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Al Musmak aiming to outrun Guineas odds

Al Musmak aiming to outrun Guineas odds
Al Musmak aiming to outrun Guineas odds

Al Musmak will try to defy his outsider status when he lines up in the Qipco 2000 Guineas on Saturday week.

Roger Varian’s son of Night Of Thunder brings smart form to the table with a Listed win in Haydock’s Ascendant Stakes sandwiched by highly-creditable placed efforts behind Rosallion at Ascot and then on his final start of the year when second to Ghostwriter in the Royal Lodge.

A return to the Rowley Mile for the opening Classic of the season has been on the cards ever since, with the Carlburg Stables handler happy to send his colt into big-race action on his first start of the campaign.

“It’s our intention to run Al Musmak in the 2000 Guineas and he’s training nicely at home,” said Varian.

“He’s got some very solid form from last year, finishing runner-up to Rosallion in the Pat Eddery Stakes and winning a strong Ascendant Stakes where the second, third and fourth all run at Sandown in the Classic Trial and we’ll be keen to have a good look at that form. Then he wasn’t beaten too far by the Clive Cox horse (Ghostwriter) when second in the Royal Lodge.

“He’s a 108-rated, strong performer and it’s always been our intention to go straight to a Guineas with him and we’re looking forward to doing that.”

Al Musmak is currently rated a 50-1 shot for the Guineas by the bookmakers and although that may underestimate the strength of his juvenile form, Varian hopes he is capable of finding the improvement required to do himself justice on May 4.

Al Musmak has some smart form to his name
Al Musmak has some smart form to his name (Tim Goode/PA)

“There are a lot of good horses from those autumn races and he’s got solid form,” added Varian.

“He’s 108 not 118, so he needs to improve to bring home a 2000 Guineas. But he’s going into the race fresh, he’s wintered well and he looks a stronger horse – it’s not beyond him to run well.”

Meanwhile, Varian is still to decide if either of his two entries in the following day’s Qipco 1000 Guineas will face the starter.

Both True Cyan and Elmalka were seen in trial action last week, with the former finishing a respectable fourth having struggled for cover in the Nell Gwyn and the latter an eye-catching third in the Fred Darling, flying home in the closing stages to be beaten only half a length.

True Cyan has run twice at Newmarket
True Cyan has run twice at Newmarket (PA)

The Newmarket trainer was pleased with both fillies, especially Elmalka, and a final decision on their Classic participation will be left as late as possible.

Varian continued: “Elmalka finished off really well (at Newbury). She was a bit green and hit a flat spot and I think she would have been nicely on top with another 100 yards, so it was a very good run and we were delighted with her.

“We’ve got no commitment on either at the moment and will see how they both train over the next seven days, then we will be in a better position come the time next week when we have to decide.

“It’s still on the table for both fillies and they were left in at Tuesday’s forfeit stage and have both come out of their races well, but I don’t know yet if either will line-up.”

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