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Guineas withdrawals favour Dubawi Gold


Dubawi Gold is favourite to win the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas

Dubawi Gold is favourite to win the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas

Dubawi Gold is favourite to win the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas

Dubawi Gold is set to be a hot favourite for this weekend's Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas as his potential rivals dropped away in increasing numbers on Monday.

The likes of Dream Ahead and Pathfork were not among those in the 11-strong field at the five-day stage, while Aidan O'Brien's Zoffany was added to the defectors when it was reported he was suffering from a touch of colic.

Zoffany was one of the second-favourites in the initial markets as a winner of the Phoenix Stakes and four other races in a busy two-year-old career, but his absence leaves Dubawi Gold as the 6-4 market leader.

O'Brien's wife Anne-Marie tweeted: "Zoffany had a slight colic this afternoon, he has received treatment for it and will therefore unfortunately miss this Saturday's Guineas".

Dubawi Gold, who was supplemented for the race by owner Andrew Tinkler, finished second to Frankel in the Newmarket equivalent and well ahead of O'Brien's Roderic O'Connor, now the 11-4 next best in the betting.

O'Brien can still choose from High Ruler, Master Of Hounds and Oracle as well.

David Simcock's Dream Ahead has missed potential engagements in both the French and English versions of the Classics because of the ground.

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Simcock will now focus the attentions of last year's Middle Park winner on the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and a potential rematch with Frankel, who beat him in the Dewhurst last autumn.

"Dream Ahead won't be running in Ireland - the forecast is not in his favour," he told www.davidsimcock.co.uk.

"It has been a difficult spring for us as we feel we haven't been able to do the work on grass with the horse that we would liked to have done."

The 2000 Guineas fourth Slim Shadey and Michael Dods' Ashva are the only other possible British representatives with Dunboyne Express, who won a three-runner Guineas trial at Leopardstown, another key player.

Foolproof and Zabarajad complete the line-up.

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