An action-packed weekend sees top class racing from both sides of the Atlantic
Sir Michael Stoute and Luca Cumani should keep the first of the year’s domestic classics at home on one of the biggest international trans-Atlantic weekends of the season. Stoute’s King Of Happiness and Cumani’s Gossamer are the names expected to be on the Guineas roll of honour by Sunday night.
They both face strong opposition from the billionaire stables of Godolphin and Ballydoyle but should be equal to their respective tasks. King Of Happiness, in Saturday’s 2000 Guineas, has to cope with Hawk Wing and Rock of Gibraltar,who spearhead Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle challenge, and the Godolphin pair Naheef and Meshaheer.
On Sunday Gossamer will be seriously challenged not only by the Mick Channon-trained Queen’s Logic but also by O’Brien’s Quarter Moon and Maryinsky. The German filly Kazzia represents Godolphin.
Across the Atlantic
O’Brien and his team from Coolmore will be in America for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday night when Johannesburg [pictured] and Castle Gandolfo will be flying the Ballydoyle flag. The Godolphin camp have moved to Kentucky, with the exception of Sheikh Mohammed (who will be at Newmarket), to watch Essence of Dubai in the Run for the Roses.
Back on home turf
King Of Happiness reappeared to take the Craven Stakes over the Guineas course and distance a fortnight ago and Stoute has expressed himself very satisfied with the colt’s progress in the interim.
If King Of Happiness can beat off this strong field Stoute will be the first trainer to complete the 2000 Guineas hat-trick for 136 years, following in the footsteps of James Edwards.
Stoute took the last two races with Golan and King’s Best, and has also won the Guineas with Shadeed, Doyoun and Entrepreneur.
Unbeaten Gossamer was ultra-impressive in her victories at Goodwood and Ascot during the second half oflast season. Cumani reports that she has come through the winter well and in what promises to be one of the clashes of the 2002, Gossamer is taken to outstay Queen’s Logic.