Australia goes to War
Aidan O'Brien thinks the world of Australia, his premier hope in today's eagerly anticipated 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
However, the horse hasn't raced since easily winning a Group Three at Leopardstown back in September and, on that form, has it all to do to bring another Classic back to Ballydoyle.
In fact, the son of Galileo is seen as more of a Derby prospect than a Guineas type, although the sire has produced his share of speedsters, including Frankel.
Australia does not have the profile of Camelot, who won for Coolmore in 2012, and today's race is the aperitif for a crack at the Epsom Derby. Joseph O'Brien sticks with him, which leaves Ryan Moore on board War Command.
That O'Brien is prepared to give War Command his chance against Australia, indicates he's not entirely sure which of them is best over a mile. Australia is 3/1 second favourite while Command has come in from 12s to 9/1. No doubt where the value lies.
Command won Royal Ascot's Coventry Stakes last year and followed up in the Dewhurst here, after which he was installed 5/1 Guineas market leader but others are more fancied by the layers, such as Toormore, Kingston Hill and, of course, Kingman.
The latter has been all the rage since winning Newbury's Greenham Stakes in impressive style for John Gosden who has his best chance of landing his first 2000 Guineas. However, if the surface remains on the firm side, don't expect Kingman to run. Newmarket had a taste of rain on Thursday, which should help, but it dries out very quickly and the going just might go against him. Hence he has drifted out from evens to 6/4.
Take War Command to at least make the frame and therefore an each-way bet is the call at 1/4 the odds.