The Grand National signals the end of the National Hunt campaign, with the major prizes of the season decided. The eyes of the racing world now turn to the flat term, which dominates the summer season of the sport.
The race at Aintree is always on the forefront of the sport and you can bet Grand National online for the 2019 campaign to get the National Hunt out of your system before turning attention to the flat campaign. The first major meet of the code comes at Newmarket in the 2,000 Guineas, making a welcome break from the flurry of Grand National tips that have flooded the market since the end of Cheltenham Festival.
Churchill was the victorious horse in the event last season when he rode to victory for Aidan O’Brien. However, his campaign petered out after the bright start, highlighting that, although the Guineas are important, there are other prizes at stake over the course of the term.
Gustav Klimt will be aiming to continue O’Brien’s run of success at the meet. No trainer has had greater success than O’Brien at the event, with the 48-year-old claiming victory eight times over the course of his career, including two of the three races at Newmarket.
The Irish horse will be one of several competitors that he will put forward in May for glory. Gustav Klimt only has three races under his belt in his career, beginning at the Irish EBF Maiden at Curragh. The three-year-old was considered a strong contender for the contest but Ryan Moore in the saddle could not find the horse’s top speed down the final furlong as Commander Grigio secured the win.
However, Gustav Klimt bounced back with a fine performance at the Barronstown Stud Irish European Breeders Fund in June last year. On this occasion, he was the favourite and duly delivered with a strong outing to claim the win. He made a steady start to the race before Moore upped the ante down the final stretch of the contest to beat out Would Be King by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
O’Brien’s charge continued his development with another brilliant run at Newmarket in the Superlative Stakes. Moore was in the saddle and had to help Gustav Klimt overcome a slow start to the contest. However, the Irish horse found his rhythm and was able to come through the field. Gustav Klimt moved to the inside down the final furlong and found just enough speed to beat out his compatriot Nebo by a head.
Gustav Klimt will have to be flawless to claim the Guineas as he will face a talented field, including his stable-mate Saxon Warrior. He does have vital experience at Newmarket, which cannot be overlooked and may give him an important edge when it comes to the fore in May. Almost all the competitors will be in the same boat in terms of races run, therefore it’s difficult to judge where they will stand over the course of the race with stamina and speed in certain conditions.
It should be an enthralling spectacle as the Guineas always proves to be, although there are other prizes to contend for throughout the summer. As Churchill displayed last term, a good start does not always translate into a victorious campaign.
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