Edited from a release
A sharply-increased entry of 108 has been received for the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), the first British Classic of the year which is held at Newmarket on Saturday, May 3, 2003.
This number is an increase of 15 on last season's 93 entries, while 86 entries were made in 2001. Prize money stands at a new record level of £320,000.
Ireland's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien has won the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas twice, with King Of Kings in 1998 and Rock Of Gibraltar last year. This year the master of Ballydoyle has 25 representatives, who are headed by current ante-post favourite Hold That Tiger, winner of three races last year including the group I Grand Criterium at Longchamp in October. The Storm Cat colt then put in a good effort on his first start on dirt later that month when the five-length third to Vindication in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Arlington Park.
Other significant O'Brien entries include Tomahawk, eighth in that same American contest, having earlier finished runner-up in two group I juvenile contests at Newmarket, the Shadwell Park Middle Park Stakes on October 3, and the Darley Dewhurst Stakes 16 days later, Statue Of Liberty, unbeaten on two starts in 2002 including the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and Van Nistelrooy, the most expensive yearling in the world in 2001 at $6.4 million, who was successful in three races as a 2-year-old including the group II Galileo E.B.F. Futurity Stakes at the Curragh in August.
The other powerhouse of international flat racing, Godolphin, has the pick of 18 entries. The best of these could be Lateen Sails, who was extremely impressive when winning his only start in a Newmarket maiden in October, getting the better of Powerscourt by a length and a quarter, for former trainer Henry Cecil.
Godolphin's runners in the UAE Two Thousand Guineas at Nad Al Sheba on February 13 could also play a hand here. Western Diplomat finished the half-length runner-up to Victory Moon with Bourbonnais (3rd), Dublin (7th) and Dubai Lightning (9th).
Further international interest is added by entries from France, Germany and Italy. The Gallic entry is the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained Snipewalk, who was the close fourth to Italian representative Le Vie Dei Colori, trained by Roberto Brogi, in a group 3 contest at Longchamp in September. German hopes rest with Ransom O'War - the Erica Mader-trained Red Ransom colt won a novice stakes at Southwell in November by five lengths for former handler Mark Johnston.
Other notable entries include the Dermot Weld-trained unbeaten colt Refuse To Bend, the John Gosden-trained Oasis Dream, who won last year's Shadwell Park Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, Tout Seul, trained by Fulke Johnson Houghton to be the one and a quarter-length winner of Newmarket's Darley Dewhurst Stakes, and the Roger Charlton-trained Trade Fair, sent off favorite for the latter event and running creditably to finish third.
For further information please contact Michael Prosser, Newmarket's Clerk of the Course, on 011 44 1638 663482 or Alistair Haggis, Newmarket's Press Officer, on 011 44 1638 675553
THE SAGITTA 2000 GUINEAS group I, Class A, Newmarket, Saturday, May 3, 2003, one mile, total prize fund £320,000. For three-year-olds only, entire colts and fillies. Weights: colts 9st, fillies 8st 11lb. Entries closed Wednesday, March 5, 2003 (108 entries), entries released Wednesday, March 19, 2003, forfeit stage Tuesday, April 22, 2003, five-day confirmation stage Monday, April 28, 2003, 48-hour declaraton stage 10 am, Thursday, May 1, 2003.
for a full list of entries with trainers and owners. Totals
30 Irish-trained entries
18 UAE-trained entries
1 French-trained entry
1 German-trained entry
1 Italian-trained entry25 Entries
Aidan O'Brien IRE (1998 KING OF KINGS, 2002 ROCK OF GIBRALTAR)18 Entries
Saeed bin Suroor (1999 ISLAND SANDS, 1996 MARK OF ESTEEM)6 Entries
Richard Hannon (1990 TIROL, 1987 DON'T FORGET ME, 1973 MON FILS)5 Entries
Barry Hills (1979 TAP ON WOOD)4 Entries
Sir Michael Stoute (2002 GOLAN, 2000 KING'S BEST, 1997 ENTREPRENEUR, 1988, DOYOUN, 1985 SHADEED)
Dermot Weld3 Entries
Clive Brittain (1991 MYSTIKO)
Brian Meehan2 Entries
Bryan Smart1 Entry
Fulke Johnson Houghton