/ Racing

Trainer John Gosden sees host of dangers to Kingman

Updated: Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 21:39 | Comments

Newmarket clerk of the course Michael Prosser has been watering the Rowley Mile despite the prospect of rain before the weekend
Newmarket clerk of the course Michael Prosser has been watering the Rowley Mile despite the prospect of rain before the weekend

John Gosden feels Kingman will face a field full of quality in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

Red-hot favourite in the ante-post markets following his display in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, the Khalid Abdullah-owned colt is aiming to give Gosden his first win in the Classic.

However, the Clarehaven handler is well aware of the task he faces as Aidan O'Brien has left no one in any doubt of the regard in which he holds Australia, who is a product of Galileo and Ouija Board.

Throw into the mix Richard Hannon's unbeaten champion juvenile Toormore and Roger Varian's Group One winner Kingston Hill, not to mention some fascinating overseas contenders, and Gosden has every right to be wary.

Kingman will have James Doyle in the saddle and while he has yet to win a Classic, he will arrive at Newmarket on the crest of a wave having ridden a treble at Lingfield, his third such feat on successive days.

"I think it is a really good Guineas. Australia is being talked of as a horse who is head and shoulders above the rest at Ballydoyle. Every year in the northern hemisphere that (Ballydoyle) is the best collection of three-year-olds that can be seen and the fact he is outclassing them all has got to be significant," said Gosden, speaking at a lunch to promote the Guineas Festival at Newmarket.

"I like the Craven winner (Toormore). I think he is one of those really tough horses; if you go by him you will know you have had a race.

"There's a lot of depth - there's Roger Varian's Racing Post Trophy winner. It's a proper Guineas."

Gosden has repeatedly stated all winter that because of a required operation on an ankle last year he would be unwilling to risk Kingman on quick ground and the lack of recent rain has been a worry.

"We would have preferred the rain, but we haven't had much rain (in Newmarket). You look at everywhere else and it's soft or heavy. We are lucky we are racing on decent ground," he said.

"As long as the ground is close to good, that's fine. I just don't want to run on firm.

"It doesn't get heavy here as it's the fastest draining course in Europe. We wouldn't want to see a Guineas on soft ground, that's for sure."

The going is currently good to firm with rain forecast on Thursday.

Also at the lunch was Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby who believes his Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip holds each-way claims, and Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who sponsors both Guineas.

The Sheikh has two live chances in the Qipco 1000 Guineas but favours the Olly Stevens-trained Lightning Thunder over Charlie Hills' Kiyoshi. However, his jockey Jamie Spencer is still keen on Kiyoshi and will not make his mind up until declaration time.

The market mover on Tuesday was O'Brien's perceived second-string, the Coventry and Dewhurst Stakes winner War Command, who could well be the mount of Ryan Moore.

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