There’s been a fair bit of debate in the racing press about the relative merits of the 2000 guineas form. The winner Makfi, in my opinion, won very easily as there was very little challenging in the final furlong. The runner-up Dick Turpin ran his usual solid race from the front and the “catch-me-if-you-can” tactics very nearly worked. The one I went into the race thinking had the most potential as a 3yo ran 3rd – CANFORD CLIFFS. After this race, the RP’s Tom Segal derided the form and suggested that Canford Cliffs should revert to sprinting as he clearly wasn’t a miler. Harsh words for the Guineas 3rd who was the only horse taking ground off the winner in the final furlong. I’ve watched the race several times and Canford Cliffs took nearly 2 furlongs to settle down after the break, and this will have cost him a lot of energy. It seems that the stable thought the best way to get an improved performance from the horse was to settle the horse under restraint, holding him back before unleashing a finishing burst of speed to take the race. It very nearly worked, as Canford Cliffs ran with tonnes in hand just behind the leaders with Richard Hughes keeping the race fav St Nicholas Abbey in his sights away to his right – between them raced the eventual winner Makfi. Unfortunately, I reckon Hughes delayed his challenge for perhaps 100 yards until he realised St Nicholas Abbey was not going to be involved in the finish, but by this time Makfi had made the first move and gained the advantage. He was never going to win then, but he did make up ground on the eventual winner suggesting (to me) that if both had made their move at the same time then Canford Cliffs would have emerged the victor.
I hope the horse goes for the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot rather than the Golden Jubilee sprint later in the meeting. He has the potential beating of both those that finished in front of him in the Guineas with stamina proven and speed to burn, and there’s nothing else in the race entries that comes close on known form. A win in the St James Palace would set him up for a very lucrative season over the mile.