Rivet set to run in the French 2,000 Guineas
- Rivet won last season’s Racing Post Trophy and was set for the 2,000 Gunieas
- However the William Haggas-trained colt looks likely to compete in France
- There had been doubts after Rivet ran a poor race in the Dewhurst Stakes
Rivet, winner of last season’s Group One Racing Post Trophy, is poised to run in the French 2,000 Guineas despite being among the 12 remaining entries for Saturday’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
The William Haggas-trained colt dispelled fears that the undulations on the Rowley Mile do not suit him with second place to Eminent in the Craven Stakes on his seasonal return at the track last month.
Those fears had lingered after Rivet, part-owned by Haggas’ father-in-law Lester Piggott, ran the only poor race of his career when fifth to Churchill in the Dewhurst Stakes in October.
Rivet, winner of last season’s Racing Post Trophy, is poised to run in the French 2,000 Guineas
Rivet remains among the 12 entries for Saturday’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket
Trainer William Haggis thinks Rivet will do better across the channel rather than at Newmarket
Haggas, who also intends sending filly Sea of Grace for the French 1,000 Guineas, said: ‘I am looking at running both in France but have left both in the race here in case something happens to the leading fancies. I think the Guineas here is going to be strong and we think France will suit Rivet better.’
Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill is 6-4 favourite with Coral to give the trainer his eighth 2,000 Guineas winner. He also has Lancaster Bomber, Peace Envoy and Spirit of Valor in the race.
Immediately behind Churchill in the betting is three impressive trial winners this Spring, Martyn Meade’s Eminent (Craven Stakes), Richard Hannon’s Barney Roy (Greenham Stakes) and Andre Fabre’s Al Wukair (Prix Djebel).
There had been doubts after Rivet ran a poor race in the Dewhurst Stakes in October
Fabre, successful in the first Group One race of the European season with Godolphin’s Cloth of Stars, said: ‘I am quite confident that he will be in the first three on Saturday but I am a bit concerned that he was not a Group One winner as a two-year-old, something that most Guineas winners have already achieved, including both of mine (Zafonic in 1993 and Pennekamp in 1995).
‘I gave Al Wukair quite a light two-year-old campaign on purpose as my horses had a little problem with a virus last season, so I did not want to force them.
‘The ground is not a worry for him as he has won on soft and it was on the fast side for the Djebel.
‘He seems well balanced so neither is the course a major concern. I never have any complaints about Newmarket, which in my opinion is the best racecourse in the world.’
The 18 entries for Sunday’s Qipco 1,000 Guineas are headed by O’Brien’s Group One Fillies’ Mile winner Rhododendron, the 2-1 favourite.
Minding, the O’Brien-trained filly whose win in the 2016 1,000 Guineas was one of her five group ones wins last season, made a comfortable winning return in the Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas yesterday.