Air Force Blue leads 12 rivals for 2000 Guineas

Air Force Blue is the antepost favourite among 13 declared runners for Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien’s colt is tipped to come out on top in the first Classic of the season this weekend after starring when winning three Group One races – the Phoenix Stakes, the National Stakes and the Dewhurst – as a juvenile.

Air Force Blue may take some stopping but there are other contenders, with Ed Walker’s Stormy Antarctic, who impressed when winning the Craven Stakes over course and distance earlier this month, one potential rival.

Meanwhile, O’Brien has kept Air Vice Marshal in the race but the Ballydoyle-based trainer decided to pull out Bravery and Shogun at the latest declaration stage.

Massaat is also among the 13 after coming second to Air Force Blue in the Dewhurst, while Racing Post Trophy winner Marcel has outside claims.

The Mark Johnston-trained Buratino is also included, as is Jim Bolger’s Herald The Dawn and Ribchester, trained by Richard Fahey, while the list of runners is completed by First Selection, Galileo Gold, Kentuckyconnection, Zhui Feng and Zonderland.

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