godolphin has been nice in the connections at home.
“We are delighted with their preparation,” Appleby told the Godolphin website. “We can’t fault his preparation and we hope to get his first start as a three-year-old.”
Formula One driver Charles Leclerc, who currently leads the world rankings at the wheel of his Ferrari, will cheer on the winner of the race and distance. Lassauthaving recently acquired a stake in the colt trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, who has won both starts this season.
Aidan O’Brien has won this race five times, including last year with St Mark’s Basilica, and is represented by The AcropolisRyan Moore’s mount.
The Acropolis, winner of one of his nine starts, still has a mile to tackle but held up well when he finished a half-length second to Dr. Zempf over seven furlongs at Leopardstown in the 2,000 Guineas Trial earlier in the last month.