Coventry winner Calyx in demand for 2000 Guineas in another Classic twist

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Tue 23 Apr 2019

The cast for this year's Qipco 2,000 Guineas has been depleted by a variety of unfortuate setbacks but on Tuesday it emerged that a potential star was back in the mix.

A week ago John Gosden had all but ruled Calyx out of contention for the first Classic of the season on Saturday week but if money talks then last year's brilliant Coventry Stakes winner will be in the line-up at Newmarket.

Available at 20-1 on Monday evening, the unbeaten Prince Khalid Abdullah-owned colt is now a general 8-1, and as short as 6-1 in places. His odds on the Betfair betting exchange recently touched 299-1, but at about 1pm on Tuesday he was trading at about 10-1.

What what our experts made of Calyx's Coventry Stakes triumph

His connections say a decision on his participation is likely to be made at the end of this week.

“There’s been no change one way or the other – we’ve always been trying to get him there and whoever else runs or doesn’t won’t affect the decision," said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Abdullah.

“Obviously the concern is that he’s had a long lay-off and an injury. He hasn’t run since Royal Ascot, so we want to be happy that he is in great shape to do himself justice in the 2000 Guineas.

“From that point of view, there has never been any change. The horse himself is in good form and we’ll probably have to make a decision by the end of this week I would think."

Frankie Dettori gives his verdict on Calyx's Coventry win

Too Darn Hot, a stablemate of Calyx and the long-time ante-post favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, was ruled out on Saturday.

Twenty-four hours later, Andre Fabre said the well-fancied Persian King was also unlikely to run, but Grimthorpe says they are not factors in deciding where Calyx will reappear after almost 11 months out of action.

“It’s never been a question of who goes or who doesn’t, we’ve always had tremendous faith in the horse, so it’s all about getting him to the race in the best possible form," he said.

“It was frustrating last year given how the Coventry worked out, but we wouldn’t have swapped the Coventry. The way the race has panned out, it looked a strong renewal.”

Meanwhile, Charlie Appleby is considering bypassing the Guineas with Line Of Duty, his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner, in favour of an outing in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York.

He said: “The Guineas is shaping up to be quite open, but we are going to do what we feel is right in respect towards the Derby as we always said he was going to be our Derby horse.

“It is often said the Guineas is the best Derby trial, but this is a horse we saw has his best results on a turning track, so we might we just take the Dante route as he wants to go up in trip.

“We still have a few calls to make, but at the moment I’m looking more at the Dante route than the Guineas.”

Prospects of Zakouski lining up in the Guineas appear to be slim with Appleby looking at dropping him back in trip following his defeat in last week’s Craven.

Appleby added: “I’d say that Zakouski is unlikely to run in the Guineas. We will probably drop him back to seven furlongs for the King Charles II Stakes.”

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