Gustav Klimt and Saxon Warrior are among four five-day acceptors from the Aidan O’Brien stable as the Ballydoyle trainer bids to win the Qipco 2000 Guineas for a ninth time at Newmarket on Saturday.
O’Brien is already the winning-most trainer in the colts’ Classic and Gustav Klimt, winner of the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on his reappearance, heads his strong team.
Last season’s Superlative Stakes scorer is supported by Racing Post Trophy victor Saxon Warrior, US Navy Flag, who has disappointed twice since landing the Dewhurst Stakes in October, and Murillo.
The home challenge is headed by Craven winner Masar, from Charlie Appleby’s stable, and the Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam.
The latter is a product of two Guineas winners, the mighty Frankel and the brilliant Attraction. He won both his starts last season and looks an exciting prospect.
“The only doubt maybe is that he’s not as experienced as some of his rivals,” Johnston’s son and assistant, Charlie, told At The Races.
“He’s had two runs and that’s part of the reason he’s been to Newmarket for a racecourse gallop, to get a bit more experience and look around the place.
“We are very confident in our horse and we wouldn’t swap him for anything.”
The Johnston team are also represented by Cardsharp.
Connections of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Expert Eye are hoping for good ground for the Acclamation colt, who went some way to restoring his reputation following his flop in the Dewhurst when second in the Greenham Stakes.
“I think we took a lot of positives from it. He behaved well and he went into the stalls well,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.
“They didn’t go a great pace. He did pull a little bit, but not badly. Ryan (Moore) was relatively complimentary. He was happy with the horse and said not to be too disappointed.
“He worked on Sunday morning on Racecourse side (in Newmarket), worked nicely, smoothly under Andrea Atzeni. Everyone seemed very happy happy.
“I don’t think he would want a lot of rain. I know there’s some early in the week, but it should be nice later on.
“The weather will be a factor eventually on his participation. We would hope, under normal circumstances, for good ground and we’d definitely want to go.”
Greenham winner James Garfield is set to be George Scott’s first Classic runner and the same applies to Roger Teal with Tip Two Win, who chased home Elarqam in the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket in September.
John Gosden has left in the unbeaten Without Parole and Roaring Lion, beaten favourite in the Craven.
Completing the confirmations are Headway, Hey Gaman, Nebo, Raid and Rajasinghe.