Pathfork heads challenge to Frankel

FRANKEL will face a maximum of 14 rivals, headed by Jessica Harrington’s Pathfork in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

Pathfork is unbeaten heading to Newmarket and is expected, by the bookmakers at least, to give the market leader most to do. Henry Cecil’s unbeaten colt is set to go off the shortest priced favourite for the Classic in over 30 years.

The leading Aidan O’Brien representative this year is Roderic O’Connor, second to Frankel in the Dewhurst and a Group One winner in France as a juvenile.

O’Brien has also left in Master Of Hounds and Alexander Pope.

Native Khan, the winner of the Craven Stakes, and William Haggas’ unbeaten Fury are others who could give the favourite something to think about.

Godolphin have left in Saeed bin Suroor’s Saamidd and Casamento, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni.

Dubai Prince was intended to be Al Zarooni’s Guineas horse but he misses the race through injury.

“The main Classic horse I have is Casamento and a decision will be made soon on whether he goes to the 2000 Guineas on Saturday or waits for the Dante,” said Al Zarooni.

“Casamento is a good horse who is doing well. He wants further than a mile and although the Guineas is a great Classic it is always a good trial for the Derby.”

Broox, Dubawi Gold, Happy Today, Loving Spirit, Rerouted and Slim Shadey complete the possibles.

Dream Ahead was among the four withdrawals, with trainer David Simcock admitting defeat that he is not going to get his favoured ground.

Meanwhile, Freddie Head’s Moonlight Cloud features among 23 remaining entries for Sunday’s Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Classic has gone to France for two of the last three years via Natagora and Special Duty and Moonlight Cloud appears to have sound claims judged on a superb performance in the Prix Imprudence at Maisons-Laffitte.

Jessica Harrington’s Laughing Lashes is another name who features prominently in ante-post markets.

Heading the British team is Michael Stoute’s unbeaten filly Havant, Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Hooray is a major contender for Mark Prescott while Memory will attempt to rebuild her reputation for Richard Hannon.

I Love Me and Make A Dance are included on the list, but Fred Darling scorer Rimth is not, with connections eyeing a tilt at the French Guineas instead.

Dual Group One winner Misty For Me, trained by Aidan O’Brien, features among a strong Irish challenge.

Nell Gwyn scorer Barefoot Lady was supplemented as expected.

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