Mandaean to swerve Guineas

Godolphin’s Mandaean and Mighty Ambition have been ruled out of Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Mandaean won twice from as many starts as a juvenile, when trained by Andre Fabre, but will not be making his debut for Mahmood Al Zarooni this weekend.

The Betfred Dante Stakes at York on May 17 is his first target of the campaign.

Mighty Ambition was a beaten favourite in last month’s Craven Stakes and will have his sights lowered, instead of lining up in the Guineas.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “Neither will run in the Guineas.

“Mandaean is going for the Dante – we just kept him in the Guineas to see what the race was like.

“I think we’ll find Mighty Ambition a Listed race somewhere.”

Roger Charlton insists soft conditions at Newmarket would not stop his leading fancy Top Offer lining up on the Rowley Mile.

The Dansili colt made a huge impression when making a winning debut at Newbury last August, but was withdrawn from last month’s Greenham Stakes at Newbury due to the rain-softened ground.

Conditions at Newmarket are similar at this stage, but his participation is in absolutely no doubt, according to his trainer.

“There are no doubts about him running – he’ll run whatever the ground. The fact is, we don’t know what ground he wants,” said Charlton.

“I don’t think we should read too much into the fact we didn’t run in the Greenham because it was soft.

“We just didn’t want him to have a very hard race on soft ground two weeks before the Guineas and as it turned out it was a messy race.

“If the Greenham had been three weeks before the Guineas, he probably would have run.

“He is a very good-moving horse and if you asked me whether I’d prefer good to firm ground or good to soft, of course I would say good to firm.

“But that is not to say he definitely won’t handle softer ground, we won’t know until we run him on it.

“It might not be soft on Saturday anyway, we’ll just have to see what happens, but he’ll be running and

“I’m very happy with him.”

While Top Offer has a clear lack of experience, one horse who will not be caught short in that department is the John Quinn-trained Red Duke.

The three-year-old won twice from six starts as a juvenile and ran a perfectly respectable race to finish fifth in the UAE Derby at Meydan at the end of March.

Yorkshire-based Quinn has been pleased with his charge since he arrived home and feels he could outrun his current Guineas odds of 66-1.

“He’s in good fettle and I’m very happy with him,” said Quinn.

“We could do with the ground drying up for the rest of the week, but we’ll just have to see what happens.”


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