Everyone loves a tale of the underdog triumphing against all odds – and trainer Roger Teal is hoping Tip Two Win can do just that at Newmarket on Saturday in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
With his emotions a mixture of both nerves and excitement, the Great Shefford handler has his fingers crossed his stable star can do himself justice as he becomes his first ever runner in the colts’ Classic.
He said: “Last week I was pretty calm, but now the butterflies have started and you ask yourself have you done this and that and you start to question yourself. It is unknown territory for us, but exciting at the same time.
“It is a massive occasion, but he is in good shape. We took him to Lambourn on Monday and he did his final piece of work. He did a nice piece over six furlongs and I was happy with him. I’m very pleased with him and he goes there in good shape.”
Back-to-back wins at Doha racecourse in Qatar on his last two starts may have helped increase the profile of Tip Two Win, but for Teal his talent has been burning brightly since first setting foot in his yard.
He said: “I remember the first piece of work he did – it just put a smile straight on your face. I remember the lad riding him at home back then saying ‘you better get your hats ready for Royal Ascot’, but as he was only a May foal I didn’t want to get stuck into him too early.
“I wanted to give him every chance. We are a small stable and not a gambling stable and he went off a big price first time out at Windsor. He didn’t sell sell himself in the paddock, as he is not very big, and he drifted from 16-1, but I said to David (Probert) this is a nice horse.
“As soon as David got on him he came alive and he ended up winning by three and a half lengths. We weren’t shocked, that’s for sure, as we hoped he was as good as he was showing at home.
“On his second run, he had a little bit of a blip, he got trapped in and couldn’t get out and that is the only blot on his copybook. Since then he has thrived. Going out to Doha was a big thing. There was the journey out there and he didn’t have long to acclimatise, but he took it all well.
“We gave him a short break since he returned and have just prepared him for Saturday. I said if he won over the mile in Doha and if he won well that’s our trial for the Guineas.”
One thing Teal feels will be in favour of the Anne Cowley-owned colt is course experience, having chased home the well-fancied Elarqam in the Group Three Tattersalls Stakes on his final start in Britain in September.
Teal said: “The ground was against us last time at Newmarket, but hopefully the ground will dry out to be good ground as he has got a lovely stride.
“He handled the dip that day on the easy side and if the ground is good he should handle it even better. It’s always nice to have had a run on the track at Newmarket before.
“The mile race at Doha was a slower-run race than the seven-furlong race there, but he ran right through to the line. I know Newmarket is a stiffer track, but he should be fine if he gets into a nice rhythm.
“My fella is not the biggest, but he is a scrapper and is a tenacious little so and so. If you had a punch up you would want him behind you!”
He added: “We’ve got an outside chance. It’s exciting and is a massive day for the team and for Anne.
“If he runs a solid race and finishes in the first six, I’d be delighted. Anything above that, I would take gladly.”