Gosden worried by Kingman's low draw
Published 03/05/2014 | 11:00
John Gosden is concerned an unfavourable draw could be detrimental to Kingman's chances in what promises to be an enthralling renewal of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket today.
With fears about the Rowley Mile turf being too lively for the unbeaten colt seemingly fading, following the rain that has fallen in Newmarket in recent days, Gosden's main worry now is whether his charge will be able to get himself into a good position in the early part of the Classic.
Kingman will break from stall one, with market rivals Australia and Toormore further across the track in stalls 10 and 14 respectively.
Gosden said: "His draw in stall one is not a help. I would have preferred to be drawn in the middle or higher.
"Raven's Pass (fourth in 2008) was also badly drawn and never got cover so we will just have to see how it pans out."
The Invincible Spirit colt looks certain to go off a red-hot favourite for the Guineas, but Gosden is doing his best to temper expectation as the trainer bids to win the race for the first time.
"If you like a horse going into any race there's a weight of expectation. You cannot realistically stage a strongly-run Guineas at home so we will only find out when he races, but he gives us every indication that he will stay the mile."
The Richard Hannon-trained Toormore was champion two-year-old after winning each of his three starts last year and maintained his unbeaten record with a workmanlike victory in the Craven Stakes on his return.
Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, said: "After Kingman won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury the way he did, all of the pressure was taken off our shoulders.
"If Kingman is the next Frankel, we're not going to beat him. And if Australia really is the best horse Aidan O'Brien has ever trained, as people are suggesting, we're not going to beat him either.
"Toormore cost £36,000, he was champion two-year-old and is lining up in a 2000 Guineas with a fighting chance. That in itself is a dream come true.
"I think we can be reasonably confident about what we'll get from our horse.
Toormore is one of three runners for Hannon, who also saddles Greenham Stakes runner-up Night Of Thunder and Free Handicap winner Shifting Power.
As a son of Galileo out of the brilliant race mare Ouija Board, Australia is certainly bred to be a Classic contender and O'Brien has not made any secret of the regard in which he holds the colt.
He said: "Everybody knows he's bred to get the Derby trip. Obviously, he has to start somewhere and it would be nice to start him at Newmarket on a nice bit of ground."
Australia is joined in the Guineas line-up by the Ryan Moore-ridden War Command, who impressively claimed the Dewhurst as Newmarket on his last start as a juvenile.
Kingston Hill enjoyed a spectacular end to his three-year-old season, completing a hat-trick in little over a month with a brilliant display in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
Charm Spirit and Bookrunner both run for France, while Noozhoh Canarias is a first Spanish-trained runner in a British Classic.