By Simon Jackson.
Galileo Gold justified connections’ faith to land the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and provide local handler Hugo Palmer with his first British Classic victory.
The son of Paco Boy raced close to the pace under the resurgent Frankie Dettori and stayed on well to score by one and a half lengths from Massaat with Ribchester two lengths further back in third place.
Galileo Gold, a winner of four of his six starts, holds entries that include the Irish 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby and was always travelling well for Dettori who burst back into the big time last year when winning the Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Golden Horn.
“I had faith in the horse, I knew he would be in the first three,” Dettori revealed. “He was flying at home and I know he stays well. He had to do it the hard way from stall one but I thought it was a great performance.
“I knew he was good but I didn’t know he was that good. He’s done really well physically, he was just legs last year but he’s really filled out his frame and the ground proved ideal. He’ll definitely stay ten furlongs but the Derby trip, who knows.”
The delighted Palmer said: “ It doesn’t get any better than this, Frankie was so alert, he said he was going to go on if nothing gave him a lead and he did just that, it was a masterful ride and the horse proved to be a very willing partner. I feel so lucky to have him.
“When you come to a big race like this you have to come with confidence and I’ve never believed in a horse like I believe in this one, we’ll keep believing for a lot longer yet.
“He’s a beautiful horse who has got better and better and better. He’s out of a Galileo mare and his fourth dam is the dam of Montjeu, who have been responsible for nine Derby winners between them.
“Will he stay a mile and a half? I don’t know but they do say the Guineas is the best trial for the Derby. It’s not something I had even thought about but he does have an entry.
“I must mention Toby Atkinson who has ridden the horse every day at home since he was a yearling, he’s done a masterful job in training this horse at home.”
Harry Herbert – racing manager to winning owners Qatar Racing – was quick to applaud the horse’s preparation and Dettori’s ride: “This horse has been trained to the minute and Frankie has ridden him to perfection, he said what he was going to do beforehand and he carried it out brilliantly,” Herbert said.
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.